Addicted to Kombucha? Need Coconut Water to feel refreshed? Feel like you need a cleanse? These are all the rage these days,
So here is the skinny. All these products are fine and safe but why are you using them? Be sure you understand the purpose of each product and take time to read the label so you really know what you are eating and drinking. Be a smart consumer! There is a lot of added sugar in these drinks and many of the claims are either not true or part of a genius marketing campaign.
Gatorade G Series
- Gatorade was created to provide endurance athletes with the nutrition they need to sustain energy and fuel properly to perform at their peak performance. These drinks are only appropriate for individuals who are working out longer than an hour and are doing true endurance work such as tennis, basketball, cycling or running. If you are an endurance athlete you need a certain amount of carbohydrates, electrolytes and fluids and Gatorade and other sports nutrition products are what you need.
- If you drink Gatorade after a low intensity workout you are just drinking sugar and salt! Don’t gain weight from your workouts!
- High in potassium, 600 mg in one cup which is a much needed electrolyte
- 45 calories in one cup—all calories are coming from a natural sugar from the fruit. Still sugar!
- Normally a sports drink is only needed when you are doing a cardio exercise for over an hour. Coconut water alone would not supplement that type of workout so if you are an endurance athlete you would need more carbohydrate, fluids and electrolytes per serving. However, if you like the taste and are working out less than an hour you can enjoy it but remember you have to account the calories.
- True Kombucha is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. The tea has been used for centuries in Eastern Medicine and is made by taking a solid mass of bacteria and yeast and letting it rest in a liquid of tea and sugar until it creates the effervescent kombucha tea. It is now available commercially and is all the rage due to its unique flavor and claims of significant health benefits.
- No scientific evidence is provided to back any of these claims. There is data to support that some individuals growing the tea in their homes have had bacterial infections due to unsanitary conditions so please be careful. The commercial product can give some people a jittery feeling and remember that some of the products have added sugar in the drink that is important to note.
- If you love the tea go for it! Just remember it is likely not the magical potion as represented in the advertising.
- There is no scientific evidence to support that the body needs to be cleansed. The liver, kidney, colon and skin do their jobs!
- However, juicing can provide an important kick-start, can be very motivating and will teach you what it feels like to be hungry so you can learn how to eat less moving forward.
- Focus on whole ingredients only—no supplements or powders. Get a brand that uses only whole foods or juice yourself. Use nut milk for some added protein. In San Francisco there are a lot local companies doing great work so you can support them.
- Remember, there is no quick fix! Juicing for a week is not going to solve all your weight or health problems!
- Be careful exercising while on a juice fast. You may dehydrate yourself or stress your system if you are working out while juicing.
- Focus on whole ingredients and getting a product with protein and carbohydrates in them.
- Look at the labels-you will notice several brands are full of a lot of ingredients. Go for a product that has between 150-300 calories depending on your needs.
- If you are only going to eat a bar you may need one with added protein powder or if you can pair it with a protein such as yogurt or low fat cheese grab a KIND bar. Their minis are only 100 calories–perfect on the go pre and post workout.
Post workout/Pre workout snacks
- Get a protein and carbohydrate and have things that are easy and on the go.
- Grab a 100 calorie pack of chips such as popchips paired with a yogurt or cottage cheese for the protein. Grab a turkey sandwich, drink a glass of milk paired with a fruit or a PB&J sandwich.
- Remember to eat! In order to get maximum results from your workout you have to fuel your body!