Drink Healthy

Drink Healthy!

Hydrating Properly;

Drinks to Maintain Fitness and Cut the Fat.

When you go to the local grocery store or local deli these days, it seems like their are hundreds of drinks to choose from and who has the time to read the information on the back, right? WRONG!!! When it comes to fitness, if you drink healthy on a daily basis matters just as much, if not more, than what you eat.

All those sugars and carbohydrates turn into fat if you don’t burn it off! Read the label and multiply it by the amount of servings to get the total sugar intake of drinking that specific drink.

Here’s Why Sugar in Drinks Matter?

Most people take for granted the serving size and the amount of sugar in soft drinks. When most people go to reach for a drink they often think taste and not the results. Your habits make you who you are but wouldn’t you like to be better? Stronger? Healthier?

Well, for starters lets start with your drink selection. If you drink soft drinks regularly or artificially flavored “juice” and you think water is disgusting than you’re already on the wrong track.

Anyone who is Fitness minded and interested in keeping the fat off must understand a few basic concepts when hydrating themselves.

 Hydrate for fitness

The body perspires naturally, to cool down the body and during exercise the conditions around you affect how much you sweat(the nature of your activity, temperature, humidity, and the location -height, indoors or outdoors) Your body requires that you think in advance and when you know your going to workout you should hydrate properly starting from 2 hours prior so that your muscles have sufficient water. When you work out on a regular basis you take in consideration hydrating before, during and after.

You should not rely on the feeling of thirst, rather you should act preemptively, but don’t fill yourself to the point where it makes working out uncomfortable.

When you do workout you need to compensate for the lost electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium) that was released in your sweat. This is why you see people eating bananas or enjoying fruit smoothies at the gym after a workout, to replenish.

Water is Still the Best Drink!

For the price and availability. Water is also readily absorb-able by your body, especially at room temperature. You need to drink about 4-6 ounces of water for every 15-20 minutes of exercise. Designer water is also good, but understand that the additives are usually vitamins and minerals(for a healthy diet) and they do not replenish your electrolytes, unless otherwise stated.

What About Sports Drinks?

Sports drinks in general are actually second best, they actually replenish you but at the same time increase glucose levels in your blood. The bitter, sweet and sour taste doesn’t help and you actually have to drink more to reach the same level of hydration of water. On the plus side you do get the potassium and magnesium you need and probably enjoy the flavor. These drinks offer very low calories and electrolytes.

By reading the label you can determine which sports drink that is best for you. For the most part, it will provide around 12-14 grams of carbohydrates, about 28 mg of potassium, and nearly 100 mg of sodium per 8-ounce serving. The drink’s carbohydrates should come from glucose, sucrose, and/or fructose, these are easily and quickly absorbed. Stay away from the carbonated, as the bubbles can result in an upset stomach.Drinks like Powerade and Gatorade have fueled a new culture. They also throw in some carbohydrates to help glycogen replenishment, and that’s why they’re the leading kings when it comes to sports drinks.

Juice & Your Body.

All natural Juice is good for your body, but it is not ideal for hydration, especially after working out. The fructose/fruit sugar will reduce the rate of water absorption in the body, so your cells are not getting the proper amount of water. Fruit juice is more a food than a liquid even in liquid form. Essentially your body processes it as a food and not for its water content, it actually slows down the water absorption in your body which is bad for your muscles.

Fitness and Carbonated Soft Drinks…NO GOOD!

bad for fitness

Let me be very frank here, nothing good comes out of these high acid carbonated drinks. The acids used to carbonate and flavor these drinks will damage your teeth and may even weaken your bones. Soft drinks are sadly devoid of any real nutritional content. I have even heard of people who blame all their excess weight on too much consumption of SODA POP! When they finally got the will to give it up, they saw the weight come off too! The carbohydrates will seriously slow your water absorption, but they will also provide a quick energy boost. You should avoid drinks with an excess of sugar or caffeine, which will weaken the speed or degree of hydration. This excess will also cause you to crash!

