Most people believe that sports drinks are the best alternative to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes when exercising, but that’s simply not true. Many sports drinks contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of sodas. They also typically contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), artificial flavors and food coloring, none of which contribute to optimal health.
Sugar After Exercise
Furthermore, consuming sugar after exercise will negatively affect both your insulin sensitivity and your human growth hormone (HGH) production. Ironically, while these drinks are often referred to as “energy” drinks, in the long run the sugar they contain does just the opposite. After causing a quick explosion of energy, your energy plummets as your pancreas and other glands do all they can to balance out the toxic stimulation to your blood sugar.
Too Much Sodium
Most also contain high amounts of sodium (processed salt), which is meant to replenish the electrolytes you lose while sweating. However, a far better option is to simply add a small amount of natural, unprocessed sea salt to your water. Contrary to processed salt, this natural salt contains 84 different minerals and trace minerals that your body needs for optimal function.
Coconut Water as an Alternative
Another excellent option when you’re sweating profusely is pure coconut water. It’s one of the highest sources of electrolytes known to man. Some remote areas of the world even use coconut juice intravenously, short-term, to help hydrate critically ill patients and in emergency situations.
And, if your sports drink is low-calorie and sugar-free, be warned that it likely contains an artificial sweetener, which is even worse for you than fructose.