Gyms are supposed to be a haven for the health-conscious to help lose a few pounds and get fit. Every day, people waste time and money by visiting the gym, hopping on an exercise bike and then flicking through the latest edition of a glossy magazine, with a sports drink as light refreshment. Their effort level on the bike is so low even a corpse could rival their energy expenditure!
Nick Hudson, the national fitness manager for Virgin Active, said those doing workouts of less than two hours do not really benefit from the drinks. A bottle of sports drink contains around 150 calories (mainly sugar). By drinking a bottle or two of a sports drink many exercisers just end up consuming excess of calories .
Many are simply ‘calorie drinks’ and drinking them means you’ll have to train longer or harder to shift the calories that you take in from the drink itself,” said a Daily Mail report quoting Hudson.
For casual exercisers, though arguably less flavoursome than some sports drinks, water is the best fluid to consume during a workout.
However, Hudson added that it is important to avoid dehydration. ”From a taste perspective, if someone has become conditioned to dislike the taste of water, then it’s certainly better to drink these drinks than be dehydrated,” he said. Most energy drinks contain carbohydrate to provide a quick source of fuel, and sodium, which helps to maintain fluid balance.
There are some instances, however, where the use of sports drinks is not unjustified and in some cases actually essential to maintain performance. For intense exercise bouts lasting for over an hour, sports drinks help to re-hydrate the body more quickly and more effectively than water, as well as assist in replacing lost sugars and salts.