you find yourself trying to get the most effective workout possible by gulping
sports drinks during exercise?
who work so hard during exercise are sabotaging their weight loss and fitness
success without realizing it. Join me as I discuss how to maximize your
hydration routine during exercise and get the results you deserve.
One of the
biggest mistakes folks make when they exercise is poor hydration choices.
Well-marketed sports drinks – even ‘healthy’ or ‘natural’ ones - are loaded with
sugar and, unless you are a professional endurance athlete, you simply don’t
while loaded with electrolytes, also has tons of sugar - up to 42 grams of sugar
in 24 ounces of the fitness drink. That is almost the same amount of sugar in a
whole package of Twizzlers licorice, and nearly twice the amount contained in
one serving of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream!
I think we
know that licorice and ice cream are sources of needless fatty calories. But
when we are sucking down that Gatorade during a workout, few realize it is just
as bad. It packs the same amount of calories, delivers the same amount of sugar,
and layers the same amount of fat where you don’t want or need
“healthier” rehydration drinks during exercise, such as Vitamin Water. Vitamin
Water contains 27 grams of sugar per bottle. Though lower in sugar than
Gatorade, it’s still a very high amount of sugar for the body to process. The
gels and goos that are the current fad are not much better.
are the after-workout drinks, gels, and protein bars designed to build muscle
mass and strength. A PowerBar – perhaps the most famous after-workout bar – has
lots of good protein, but also packs a whopping 26 grams of sugar that
quickly converts into body fat.
Labels The bottom
line is that the human body is just not equipped to process that much sugar at
once. These energy/rehydration sports drinks deliver such a surge of sugar into
the bloodstream that the body gets pushed into an emergency state. It must
process the excess sugar urgently, because allowing it to remain in the blood is
The next time
you are in a health club or grocery store, read the label on some of those
so-called “healthy” sports drinks. Pay special attention to the sugar content,
you may be shocked!
Undermine Your Hard Work The quickest
way for the body to lower blood sugar is to convert it quickly and effortlessly
into fat in the form of triglycerides (body/belly/hip fat), or to raise
cholesterol levels. Knowing this, I cringe as I watch folks sucking down their
Gatorade, Powerade, and Vitamin Waters. I want to tell them, "No, No, No, stop
drinking that stuff! You are making FAT with each gulp, while working so hard
to burn it off!”
realize that it takes 14 hours of moderate exercise, like hiking or biking, or 6
hours of vigorous exercise, to lose just one pound of body fat? If you took an
hour-long vigorous fitness class three times a week, it would take two weeks to
lose one pound of body fat.
activity are the major ways for the body to reduce its fat stores. Now that you
know how long it takes to burn just one pound of real body fat, don’t undermine
all that hard work with a sweet, fat-generating sports
hydration beverage on the planet is - Water.
The truth is,
very few of you will ever push yourselves hard enough to need to replenish
electrolytes from a workout. The Tarahumara people, identified as the
best runners in the world, routinely run 50, 75 and even over 100 miles a day in
the hot Copper Canyon desert of Mexico, and they have probably never even tasted
Once in a
while, in extreme circumstances, they will add chia seeds to their water to
boost their reserves and continue to run through the mountains in the desert
Why Can’t I
Run Like the Tarahumara? The reason
most of us cannot do that is because we have become lousy fat burners. We have
conditioned the body to be fed every couple of hours and de-conditioned
the body to make energy last, effectively robbing us of the endurance that has
allowed the human species to survive.
Do You Think
You Can’t Live Without Your Sports Drink? If you just
cannot continue working out without the aid of a sports drink, stop the
workout. By that time, you have already exercised too much! When you feel
the need or craving for a sports drink, realize that this is a sign of your
blood sugar lowering.
sugar is the body's first choice for fuel. If you do not feed it with more
sugar, the body will naturally adjust to the low blood sugar by kicking into fat
metabolism - and you’ll start burning fat and losing inches! But, if instead,
you suck down 27 grams of sugar in the form of a sports drink, the body will
say, "Oh, wait! I think the sugar is coming. Cancel the order to burn
Hydration Challenge Make water
your only beverage for one month and see how you feel. Replace your coffee and
tea with hot water and your soft drinks with room temperature water. Try to
follow this hydration protocol for one month:
Drink one glass of water*.
Sip room temperature or hot water with breakfast.
breakfast and lunch: Drink a glass of water.
before lunch: Drink a glass of water.
room temperature or hot water with lunch.
and supper: Drink a glass of water.
before supper: Drink a glass of water.
room temperature or hot water with supper.
supper and bedtime: Drink a glass of water.
Hydration During Exercise
before exercise: Drink 1 glass of water.
exercise: Take sips or small drinks of room temperature water.
exercise: Drink a glass of water.
6-8 glasses of water per day.
* A “glass of
water” means 8-12 ounces, depending on your size and weight; 6-8 ounces for
vata men and women, 8-12 ounces for pitta or kapha
men and women. Don’t know your type? Take our free Body Type Quiz here.
your Body’s Thirst Signals Many articles
now suggest drinking only when you are thirsty. The problem with this is that
the hunger and thirst centers in the brain are very close. Because of this,
thirst is often misread as hunger, or the need for Gatorade rather than water.
Hydration Challenge is designed to break the sports drink and/or sugar and snack
habit, and reacquaint ourselves with the good taste and great benefit of just