5 drinks to boost sporting performance


Louise Baillie
Fitness Enthusiast
@AVogelUK
Ask Louise


15 January 2019

Why is it important to stay hydrated during exercise?

A gym session or an exercise class will cause us to sweat and, as a result, we lose more fluids than would normally be the case. Failing to drink enough fluids whilst participating in physical activity puts us at risk of dehydration which can cause symptoms such as:

  • Dizziness and headaches
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Reduced blood flow to the muscles (which may contribute to pain or cramp)
  • Decreased ability to sweat 

In order to avoid dehydration and replace fluids lost through exercise it is essential that we come to an activity feeling well hydrated, and that we drink plenty of water as we do it too. 

On a normal day adults need around 1.5-2 litres of water but if you are exercising you will need considerably more than this – at least one bottle full!  

Keeping a large bottle of water to hand will help you stay hydrated as you exercise however, don’t forget that water can also be gained through foods such as fruit and vegetables. Therefore, before and after exercise why not snack on the likes of an apple or carrot sticks to keep your water levels up?

Are sports drinks beneficial?

If you have gained sufficient energy though your diet then water is usually all you will need for activities of one hour or less. For more strenuous or long-lasting activities however, a sports drink may be beneficial as these help to keep energy levels up and therefore performance can be improved. 

There are three different types of sports drinks known as hypotonic, hypertonic and isotonic.1  

Type of sports drink Hypotonic Hypertonic Isotonic
When to use it Best drunk after a tough workout to replace energy quickly Best drunk after exercise to replace glycogen (a form of energy storage) Good for exercise activities of an hour or more
  For events of long duration Used in long distance events like marathons where high levels of energy are needed Often used by athletes
Features High sugar and salt intake Low sugar and salt intake Moderate sugar and salt intake
  Low carbohydrate content High carbohydrate content Absorbed quickly
Benefits Contains sodium and potassium - these minerals can be lost through sweat High levels of carbohydrates provide energy Contains the carbohydrates needed post exercise 
  Replaces lost fluids swiftly as it is quickly absorbed by the body Slows the rate at which contents of the stomach are emptied into the small intestine Good for endurance activities as they provide a source of fuel as well as water to reduce dehydration
      Quickly replaces fluids lost through exercise
      Contains sodium and potassium - these minerals can be lost through sweat

Although sports drinks have their rightful place in many exercise regimes, there are some issues with drinking them too often. The sugar and salt intake can be quite high for example, and they are often made with a whole host of unidentifiable ingredients. As a result, there are occassions when you may wish to try an alternative drink when working out. 

What is Balance Mineral Drink?

Balance Mineral Drink contains a combination of magnesium, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin D so, if you take this drink after a workout, it will help to replace the minerals lost through sweat. These ingredients also help to reduce fatigue, improve energy and support muscle function so will help recovery after a bout of activity.

My Top Tip:


Pour one sachet of Balance Mineral Drink into a glass containing 150ml of water or milk and then stir well. The drink has a natural strawberry flavour so is both refreshing and tasty!


“This is just what I needed after the gym, I find those shakes too thick but this was very refreshing.”

 

Read what other people are saying about Balance Mineral Drink.

Is a banana smoothie good after a workout?

Bananas are an excellent option post workout as they contain potassium and electrolytes, both of which can be lost through sweat. 

You can simply eat a banana after a workout to gain the benefits of these minerals however, a smoothie has even more to offer. Our mango and banana one is rich in vitamins A, C and E for example, as well as antioxidants and fibre which work together to keep the body healthy.  

Don’t forget though, that bananas can be just as useful before a workout – just two will provide you with enough energy for a ninety minute gym session! That’s because they contain the natural sugars fructose and glucose which provide an instant and sustained energy boost. This is similar to the effects of energy drinks, only it is completely natural.  

Should I drink tea before or after a workout?

The answer to this question really depends on what kind of tea you are drinking. A cup of green tea, for example, is most useful before a workout as it is refreshing and energising – perfect if you need a little help to get going! Turmeric tea, on the other hand, is anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants which can help to ease muscle and joint pain. Therefore, if you’ve pushed yourself a little too hard whilst exercising, this kind of tea could bring some relief afterwards. 

Heath and Heather’s however, have come up with a tea that offers both of these benefits and can therefore be consumed both before and after a workout to aid performance and recovery. Their mix of Organic Green Tea and Turmeric is rich in flavour without the need for synthetic flavours or, indeed, any chemical nasties. You can find this product, as well as many other varieties of tea, over with our friends at Jan de Vries.

What about you?

References

http://www.britishsoftdrinks.com/Sports-Drinks 

Atrogel – Arnica gel for muscle and joint pain

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Arnica gel for relief of muscle pains, stiffness, sprains and bruising. 100ml size available.
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