Before we get down to the important stuff, I have 2 things to show you.
1) I know you’ve all been wondering what I look like at work, so here you have it. I even look like I’m mid-sentence in a very important phone call. So natural.
2) I have been craving froyo (what else is new?!) and I finally dragged my sister with me. It was awesome. I even put some fruit in the cup this time. I think this means I’m growing up!
The other day I was talking to a participant at work and she mentioned that she wanted to cut out sodas and drink more water. Wonderful goal! However, when I asked if she only wanted to drink water she answered that she would drink water and Gatorade. I told her this was fine but to go easy on the Gatorade because sports drinks have a high sugar content. She was completely shocked.
It got me thinking. There’s a lot of misconceptions about sports drinks. So let’s chat about sports drinks, shall we!
Sports drinks are packed with sugar (simple carbohydrate for quick energy), sodium, potassium and other electrolytes that help you to stay hydrated , replaces the sodium lost through sweat, and fuel your muscles properly through intense exercise. Let me say that again… INTENSE EXERCISE. In all reality, if you are exercising for less than 1 hour, the good being done by the minerals in the drink are offset by the empty calories you are taking in. Think about it this way: An average 8-ounce serving of a sports drink has around 50-80 calories, 14-17 grams of carbohydrates and 100-200 mg of sodium. For exercising less than 1 hour, water is your best bet. If you’re not exercising at all and drinking it just because, well…it’s just another sugary drink. Let’s take a second and look at this chart:
However, I do know that a lot of you are training for intense races like half marathons, marathons and triathlon. During your long runs or the actual race, these sports drinks will definitely come in handy and help support your body as it takes on these physical challenges. I have found that even when I make a conscious effort to drink either water or a sports drink during a race (I like to alternate them between each aid station), I still end the races completely dehydrated to the point of nausea throughout the day. The last couple of races, when I’ve had a sports drink throughout the day after a race, I find that I don’t feel sick any longer and my body seems to recuperate easier. These drinks do have a time and a place!
It’s like anything else, moderation is key! For the most part I don’t believe in totally cutting things out, but soda is one exception to that rule. I really don’t drink it anymore (though I used to love it!). So when it comes to sports drinks, I see them as a step above soda and maybe at the same level as fruit juice. They have their place but for the most part, I do try to avoid them.
What are your thoughts on sports drinks?
How about soda?
What’s your favorite froyo topping??