The 4 drinks you need to boost your workout!

If you're taking on Max's Challenge, first of all, congratulations. You've taken an awesome first step towards a fitter, healthier you. But you probably also want to know how to get the absolute most out of your workouts so that every minute you spend sweating, lifting, and pushing yourself is put to good use.

Let's start with one of the simplest exercise concepts – hydration. You'd think it would be easy! The truth is anything but.

Sports hydration is a multibillion-dollar industry, and there is plenty of information and misinformation about what helps and what holds back your workout performance. With that in mind, we've set out to clear up the facts from the fiction here.

Water

The original, and the best. Drink around 500ml slowly in the hour before working out and sip slowly throughout a workout to ensure that you stay hydrated throughout, so your workout performance doesn't suffer the longer it goes on.

Adding a few drops of lemon or lime juice for flavour can help make it more palatable and make it more likely that you'll drink it in sufficient quantities.

Coffee

Coffee might not seem like a "traditional" workout drink, but more and more athletes are turning to it as a way of enhancing workout performance. Caffeine is a mild stimulant, with relatively stable and long-lasting positive effects, and few negative health implications when consumed in moderation.

Drinking a black coffee or a small milky coffee, such as a piccolo latte or small flat white around an hour before a workout can provide the required energy boost. In this context "coffee" definitely does not mean iced coffee drinks. These concoctions are loaded with sugar, with popular brands containing between 55 and 65 grams of sugar per 600mL bottle – the same or more than the equivalent bottle of soft drink!

Green Tea

Green tea is another unconventional drink when it comes to workout supplementation, but its benefits for weight loss are drawing increasing levels of interest. It appears that a compound in green tea assists in kick-starting the fat burning processes in the body.

In addition, green tea is a great post-workout drink as it has been drunk for generations for its anti-inflammatory properties. After a strenuous workout, the muscles in the body are in a state of inflammation as they recover, so green tea may help assist in the recovery processes.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks have been popular for decades now, with athletes from Michael Jordan to modern day superstars like Usain Bolt all taking their turn as the face of a prominent "sports hydration" brand. But is there any substance behind the marketing claims?

The main components of sports drinks are carbohydrates, electrolytes, and flavour. Flavour is self-explanatory, and plenty of studies have shown that pleasantly flavoured drinks are consumed more readily than plain water, which in turn positively affects hydration.

Carbohydrates in the form of sugar are a major component of sports drinks because stores of energy are depleted during intense workouts. The same is true of electrolytes like sodium (salt) and potassium. Both are depleted when we sweat, which is why they are prominent in workout drinks.

So the science behind sports drinks is sound. What isn't sound is people sipping them in settings that are removed from an intense exercise like watching the football. Sports drinks will help you stay hydrated, but you should only be taking them with you when you plan on breaking a serious sweat and working hard for over half an hour. Anything less and you're just drinking a lot of unnecessary sugar and salt that your body doesn't need.

The Challenge

If you are up to taking Max's Challenge this year – and we think you should – weighing up your dietary options is an important part of the process. Sign up today to start receiving the support you will need to succeed.

Want to know the 3 drinks that are ruining your workout, check out this [link].

Sources:

https://www.sportsdietitians.com.au/factsheets/fuelling-recovery/sports-drinks/

https://www.thedailymeal.com/drink/best-and-worst-drinks-sip-workout

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3401676/

https://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/a19532154/caffeine-before-a-workout/