Do you really need energy drinks?

Have you ever taken a look at the ingredients of most energy drinks? Yes I know they sponsor major sporting events and famous athletes, but are the good for you or are they simply hype?

For everybody who does serious exercise, we know it can be very tiring physically. And I know of people that sometimes take a stimulating "energy drink" to get themselves ready for a hard training session.

I don't particularly like this strategy.

Look at the ingredients of a typical energy drink. The stimulant is of course caffeine. I have actually no problem with this, in fact coffee is good for you pre-workout with some heavy cream (which is fat that slows the absorption) so make it a slow release fat burner and energy drink. Caffeine is quite well researched in science and in practice to increase the ability of your body to exercise.

Here is the problem…

Most energy drinks have caffine + sugar. This means a sugar + caffeine RUSH and the resulting downer after that.

Not only does this give you a downer, energy drinks have… taurine. Do you know who I recommend taurine to? Clients who can't sleep. It's a down regulating nutrient. Now why would that be in an energy drink?

To give you a bigger downer soon after your caffeine/sugar high. Guess what happens after that? You buy another energy drink. This is great for sales. That is some sneaky ingredient usage there, isn't it? Buyer beware.

Ok, so what should you drink before a hard training session?

  • I do like caffeine from coffee, but try to take it with heavy cream so that you don't get that caffeine all at once.

  • Water is of course critical. A good guideline is that you should weigh more after your training session than before. A good indicator that you drank enough. A 1.5% drop in bodyweight can lead to a 10% drop in power output. So water is critical, especially in the hot weather we have here.

  • Finally, you can take pure electrolyte salts, not the sugar laden energy drinks. Electrolytes are excellent for preventing cramps and help muscle contractions. Get them in pure powder form, with no sugar. In fact a good electrolyte solution tastes slightly salty not sweet.

For the best fitness boot camp program, ExpressFIT program in the CBD, and personal training in Singapore visit www.genesisgym.com.sg or the Genesis Gym facebook page. Or visit Coach Jonathan's homepage and blog at www.coachjon.com

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