There’s nothing like chugging a cold sports drink after an intense workout or game. It’s refreshing, has lots of flavors to choose from and its good for you, right? Well, like anything else, there are pros and cons. Read on to know more.

When you get physical-when working out, running or playing sports-all that sweating causes you to lose lots of nutrients and minerals. Your muscles lose protein as well, since they are broken down. A quick pick-me-upper would be a sports drink. It replenishes lost fluids and provides potassium, sodium, and other minerals. But despite their benefits, there are drawbacks.

Since sports drinks are not created equal, there are some with an exorbitant amount of sugar, sodium and certain acids harmful to the enamel of your teeth. There’s also other chemicals like coloring. When your body is deprived of so many things, when you drink or eat something it’s easily absorbed. And you don’t want your body being filled up with unhealthy things when it’s supposed to be effectively recovering. Luckily, you can see the ingredients in the nutritional label, so you can make an informed choice.

So if you choose to chug sports drinks, be sure to check the label first. If it seems unhealthy, there are sure to be other options. Thanks the advantage of these commercial drinks, there are so many options in the market. But if you want an alternative, you’ll be surprised that a banana can be enough.

A banana can reduce the risk of muscle cramps because of its potassium content. Its natural sugar content gives your body the carbohydrate content it needs to replenish itself after an intense physical activity.

Now, of course, you have to address the fact that after all that activity you are thirsty and a banana won’t replenish all that thirst. Well, that’s true. So you’re in for a treat. You can make your own shake starring the mighty banana. Just take one medium banana, some crushed ice and a glass or chocolate milk. Yes, you heard it correct, chocolate milk.

The trick here is to provide your body with a carbohydrate to protein ratio or 4:1. This way, your body can replenish the lost energy supply in the form of carbohydrates, at the same time you can feed your muscles with protein so they can recover effectively. There’s also the nutrients from the banana, calcium and other minerals from the chocolate milk. And of course, it tastes awesome. If you’re worried about calories, choose a low-calorie, low-sugar chocolate milk. But do remember that your body will have a high metabolic rate after your workout, so it can easily burn some calories.

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