Are so-called sports drinks making you fat?

Are so-called sports drinks making you fat?

Carb-dense sports drinks are an increasingly common sight in the gym – but are they doing you more harm than good, asks Ross Edgley
(Article from Men’s Health – it’s a good one)

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This is why I don’t tell my clients to use pre- exercise drinks or post exercise sugary sports drinks… Just a recovery carb and protein shake or meal in the magic recovery window for best fat lost and recovery results.

Sports drinks are the liquid of choice for elite athletes. We see them in perfectly polished adverts, sipping from their ‘bottled fitness’, and treat their lean physiques as beacons of inspiration for us average gym dwellers.
So on what grounds are researchers from Harvard Medical School claiming that the exact same drinks are responsible for making people fat? It seems almost contradictory: surely sports drinks don’t make you put on the pounds?

The answer lies in a category error. Carbohydrate-dense sports drink formulas were originally created to fuel the hours of intense training professional athletes subject themselves to. We’re talking about regular and sustained exertion – and not a 40-minute spin on the treadmill designed to burn off the weekend’s indulgences.

But advertising is a powerful thing, and as we’ve increasingly turned to the gym to counteract our sedentary lifestyles, so too have we collided the idea of fitness success with sports drinks and those pictures of professional athletes. Lucozade Sport and Powerade may be intended for elite athletes, but they’re now frequently seen next to the treadmill at the office gym.

Should your gym bag contain a sports drink or not? Put simply, if you’re training for Olympic Gold, then yes. But if you’re sole aim is to lose the fat accumulated in daily life, the answer, according to research published in the American Journal of Applied Physiology, is an emphatic no.
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Jax.

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Sports drinks are typically high in carbohydrates, so they provide athletes with an efficient source of energy. The problem for those looking to lose the blubber is that carbs cause a rise in the hormone known as insulin, which limits the rate at which you burn fat.
To test this theory, researchers from the University of Texas monitored the impact that ingesting carbohydrates had on people’s ability to burn fat during exercise. They took six healthy, active men and had them complete 60 minutes of cycling in a fasted state — waking up and training without breakfast — and one hour after ingesting 0.8g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight. The results were conclusive: “Small elevations in plasma insulin before exercise suppress lipolysis (fat loss) during exercise to the point at which it equals and appears to limit fat oxidation (burning fat).”

The Texas study isn’t the only research to suggest that carbs plus exercise don’t equal fat loss. Scientists from the Department of Human Biology at the University of Limburg in the Netherlands similarly found that carbohydrates interfere with the body’s process for burning fat.

They support the idea that forgoing a pre-workout sports drink gives your body a hormonal fat burning advantage.

But the bad news doesn’t stop there. As well as hindering your efforts in the gym, sports drinks can also make you more prone to storing fat. That’s according to researchers from the Department of Food and Nutrition at Purdue University, who discovered liquid carbohydrates add more calories to the diet because they have a lower satiating effect compared to solid foods. Essentially, people are naively drinking litres of this ‘liquid fitness’ without accounting for the additional carbohydrates and calories in their regular diet.

Now, at this point it’s worth making it clear that sports drinks aren’t the devil’s water – far from it, as long as you’re interested in performance. Nutrition for performance is very different to nutrition for fat loss, and carb-heavy drinks can help fuel endurance efforts, allowing the body to go harder for longer

Just ask scientists from Loughborough University, who wanted to measure the impact a carbohydrate sports drink has on running performance. They took seven experienced endurance runners and had them complete two 30km road races, once with a 250ml sports drink and once with tap water. After monitoring blood lactate and other biological markers they concluded: “Performance time for a 30km road race is improved after ingesting a 5pc carbohydrate solution.”
Sports drinks also aid strength and power athletes who want to shift iron in the gym. Researchers from the University of Queensland subjected athletes to a two-day carbohydrate restricted diet to see if it had an impact on strength. What they found was a carbohydrate restriction program caused a “significant reduction in the number of squat repetitions performed.” Put simply, limiting your carbs in the kitchen can also limit your performance in the weights room.

And what about the guy who hits the treadmill for 40 minutes on Monday morning and then hangs his shoes up for the rest of the week? Well, the research suggests that sports drinks shouldn’t be on his banned substance list – as long as they’re consumed after the run. Scientists have found that consuming carbohydrates in the first 30 to 60 minutes after training can help replenish muscle glycogen and kick-start the entire recovery process. In its post-exercise state, the body effectively becomes a sponge, soaking up all the carbs you have earned on the treadmill and putting them to good use by sending them to the muscles to aid recovery.

All things considered, sports drinks are great if you’re an athlete and know how to use them properly.

But if your goal is to lose fat then don’t be fooled by the glossy, inspirational adverts which come complete with a professional athlete and his washboard abs.

Instead ditch the energy-rich sports drink until at least after the gym and visit the water fountain instead.

http://www.jaxallenfitness.com

Eat Clean. Train Smart. Expect Results

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Mission Visible Abs At Any Age – #5 Sugar

Visible Abs Over 50

#5 – You’re sweet enough: drop the sugar If you have a ‘sweet tooth’ you need to stop eating sugar.

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The saying ‘Eat sweet crave sweet’ applies here. When you say ‘no’ to sugar, your sweet tooth will diminish and so will your cravings. The first 3 or 4 days of dropping sugar are difficult, but after that, if you’re satiated with other nutritious foods, it gets much easier. If you follow my Smart Fasting plan you’ll soon overcome urges and cravings.

