Most fitness drinks are formulated to replenish your body’s electrolytes, vitamins, and carbohydrates after a tough work out.
Yet, many people don’t require the huge amount of sodium, sugar, and other additives in many fitness drinks, even after working out. Because most fitness drinks are marketed as healthy beverages, people trust that when they drink them, they can’t possibly be harming their bodies with an overload of salt and sugar.
Read on to learn more about fitness drinks, and if they can often do more bad than good to your body.
- Why is Too Much Sodium a Problem?
- Why is Too Much Sugar a Problem?
- What other Additives are in Most Fitness Drinks?
- What are the Alternatives to Fitness Drinks?
Why is Too Much Sodium a Problem?
Though your body requires sodium to recover from electrolyte loss through sweating, too much sodium can cause health problems like high blood pressure. Since 90% of Americans get too much sodium as it is, if you don’t do a lot of strenuous exercise, you should probably avoid most fitness drinks.
For example, if a sports drink contains about 200mg of sodium per serving, which is about 8% of your daily value, this would provide an excellent way to recover from a large amount of sweat loss. For the average person, this much sodium per serving could do more bad than good. This is especially true if you consume fitness drinks regularly, whether you work out or not.
Why is Too Much Sugar a Problem?
According to a recent study, Americans now consume 19% more added sugar in their daily diet than they did in 1970. This added sugar can increase your body fat as well as put you at risk for heart disease due to a high level of blood fats.
Many fitness drinks contain about 42g of sugar per serving. For the average person, the recommended daily value is about 32g, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. While sugars and carbohydrates are necessary when you do a strenuous workout, for the average person, this amount of refined sugar can do a lot more harm than good.
What other Additives are in Most Fitness Drinks?
In addition to lots of salt and sugar, most fitness drinks also contain:
- Trans fats such as hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils
- Artificial dyes
- Sucrose and glucose-fructose syrups
- Citric acid (preservative)
Your body doesn’t require any of these artificial additives, so unless you are losing a lot of fluids due to extreme sweating or flu-like sickness, it’s best to stick with fitness drink alternatives. Read on to learn more about what these include.
What are the Alternatives to Fitness Drinks?
Simple water can provide necessary hydration for the average person. However, if you’re looking for something that has an electrolyte boost, essential vitamins and minerals and an all natural taste, try coconut water.
Coconut water contains all of the good things about fitness drinks without the added sugars, dyes or trans fats. At just 46 calories per serving, coconut water is also a low calorie, fat-free drink. What leading fitness drink can say that?
What do you drink to recover from a hard workout? Comment below!