Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo.  Today I want to talk to you about your drink of choice. Are you drinking for hydration? Are you drinking for energy? Are you drinking for flavor? Those are the top three things I hear a lot about from clients when they tell me what they are drinking.  If you have questions about today’s topic or you’d like some more tips about choosing better liquids, give us a call: 806-322-3188.

Here at Custom Fitness, I sit down with clients for a lot of the nutrition counseling sessions. That service is aimed to help people with their goals because we know that nutrition is a key to body transformation. Did you know that nutrition is 70-80% of your journey towards fitness? Regardless of why you are here -if you’re looking to lose weight, you’re looking to gain some muscle, you’re just wanting to find better health and feel good – you won’t be able to accomplish it without nutrition.  

Many people when hearing the word “nutrition” automatically imagine food.  While that is a part, you also have to consider the liquid calories you’re consuming and what benefit are they providing to you.  Is it something your body actually needs?

The inspiration behind today’s blog was I had a client come in this week talking about how they really missed drinking Powerade. Before they began their journey with us, they would drink one everyday and that day they were really craving one. The client decided to treat themselves to it, but a few sips in and they suddenly weren’t feeling too great.  This client had made excellent strides in nutrition since starting at the studio.  They were eating well, adequately hydrating themselves everyday, and following through with their fitness plan.  Going from that to a sugary drink they once loved was a shock to the system, and the body revolted.

Powerade, Gatorade, and other sports drinks are for situations when you’re working out and heavily sweating for 3 or 4 hours. If you’re going to the gym, getting a good sweat on, for an hour, that is not enough to need an energy sports drink. Electrolytes are important, but most of the time you don’t normally sweat enough to lose your electrolyte balance. If you’re concerned about your electrolyte balance, a better (read as sugar-free) option would be something like Smart Water. That is void of the food colorings, sugar, but has electrolytes in it.

If you’re looking for a performance aiding drink, your best bet is water.  If you are going to be seriously sweating for 3-4 hours, yeah go ahead and grab that Powerade or Gatorade you might need it. As I mentioned before, if you’re looking for something that is a lower calorie alternative, but still worried about the electrolytes then the Smart Water might be your better bet.

Strap in, a lot of you may feel uncomfortable about this next one: energy drinks.   I’m talking Red Bull, Monster, and yes, the crowd favorite, coffee.  You’ve probably heard information out there talking about how bad energy drinks are for you. Coffee is actually one of our most pesticide ridden plants on our planet. The coffee plant has over 67 different pesticides sprayed on it.  Even after brewing, those pesticides accumulate within our bodies. Coffee is not a great option; not only because of the transfer of chemicals, but also in terms of energy. These drinks are saturated with caffeine – a quickly absorbed drug.   Whenever you eat something along with a swig of your favorite caffeinated beverage, you are essentially negating the nutrients because they are being absorbed along with it.  Caffeine is going to provide you with an energy rush and along with it, an energy crash.

If you’re looking for lasting energy throughout the day, don’t rely on synthetic energy. For every cup of coffee, 5-hour energy, or Redbull you ingest your body will reach an impasse: drink another caffeine laden cup, glass, or bottle, or go to sleep.   So your body will come up the energy hill and crash right back down, then your body begins to search to refuel on that faux-energy (anyone ever experienced a caffeine headache?).  

When you’re looking for energy, drinking it isn’t your best idea.  Look at your diet status overall, and you begin to change it. I love seeing new clients who have taken an aggressive approach to transforming their nutrition status and after a few weeks they just can’t believe that they have energy despite abstaining from soda, coffee, or other energy drinks. They have found a way, through exercise and eating well, to create genuine, sustainable, lasting energy and they don’t hit that afternoon slump.  As a personal trainer in Amarillo for 20 years, I still love watching my clients evolve into a healthier lifestyle without the crutch of synthetics.  My job is a blast.

Onto the third point which is drinking for hydration. Ask around and you’ll find a majority of people don’t like the taste of regular water. Understandable when we’ve been conditioned to sweeteners and extra calories.  Questions arise from my clients like,  “how else can I get my water in?”, “what is the best way to to be hydrated?”

One of my favorites to recommend is coconut water. It is one of the most hydrating beverages that we have. Not everyone enjoys the flavor of coconut water, so some will opt to use it in smoothies or shakes. Some people prefer to drink it straight. There are different brands to try that give varied tastes, so if you don’t like one, try brand shopping to compare. That’s a really great hydration option.  

Water, of course, is also a great way to hydrate. Make sure it is high quality water and you aren’t consuming things that probably shouldn’t be ingested. Utilizing a Brita filter pitcher to filter out any extra toxins that might be coming in is a good approach to maintaining water quality. What about people who don’t really like the taste of water at all?  Well, many choose to compromise by flavoring their water. They ask about the Crystal Light packets, the little drops, and oils. Guys, packaged stuff is not the way to go about hydrating because you’re going to add calories, you’re going to add toxins, and you’re going to add things into your water that you really didn’t need in the first place. Sure you’ll taste a minute amount of flavor, but it’s not a really going to help you learn to drink more water. When you’re drinking for hydration and you need to flavor your water, try infusing it instead of heading to the store. Infusion is incredibly easy as it is cost effective(high end restaurants do this to appease their picky crowds).  You can use fruits, vegetables, and herbs like mint or basil. If you’re curious about combinations, you can do that too. Google “Infused water recipes” and you’ll see a wall of great ideas.

Remember if you are drinking something out of a cup or an open mouth bottle, you will drink it slower, whereas if you are using a straw you will drink it faster. Don’t like the taste of water, but really want to get hydrated? Using a straw will help you get it down quicker.See? We are full of handy tips and hints here.

If you’d like more information about how to kick-start your body transformation give us a call.  School will be starting in just a few weeks, for most people,if you’re ready to finally get started on a plan that is tailored to your body and your needs, before the fall we would love to help you with that. Our phone number is 806-322-3188 or email us at info@customfitness.biz. We will get you set up with a consultation just talk to you about what we do and find out more about you to see you for the right fit for each other. Until tomorrow, have a great day!