When working out, what do you like to drink? There are so many different types of beverages available on the market these days and all of them seem to be telling us that they can enhance performance.
Energy drinks have become the big buzz, but are they really good for you? Energy drinks are usually carbonated and contain caffeine and sugar, plus other ingredients like vitamin B, taurine (an amino acid) and some herbal stimulants like guarana.
We all know that caffeine definitely gives you a boost, but a single can of energy drink can contain the same amount of caffeine as six cups of coffee - a little excessive don't you think? A significant difference is that coffee is sipped, while it's common for people to down an energy drink in one go. For those who are caffeine sensitive, this could cause anxiety, irritability, difficulty sleeping and even indigestion. The caffeine in energy drinks also works as a diuretic, encouraging water loss, which in turn could promote dehydration.
Energy drinks should not be confused with sports drinks. Sports drinks are designed to help you stay hydrated during exercise and are enhanced with electrolytes that are lost through perspiration. Electrolytes are responsible for the normal function of the heart, muscles and nerves, while maintaining fluid balance within the body. a deficit can severely decrease performance.
Look for sports drinks that have a good carbohydrate delivery system and don't rely on artificial sweeteners and colours to attract you to them. Also check the labels for hydrogenated soybean or coconut oil. Hydrogenated or trans fats provide a long shelf life, but are seriously bad for our health, so stay away from them.