Sport drinks are a big business. The marketing and research that goes into these products from their owning company is enough to convince anyone to consume them. Sports drinks come in all different shapes and sizes – its important to first identify if you are in need of a sports drink and if so, which one is best for you.
ARE YOU A SPORTS DRINK CANDIDATE?
Lets first outline who is NOT in need of a sports drink: people that do not perform exercise. Even on a hot day, most non-active people will be fine with water alone. Children tend to love sports drinks, and tend to use and abuse them. There is no need for a child to drink “Gatorade” as a casual beverage! This and many other brands are loaded with sugar, as well as electrolytes and can contain sport performance enhancers like B vitamins, caffeine and amino acids. These ingredients can raise your blood pressure, will spike your insulin and some are very addictive. Ax the vitamin water, Red Bull, Powerade and Monster drinks if you fall into this category – there are definitely more risks than rewards.
SO who needs a sports drink? During long-duration exercise our bodies heat up and one way to cool down and eliminate toxins is through sweating. It is vital to the function of our cells and to our recovery that we replenish what was lost and re-hydrate before, during and after a workout. Water is a great way to replace the lost liquid. Some signs of dehydration include:
- Leg cramps
- Impaired concentration
- Dark colour urine
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may need more than water. Don’t jump the gun however, first understand if you are sweating. I always suggest members to perform a simple sweat test which can be as simple as a pre-and post workout weight. If you are losing weight of more than a pound, you are under hydrating and over sweating and are in need of more than simple water.
Of course picking up a sports drink is the simple solution, just as eating a protein bar instead of making a meal, but we all know that the natural approach is the best – eating real food instead of a bar, and making an all-natural sports drink vs store bought.
For the best solution: check out some of our favourite Sports drinks you can make at home!! If you are in a pinch, some of the best sports drinks that keep “natural” in mind include BIOSTEEL and EVERLAST and VEGA SPORT.