Best Tip To Cut Belly Fat – EVER!

Best Tip To Cut Belly Fat – EVER!

If you’re trying to cut body fat, this will help you understand that the No. 1 step is to eliminate wheat, even before sugars.

In fact, given the choice of two slices of whole wheat bread or a Milky Way bar, I’d take the Milky Way. I’d rather choose neither, but the wheat is worse.

That’s not what we’re being told, of course.
We’re given the same story that’s been popular for 40 years- the years that’s seen us fatter and more unhealthy than ever. In fact wheat is the most flagrant trigger of visceral fat, and removing wheat is the most effective path to remove it [visceral fat]. Anyone trying to get cut for a competition will eliminate wheat and reduce carbohydrates for the most effective way to get results.

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Thanks Jax

NEWS SHOCKER – Fruit Smoothies

NEWS SHOCKER

This week on National TV

“Don’t use fruit smoothies as they have as much sugar as a can of Coke”

What message are we trying to get out to people?

Are we really telling people that calories are all that matters when you’re deciding how to stay healthy?

Are we really expecting people to understand that this sort of knee jerk reporting is NOT to be taken seriously….

The message should be .. If you rely on counting calories you’ll be making lots of bad choices.. YES – a can of Coke may have the same calories as a fruit smoothie

BUT – the calories in the smoothie come from real fruit, they bring healthful nutrients and important fibre that a can of coke cannot offer.

The hidden end comment of the news Package was .. Eat fresh Fruit Of course everyone will immediately swap from Coke to fruit! The 5-A-Day message has continued for years and has made very little change to our eating habits.

However, these miss-leading, headline grabbing stories help NO-ONE.  I’m very used to calming worried clients down when the Daily Mail runs it’s weekly ‘Health Horror Story’

Come on BBC you can do better….                    Jax Allen Fitness 50/2012

The Carb Quiz

The Carb Quiz

This is an easy quiz to fail. It determines your sensitivity to carbohydrates, and many people are overly sensitive to carbs – especially overweight people. The worse you score on this test, the more likely you’ll benefit greatly by restricting your carbohydrate intake. Be honest in your responses.

How to score your answers
(0) if the sentence does not apply to you
(1) if statement is sometimes true or describes you moderately well
(2) if they are often true or describe you quite well
1. My fat storage is more in my abdomen than my hips or thighs.
2. Dinner doesn’t feel complete without dessert.
3. Right after I eat sweets or something high in starch, such as a big dinner roll, I feel satisfied and content.
4. I tend to get hungry an hour or two after meals.
5. I really enjoy caffeinated drinks, and feel great after a cappuccino or a diet cola.
6. I love Italian food and Chinese food, probably even more than rich French food, or high-fat American cooking.
7. It makes me feel good to chew gum, or to have a mint or a piece of hard candy in my mouth.
8. For snacks, I would usually prefer chips or a bagel over nuts or an apple.
9. I drink diet soft drinks almost every day to cut back on calories.
10. High-fat, non-sweet foods such as beef or butter are good, but they’re not my weakness.
11. High-fat, sweet foods, such as rich desserts, are extremely tempting to me, even though I know they are too fattening.
12. Diabetes runs in the family.
13. When I get hungry before a meal, I’m pretty uncomfortable, and really need to eat.
14. I have to watch myself, or I’ll drink more alcohol than I really should.
15. I’ve never stayed at my ideal weight for more than about a year.
16. I take a serotonin-influencing antidepressant, such as Paxil, Zoloft, or Prozac.
17. Hunger definitely affects my mood. When I’m hungry, I get irritable, and sometimes feel spaced-out.
18. When I start eating ice cream, cookies, or other favorite sweets, it’s hard to stop, and I sometimes eat more than I’d planned to.
19. When I’ve tried low carb diets, I’ve felt good, but I really missed my high-carb foods.
20. I think I gain weight more easily than most people.
21. It seems to me as if my metabolism has really changed for the worse as I’ve gotten older. I have to eat less and exercise more just to keep from gaining weight.
22. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night feeling hungry.
23. If I don’t get lunch on time, it’s very hard to work.
24. Several times almost everyday, I think about food while I work.
25. I seem to have less willpower about eating than I do about other aspects of my life.

Compare Your Results to the Chart Below
3 – 8 Excellent score. your carb metabolism functions well.
9 – 12 You have a few problems with carbs, but are basically in control of them. However, you might benefit from replacing high GI/GL with Lo GI/GL carbs to prevent future problems.
13 – 25 Possible trouble. You probably need to restrict sweets and most of the starch you eat in order to have the same metabolic advantages of a person with a healthy carbohydrate metabolism. Choose vegetables and protein based meals to avoid sugars and starches which cause your problems.
26 – 50 Be wary. Get busy. You have significant dysfunction of carbohydrate metabolism and are probably already suffering from hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. You need to limit sugar intake and cut starchy carbs too to restore healthy carbohydrate metabolism. Strictly limit starches all of which should be wholegrain.
50 or over You’re in trouble, and you should deal with it immediately. You probably already suffer from Syndrome X, or are heading for it. If you don’t do something to prevent it, diabetes is a very realistic possibility. A diet based on protein, nuts, seeds and vegetable and some fruits will probably improve your quality of life almost immediately.

Unfortunately, in our current carbohydrate obsessed culture, a score of 25 to 50 is not all that uncommon. It is not cause for alarm. But it is cause for action.
We encourage you to learn about the food you eat and to choose foods that will help control your blood sugar level. Jax 25/3/11 ©