What we drink can have just as much impact on our results as what we eat! So many people will eat healthy food and then drink sugary squash, juice, fizzy drinks and the likes of not thinking that these can cause weight gain! Well they can and will, just as junk food will. In some instances they are worse due to the colossal sugar content, and the fact there is NO increase in your calorie expenditure during digestion, whereas there would be with junk food. That is ‘knit picking’ though, at the end of the day a lot of drinks are unhealthy and here are the main culprits!
Lucozade, Powerade, Monster and Redbull to name a few are not good for you! The sugar content in these is too high, which will potentially lead to an unwanted spike of your blood sugar levels. During most times of the day this will cause your body to fall into a place where it cannot effectively shift body fat! In regards to raising your energy levels, before exercise these drinks are off bounds! Initially you may feel energised, and then about 20 minutes into your workout you will suffer a blood sugar crash and then its all down hill from there! Caffeine based energy drinks are a ‘NO GO’ on any front in terms of a healthy lifestyle, they just are not good for you full stop! However, drinks like Lucozade and Powerade can be utilised as a post-workout drink to replenish your glycogen levels depending on your diet! Certainly for the first 4 weeks of a transformation I wouldn’t be concerned with someone drinking a bottle of this immediately after a workout!
Regular fruit squash is loaded with sugars and you really need to be mindful of this! Sometimes you feel it is guilt free due to the ‘small’ quantity of squash; however one serving can contain too much sugar for a dieting athlete. Times this by a few glasses a day and we have a real problem on our hands! However no sugar versions are OK, but make sure that there aren’t other calories hidden in there on the label as so many manufacturers to in order to be able to brand something ‘zero sugar!’ Aspartame is one ingredient which is a popular replacement and I would personally limit my intake of anything with aspartame in due to its potential links with certain illnesses.
These drinks are usually loaded with sugars which by now you know are off limits! There are however again some zero sugar alternatives but you have the issue of ingredients like Aspartame again. Drinks like these also dehydrate you which is something you want to avoid at all costs when dieting in particular! If you are dehydrated your performance in the gym will suffer greatly, as will your gains!
What can you drink then?
Water is obviously the ideal answer in an ideal world, however not everybody can chug down 4-5 litres of plain water like I can each day!!! Therefore I would advise having at least 3 litres of your intake from plain water, and then treating yourself to 1-2 litres with zero sugar fruit squash! However I cannot stress enough the importance that the squash needs to be zero sugar, or near to that number! Double concentrate is a good idea because you get more ‘bang for you buck’ therefore it stands to reason you need less in the water!