Sports Drinks, Gatorade, Powerade, Vitamin water, or Water

What you drink could be hazardous to your sports performance!

Sports drinks are everywhere! What an industry! Not only do we see athletes using them, we see kids drinking them after a short soccer practice or just as something to drink. Unfortunately many of these products are loaded with sugar and calories and are not the best option for proper hydration during endurance workouts or any other kind of workout for that matter.

Water vs Sports Drinks

First of all, for most people, if your workout is 60 minutes or under, water is sufficient. You do not need to drink sports drinks. Even for many endurance events, if the conditions are such where you are not profusely sweating, most likely you will do fine with water. Of course this is not as exciting as fancy sports drinks, but it’s the truth. The sports drink industry is big business and for the most part, you don’t need them.  You can actually make your own electrolyte drinks without the added sugar if you prefer to drink your “lytes”…more about that later…

Food!

We find that most people can adequately recover their bodies’ electrolytes with eating food rather than drinks. We prefer that our endurance athlete patients use electrolyte replacement capsules in addition to food during sports events if they are under extreme electrolyte loss conditions, but use water for hydration. Obviously it is a delicate balance, particularly during the heat and people may become hyponatremic (low sodium levels in the blood) if they do not consume adequate electrolytes. But for the average athlete, water is definitely the way to go.

Want a little more flavor?

Add a splash of fruit juice, lemon juice, organic lemonade, or a more natural product such as Clif’s Electrolyte powder to your water bottles for just a touch of flavor. Athletes can even open up some capsules and pour them into their water bottles so that they can “drink” their electrolytes without all the added sugar.

What to avoid?

Products such as Powerade, Gatorade, and Vitaminwater. These are loaded with sugar, chemicals, and dyes.  Lower calorie versions contain artificial sweeteners which we do not recommend at all!

Why is avoiding too much sugar important?

Hauser Diet Typing patients who are fast oxidizers of food in particular (Hauser Lion and Otter Diet Types) will crash with a sugar load from these types of products. Just looking at their Diet Typing results from a juice drink will show you what happens when a fast oxidizer of food drinks a sugary beverage. Why would you drink them during a sporting event and think they would enhance your sports performance? Just because you are burning energy during the event doesn’t make it a good choice for you. Drinking a beverage containing 10 plus teaspoons of sugar is not a way to improve performance.

For those Hauser Diet Types who have balanced or even slower oxidative rates, such as Bears, Monkeys, and Giraffes, sugar may not produce as much of a crash, but it will lower your immune function and provide unnecessary non-nutrient calories.

Weight? Wait!

Many athlete patients come to us telling us that they cannot figure out why they don’t lose weight despite the amount of exercise they are doing. Often part of the reason is that they are consuming far too many “sports drinks” and not enough plain water. The other reason is that they are often eating the wrong foods for their particular Hauser Diet Type. They are following what they read in sports magazines or online. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely some good information out there! But when it comes to diet for athletes, we know that there is no one-diet-for-all out there! Each person (athletes included) need to eat according to their individual Hauser Diet Type to produce optimal energy and sports performance.

Knowing your individual Diet Type is vital! The only way you can know for sure is to come in and get your blood tested so you will know for certain how you should eat! Stop the guessing game! 708-848-7789!

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