5 reasons why sports drinks are not helping you!

As asked by you, I have been working with a few health and fitness professionals to bring a range of answers to a lot of questions around the world today. Suzana Talevski from 3121 Fitness, has taken over the blog today to discuss sports drinks and how they won’t help your performance in the gym…

Suzana Talevski is a television fitness presenter and a Les Mills Body Pump instructor. She is passionate about real and affordable access to health and fitness and education around active living choices. Check out her blog here.

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Fitness Tip: drink more water!

Unless you are an endurance athlete, “sports drinks” may contain very little benefit to the average fitness fan. In fact it may actually be harming your chances of reaching your fitness goals and here’s why…..

1.   Performance

There is debate about the use of sports drinks for performance enhancement because study results are mixed, but some evidence does show that the caffeine in many carbonated drinks may have positive benefits for endurance athletes. This is because caffeine may allow your body to burn fat for fuel, delaying the use of muscle glycogen, which allows for a longer exercise session; however, these benefits do not appear when consuming carbonated drinks for short bouts of exercise.

2. Bloating

Carbonation causes many people to feel bloated, particularly if consumed quickly or in large amounts. Drinking sports drinks causes excess air to build up in your stomach, resulting in bloating. Being bloated is likely to make exercise more difficult because that full feeling interferes with efficiency and may slow you down. In addition, that air in your belly may cause you to burp, creating more discomfort that may hinder your performance. Stick with water.

3. Lowered blood sugar

While sugar is likely to give you an initial rush of energy, the spike and subsequent crash in blood sugar may leave you feeling weak and tired, which will interfere with the benefits of exercise.

4. Weight

Working out regularly is a great way to control your weight, both for loss or maintenance; however, drinking large amounts of sugary/sports drinks, which are often high in calories, may interfere with this process and counteract the benefits of your exercise. To lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume, and many people forget to factor liquid calories into their daily totals.

5. By the numbers

Some drinks contain up to 16 spoons of sugar per bottle/can. To burn these calories you would need to:

  • Walk for 1.5 hours
  • Play a team sport like basketball for 1 hour
  • Ride a bike at moderate speed for ¾ hours
  • Jog for 45 minutes

Thank you for the guest post Suzana…In conclusion, I (Adelle) want to give you a few alternatives to sports drinks, one being after you work out – protein at it’s finest, look at a powder protein mixed with milk, or almond milk works, not to mention good old fashioned water but make it easier to drink by squeezing some orange lemon or lime in there.

As we open up the blog to more and more guest writers we encourage you to tell us what you want to hear about! Just write them in the comments below and we will see what we can do 🙂

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