A beginner to exercise will find themselves inundated with advertisements promoting sports drinks, energy drinks and protein shakes. Did you know that the incorrect use of these products will sabotage your weight-loss efforts?
Sports drinks contain electrolytes, and are promoted as a way to stay energised and hydrated. While electrolytes are necessary if you’ve been exercising in high temperatures and sweating heavily, they are not usually needed by the average person exercising for an hour at a time to lose weight. Bear in mind that these drinks are also usually loaded with artificial colours and sweeteners, and sugar. Taking them after exercise is going to feed you unnecessary calories, which you are trying to burn off. Unless you’ve been exercising in extreme temperatures or for hours at a time, stick to plain water.
Energy drinks are packed with caffeine, sugar and artificial additives and it’s safe to say that they are almost never necessary, and are quite harmful to your weight-loss and healthy-living efforts. Save these for Jaeger-bombs. (Or not.)
Protein shakes are also marketed quite aggressively to people who want to get fit. Protein shakes can be useful if you don’t have time to eat after a work-out, as they will supply your body with nutrients for recovery while preventing you from getting ravenously hungry later on. However, unless you want to build serious muscle mass or are working out at such high intensity that you are having trouble consuming enough food to meet your energy requirements, it’s good not to rely on protein shakes too much. If you’re not working in the appropriate rep ranges, you may be wasting your money as excess protein which is not required for muscle and tissue repair is simply excreted by the body.
For the average fitness client, natural is best. Look to get your hydration and nutrition through the most natural sources possible, and only supplement your diet if you’re not able to get what you need through what you’re eating.