In a Not -SO- Recent Study, On Sports Drinks and Water Retention;

A recent study took eleven healthy male volunteers and had them exercise in a warm, humid environment until they had each lost 1.7% of their starting weight. They were then given the 150% of the amount they had lost in water, milk, milk with added sodium, or Powerade over the course of four installments, monitored for the next four hours, and the amount they urinated gauged. What was discovered was that the people who drank the milk retained significant more fluid and reported less sensations of hunger. The researchers concluded that milk was superior to both water or Powerade at re-hydration.

Does this mean we should drink milk? No, actually we just have to use the right mixture of carbohydrates and sodium during our workouts and minimize the amount of sugar intake.

Some would say this requires we dilute our sports drink with water.If you are going to drink protein powder, it is ideal to use 2% skim milk, this actually helps in the absorption process and does not sit heavy in the stomach.

What About Tea and Coffee?

This is an absolute no-no! When working out or preparing to work out you should totally avoid caffeine. Meanwhile both drinks act as diuretics, meaning they cause your kidneys to pull more water out of your bloodstream even as the digestive system is pulling water into your body. You need this water in your bloodstream to reach your muscles and this method will simply weaken your ability to absorb water!

What About Alcohol?

I don’t even want to go there, but here is why we don’t drink and go work out, Alcohol dehydrates your body! When you are getting dehydrated by your drink, it is reducing the amount of water in your blood and in your muscles. It just doesn’t “workout” , period! Alcohol actually gives you a lot of empty carbs too, which is probably why we are working out in the first place, all those late nights drinking with our friends has turned into body fat.

De-hydration is a Simple Process.

by which your body sweats out more fluid than you take in during exercise. Usually this isn’t a problem if you’re just going for a twenty minute run or lifting weights for half an hour, but for people who are doing intense endurance training or training repeatedly during the day, even a slight amount of de-hydration can negatively impact their next training session.

Is water the way to go? No. While on a basic, intuitive level, thinking that water is the best way to hydrate yourself makes sense, research has shown that including sodium and potassium in your drink helps you retain the water your drink. It’s just not the case of pouring water down your throat, but also ensuring that that water stays in your body, and isn’t urinated out the next time you go to the bathroom.

I also recommend Coconut water, it is natures gift and replenishes you naturally!

Losing the Weight.

Let us consider how much sugar and carbohydrates would be taken out of your diet in a week if you substituted everything for a healthier alternative… Think about it. We are talking on large amounts of sugar, daily. This sugar and carbohydrates soon turns to fat.

It is easier to gain it than to lose it, trust me! So don’t gain it in the first place. If your going to have it, have it once in a blue moon or during major events. Once you stop drinking it and don’t pay any mind to it you soon begin to change your habits and I will drink to that!

Timing when you drink certain drinks is also important because you don’t want to be under the effects of a diuretic or caffeine when working out or afterwards when it may cause you to crash from its effects wearing off.

In your new lifestyle, you may want to water down your sugary drinks or choose to sweeten your water naturally by adding pieces of fruit or lemon to it. I like to make lime water with my diner. I really enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice or seltzer water with a dash of lemon.

If you are going out to have a social drink I recommend;

Vodka and seltzer, this is the lowest amounts of carbohydrates and gets the job done.
(vodka-tonic works well too)

Red wine is actually another good choice, since it is light and low on everything, while also being actually good for you!

White wine has too much sugar and may be pushing it for you.

Finally, hold back on the beer, it can easily pile on carbohydrates especially at night… the next thing you will want to  do is to eat and it will probably be junk food at 2am! You should hold the temptation and eat in the morning after you work off those added pounds from the night before.

The Next Time You Pick Up a Drink, think “Fitness First!”

Every decision should be in the path of optimum fitness.

Remember: water, coconut water, seltzer water, diluted(water added) sports drinks and water with electrolytes/minerals(Designer Water)…

Before, during and after. CHEERS to Good Health!

Hydrate for fitness

Your friend in fitness,
Fitness buyer Miguel

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Thanks in advance!

About The Author


New York, New York

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