There are a lot of seductive ads circulating these days encouraging folks who exercise to partake of them. However, I learned early on that there is a basic threshold for using sports drinks. And that is, how much are you exercising? If you are a weekend warrior and go to the health club mainly to socialize and walk on the treadmill or elliptical machine for a half hour while you watch one of the TVs or read, you likely don’t need to use a sports drink and you may be doing yourself some harm if you are.
Sports drinks contain sodium which your body needs to replenish if you have been exercising at least moderately heavily and working up a sweat. In that case, you can be using a sports drink to bring your body’s electrolytes back into balance.
If you have been sweating a lot, getting sodium into your system is a good thing. But, if you haven’t, it isn’t necessarily.
Caitlin Howe, MS, MPH, of the American Heart Association Sodium Reduction Initiative says, “When it comes to winter physical activity, some people feel the need to consume energy and sports drinks during an afternoon walking in the cold air or skating on the lake. Sports drinks were initially designed for elite athletes, so most people can enjoy a winter workout without needing to replenish electrolytes or energy stores. Continue reading
I am passing this along and recommending it for a couple of reasons. First, As a guy who doesn’t use a personal trainer, I have had injuries as a result of my do it yourself techniques. Second, I love that folks want to exercise to keep themselves healthy and fit. I hope some of the facts in this quiz will help you to avoid injuries in your pursuits. Nothing is worse than an injury you get exercising. It seems to me the bitterest irony.
WebMD offers this quiz which tests your Fitness IQ. Good luck!
Here are a couple of examples, to consider: By the way, WebMD also gives explanations for its answers.
No pain, no gain – True or False?
Do your cardio exercises before your strength training – True or False?
Water is always better than sports drinks? – True or False?
You can target specific parts of your body to lose weight – True or False?
I write about healthy eating all the time. Also, most folks think about what they are eating – to some extent. But, we have 60 percent of us overweight and 30 percent obese. Another 10 percent has Type 2 diabetes, a preventable and ruinous disease that stems from inactivity and poor nutrition. Obviously, we need help with our eating, whether routine or on a special diet.
Harvard Medical School offered the following two tips:
“To really optimize your diet, keep these two additional tips in mind.
1. Limit liquid sugars. Soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages can deliver up to 12 teaspoons of sugar in a single serving, with no other useful nutrients. These beverages offer no health or nutritional benefits. Worse, regular consumption of these drinks can increase your chances of becoming obese or developing diabetes — both of which raise your risk for heart disease and other chronic conditions. Unsweetened coffee or tea or sparkling water are better choices.”
I have written repeatedly about the dangers of sugary as well as diet sodas. Love hearing it backed up by Harvard. Also, regarding the 12 teaspoons of sugar mentioned above. Remember, a teaspoon of sugar amounts to just over four grams. I offer that conversion because the amount of sugar is usually listed in grams and if you don’t know how many grams in a teaspoon, you might not realize how much sugar you are getting.
That teaspoon of sugar weighs just over 4 grams.