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Weight Loss & Sports Drinks

by Dr. Jason Barker January 07, 2011

Weight Loss & Sports Drinks

Ok, it’s that time of year right? Many people have weight loss and exercise on their minds. So you go to the gym and work out. Oh and you’ve been bombarded with the message that you ‘need’ a sports drink, too. After all, you’ve got to get those electrolytes and fuel in the drink to get you through your workout, right? Wrong.

The truth is, if you are trying to loose some weight, a sports drink is the last thing you need. Especially in the gym, in the middle of wintertime. Yes, this is probably the ONLY place you will hear this, but trust me, its true.

But let me be clear. Sports drinks (carbohydrates) are proven to extend performance and recovery and they are important for hydration – I’m not doubting that at all. But for the person who wants to loose some weight, they are the wrong idea.

Sports drinks contain sugar, and lots of it. The typical drink contains roughly 50-60 grams of sugar per 8 ounce serving. Keep in mind that the majority of bottles contain more than one serving! 50 grams equals 200 calories. A 12-ounce bottle of sports drink will provide 300 calories! Your typical 1-hour gym workout will burn about 200-250 calories. Guess what? During your trip to the gym, you will end up with no net calorie loss…and therefore no weight loss either!

Working out under an hour doesn’t require any type of fuel or electrolyte replacement. Yes, you will need to stay hydrated – just bring some water, that’s it. You don’t need electrolytes unless you are sweating A LOT in the hot sun.

Additionally, try to avoid eating anything in that first hour after your workout. The body is very efficient at absorbing and replacing those burned calories at this time. By not immediately replacing those calories, you make the body a little hungrier and it will turn toward those ‘stored’ calories that you are trying to burn.

Try this out with your workouts this year, and you will definitely see more progress towards weight loss.

Dr. Jason Barker
Dr. Jason Barker


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