Most people assume that sports drinks are the best way to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes after an intense workout. But the real question is – is all of this true?
The popular claim that sports drinks help keep you hydrated during intense exercise and replenish what’s lost when you sweat, but a series of studies say that there isn’t evidence to support that they actually improve athletic performance or recovery. In addition to not enough proof to back these claims, these sports drinks can have as much as two-thirds the sugar of sodas and can also be packed with artificial flavors and food coloring – none of which contribute to ideal health.
Better sources of electrolytes
We all know that sports drinks are packed with electrolytes and can replace your body’s lost electrolytes after an intense workout. However, the truth is that they are not the healthiest ways to getting those electrolytes. Drinking coconut water or just eating mineral-rich fruits and veggies is the best path to adopt.
Whether you drink coconut water or just plain water, the question is how much water should we be drinking? Experts say that you need to give your body enough water 2 hours before a workout and then at regular intervals during a workout.
Why sugar after exercise?
Consuming a sugar-rich sports drink after an exercise will affect your body’s insulin sensitivity negatively. Though they are addressed as ‘energy’ drinks, in the long run thanks to the amount of sugar they have it actually does just the reverse. After causing a rapid burst of vigour, your energy plunges as your pancreas and other organs strive hard to stabilise out the toxic stimulation to your blood sugar.
Not just sugar, but salt is also an issue
Most energy drinks contain high amount of sodium, which is essentially used to replenish the minerals lost owing to profuse sweating. But a better alternative is to add a pinch of unprocessed sea salt to a glass of water and drink that instead.
Don’t get carried away by false claims
In today’s world, most drinks claim to be sugar-free and low-calorie. Don’t get carried away by these claims. Most of these drinks have artificial sweetener, which according to research is even more harmful for you than just plain fructose.
There isn’t solid proof that these drinks are actually better than water for hydration, plus all those sugars and calories can add up very quickly. So, stick to water and fresh fruits – that’s your safest bet.