Saturday, March 27, 2010

Water or Sports Drink?

Is anyone else feeling a bit overwhelmed with the variety of drinks being offered? How about those sizes? There was a time when a small was actually only eight ounces, now you’re lucky if you can get away with a liter. One good example is at the theater. Their small is 16 oz, while the large, well they should just pour that baby into a bucket and wheel it to your seat. While they’re at it, they should also provide you with a port-a-potty so that you don’t have to miss any part of the movie.

But closer to home I am talking about the different types of water available at the market, each offering something “good” such as vitamins and antioxidants, others are invigorating, energizing, relaxing or calming, etc. etc. The list of goodness goes on for miles. I guess these are the things that the market thinks we want and NEED. A simple quick-fix to all our problems bottled up for us to enjoy at home or on the go.

What they don’t tell you is that they are also filled with sugar, calories, and sodium. If you open a bottle you are most likely to drink the whole thing even though each bottle holds two servings, sometimes, two and one half servings. This is where reading the nutrition labels carefully comes in handy. Not everyone truly understands nor reads these valuable labels. Some people know how to read them and understand them but sometimes choose to be in denial and believe in maintaining ignorance. This is especially true when they really enjoy each bite of sinfully delicious…whatever they’re about to eat. Believe me, I know!

I don’t see anything wrong with changing up your water and trying something with flavor or fizz, just for fun. As a fitness professional I recommend water 90% of the time, the other 10%, sports drinks, which is reserved for those who engage in vigorous exercise lasting more than 60 minutes. Sweating causes the loss of water and salt which can lead to dehydration. Sports drinks contain electrolytes that help you recover faster than water.

For the average person who engages in moderate exercise (60 minutes or less), your best option is definitely water. No additives, no sugar, no high fructose corn syrup, artificial anything, added vitamins, calories, etc. If you provide your body with healthy nutrients throughout the day, you will have armed yourself with all that you need to make it through a hard workout. But if you decide to take in something other than water, read your food labels and then measure the calories burnt against the calories you are about to drink—then ask yourself, is it worth it?

Stay Well!

2 comments:

  1. Water is definitely the best option. BTW, I had some dried apricots after today's workout. Got a fruit serving AND my potassium ;) You know the best thing about water? It's usually FREE!

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  2. I'm such a water girl. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and always carried some sort of container of water with me. I continue the habit to this day with my family. DH laughs at me but is thankful when he's thirsty, and I hand him some.

    Water can also turn a mood around...at least for us.

    Great reminder about all the additives in fancy water drinks.

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