by Lisa Lynn, Fitness Expert and Weight Loss Specialist
A lot of athletes ask me if they should be drinking energy drinks or sports drinks in order to stay hydrated.
Energy drinks actually are not helpful for sports – they’re loaded with sugar, have way too much caffeine in them and they tend to lift you up and then drop you off just when you need the energy the most.
To have the energy you need when playing sports or working out, it’s best to drink things like water or a good protein shake. If you simply follow good nutrition in general, you should have all the energy you need for your training.
A lot of people think energy drinks are good for strength and endurance, however the truth is most people drink them and then end up crashing right at the time they need to have extra strength and endurance.
This happens because energy drinks are so full of sugar and caffeine that they jack you up like a roller coaster and then abandon you right when you need them the most.
The best way to increase overall strength and endurance is simply proper nutrition and general hydration. Basically you are treating the problem the right way instead of just putting a Band-aid on it.
If you find that you continue to reach for energy drinks, I would recommend that you go back and take a look at your lifestyle and ask yourself:
If you stick to the fundamentals and do things the right way, you shouldn’t really need to reach for energy drinks. After all, these kinds of sports drinks are expensive and the landfills are full of plastic bottles and cans, so go the natural way – you’ll feel better!
There are so many options available when it comes to alternatives to drinking water. One way is to make your own sports drink by taking 8 cups of plain water, and putting it into a pitcher.
Fruits like oranges, cherries or watermelon really seem to add flavor to your water and make it that much more enjoyable to drink.
Look around your house to see what kind of fruit you have at hand, then slice some of it up and add it to the water.
Let the pitcher of fruit and water sit in the refrigerator for about three hours, thereby allowing the fruit to become “infused” in the water.
My favorite homemade sports drink is lemon-lime water. With lemons and limes in your water, pretty much the older it gets, the better it gets!
You can also try making iced tea, but maybe water it down a little bit to get more water and less caffeine.
The next thing you could try (which is a great source of hydration and good nutrition) is to make a good protein shake that’s loaded with water.
Also consider adding more water to your soups, and eat more vegetables in general because they’re loaded with water.
Fruits and vegetables are a great way to hydrate your body. It’s not just the water in your drink – there’s a hundred ways you can get hydrated that you will enjoy.
Staying hydrated is more important than you could ever realize! Bear in mind that just about anything that is wrong with your body can be fixed by drinking water!
From aching joints headaches to chronic sinusitis to just a tighter and better body overall: hair, skin, nails – you name it. Also, if you are dehydrated you can slow down your metabolism up to three percent – so start drinking more water!
As a general guide to how much water to drink per day, try this rule of thumb:
Take your body weight, then divide it in half. Let’s say that’s a hundred twenty pounds divided by two. The result is sixty ounces.
So aim for sixty ounces of water every single day and drink it and watch how much better you feel and how much your health will improve!
(published June 25, 2013)
Lisa Lynn is a fitness expert and a specialist in weight loss and metabolic disorders. Lisa’s approach to weight loss is based on personal experience, and her dedicated study of the metabolic effects of food, specific exercises and the smart use of supplements. Lisa is always available to help you become the fittest, healthiest person you can be, as well as for lectures and training. Visit Lisa’s website, lynfit.com, for information about her LynFIT Program, her great fitness and nutrition products, and much more.