So the #1 goal of people who go to the gym is weight loss. And it’s like finger nails on a chalk board when I see people making all the right decisions when it comes to training, rest and the foods they eat only to blow it in one area.
What is that one area?
It’s the calories they drink.
They will drink coffees with flavoured shots, artificial sweeteners, creams and other additives. They will puree enough fruit for two days and drink this. Worse they will buy the commercial varieties of the juice smoothies which often have well over 100 grams of sugar. They will finish off a hard day’s work with a glass or two of their favourite beer or wine. Which normally isn’t a problem except when you’re trying to drop 20-30 lbs.
And so for these people we make the rules very simple.
1. Get all of your nutrition from food.
2. Get your hydration from water.
But there are exceptions to the rule. And this post is all about those exceptions.
Because at a certain point you should gain control of the calories you drink back. And your water intake should be adequate. And you should be getting all your nutrition from food. And your weight loss should be on track.
And if this the case read on to find out how you can begin to reintroduce drinks back into your like. If this is you then here are 5 drinks you can reintroduce back into your lifestyle.
1. Workout Drinks – Are your workouts at least an hour in length? Are workouts fairly intense? By this I mean that you broke a sweat, lifted as heavily as you could and were out of breath at various points during the workout.
If you answered ‘yes’ to these there may be benefit to including a sports drink in your training program. I like the purple flavoured G2 from Gatorade. It has only 20 calories but still supplies some carbohydrate and electrolytes to facilitate gastric emptying.
2. Post Workout Drink – One of my favourite things to look forward to at the end of my workout is chocolate milk. I like it because it has a great amino acid profile, it has a good carbs to protein ratio and it tastes so good.
Now for those with a desire to add lean mass drink the regular version. And for those that are looking to drop a few lbs I would recommend the reduced sugar version of chocolate milk or a low sugar RTD (ready-to-drink) commercial shake.
3. Watching a Movie – So you’re about to watch a movie you’ve beenwaiting a while to see. You’ve got some healthy snacks, a blanket and someone special to watch with. What do you turn to wash it all down with? I like Crystal Light. If you are someone that doesn’t care for overly sweet drinks you can dilute it to your preference. There are only 5 calories and the flavours are good. I’m sure someone will post a comment below regarding the fact this product aspartame. If they do, please also post the reference to the studies proving your point.
4. Get Going in the Morning – Many of us are conditioned to drink coffee first thing in the morning. But few drink it black and few limit themselves to one or two cups. Tea may be a better alternative.
I like green tea and drink it plain. Green tea has great anti-oxidant properties and is good for lowering LDL (low density lipoprotein). As well, have you heard of resveratrol? This weight loss metabolite was initially associated with red wine. As it turns out green tea has even higher levels of resveratrol than wine.
5. Open a Bottle or Crack a Cold One – Sometimes you need to pump up the parasympathetic nervous. While this will mean different things for different people it is important to relax once in a while. And while we’re not advocating initiating a drinking routine there are benefits to enjoying a glass of red wine or a dark beer with friends once in a while.
The take home message here is that if you’re still looking to lose some weight hold off on drinking your calories. But once you’re dropping the pounds you can use the 5 tips above to have a drink of something other than water.