The following is a guest post by Shannon Clark who is a health and fitness fanatic and regular writer for the popular SlimmingResources.com weight loss website.
One question that many people often ask themselves as they go about their fat loss workout plan is whether or not it would be a wise decision to make use of a sports drink to provide energy and help their body recover faster.
Most of us realize that in order to experience weight loss we do have to consume fewer calories than we burn on a daily basis and since these beverages do contribute to our total intake, are they worth consuming?
Let’s take a look at what you need to know.
On the plus side, energy drinks are going to be great for replacing the lost electrolytes in the body that you burn up during your hard workout session. If you don’t maintain a proper balance of these nutrients in the body, you can experience muscle cramping, general feelings of weakness, and possibly even light-headedness.
By using a sports drink rather than a straight bottle of water, you’ll not only get hydration benefits, but you’ll also ensure you replenish these stores.
The second nice thing about using an energy or sports drink is the fact they do provide the body with some carbohydrates, which can then be put to use to fuel physical activity.
If you’re fatiguing on a hard workout session, this may just do the trick to help keep you going and pushing harder again.
On the other side of the equation, one potential problem with using energy drinks is, as briefly mentioned in the introduction, the number of calories in these sports drinks. While you can find a few that have fewer than 60 calories per bottle, most will rank in at higher than this so will quickly replace all the calories that you just burned off as you completed the workout session.
The bad news for those seeking fat loss is that this then cancels out that workout entirely so while you may see fitness benefits, you won’t be moving any closer to your goal weight.
Remember, calories do add up quickly and if that sports drinks causes your calorie deficit to be eliminated, it’s hindering you more than it’s helping you.
Second, you also must consider the nutrient make-up for the sports drink in question. Most of these sports drinks are incredibly high in simple sugars and sometimes even fructose, which is only going to lead to a rapid blood sugar spike followed by a crash. While carbohydrates are good, this many simple carbs may not be.
The last thing you want while doing a workout is to come crashing down with low blood sugar levels further providing a reason why you should lean away from using these.
Most sports drinks provide no protein at all so you won’t get any amino acids to go towards muscle repair either.
Whether you choose to use a sports drink or not will be up to you but you should strongly consider how long you are working out for and how strict you need to be with your calorie intake. Most individuals who are just doing a 30-45 minute workout session will not be sweating so much fluid out that they are rapidly depleting their electrolytes or stored energy so will be fine without.
If you are doing much harder workouts though or are participating in endurance sports, then these beverages will likely help carry you through to the end of your workout session.