I’m so glad that my sports drink is gluten free. That does beg the question though, “Are some of them not gluten free?” And if so, “Why not?”
Let me first clear up a few points about my sports drink- Electrolyte Fuel System from First Endurance. First of all, I don’t make any money by telling you about it. Maybe I should work on changing that… I’m not saying it’s wrong to make money off a product but it certainly does cloud judgement in some instances. One might look over a few not so awesome ingredients to make a buck and think, “It’s not too bad.” I’ll just let you decide on that one. Secondly, I only take it after an effort that lasts an hour or more. That doesn’t mean warm up for 15 minutes, workout for 30 minutes and cool down for 15 minutes. No. An hour. Solid. I use EFS for efforts on the bike or running. I use it as a recovery drink to refuel muscle glycogen. That’s fancy terminology for- getting the right type of sugar (glucose that’s stored as glycogen) back into my muscles to be ready for my next workout.
I first used this drink last year on a trek from Waxahachie to Lubbock, TX by bike- 365 miles in 5 days with my brother. I recently used it at the Texas Independence Relay. I will use it again for the Great Return Trip to Lubbock of 2012 in a couple of weeks. This stuff works great! It’s got a TON of electrolytes and it’s easy on my stomach (man I gotta work on distributing it).
Here’s the dealio-
If you’re drinking a sports-recovery-energy-whatever drink that has fructose or high fructose corn syrup as it’s carbohydrate calories (ie energy source), then you’re not using the right fuel to replace what you’ve lost. You may benefit by getting some electrolytes and a kick from the caffeine or B vitamins but you’re not fueling well for your next effort.
If you’re drinking a sports-recovery-energy-whatever drink that has no calories (ie sweetened with artificial sweetners) then you’re definitely not getting any recovery value from this concoction. Again you may have some stimulants in the mix to give you that “wicked awesome boost” but at some point you’re going to have to come to grips with the fact that you still have a rather child-like obsession with sweet stuff.
My contention here is- What’s the point? What’s the value? If you’re just wanting something to drink, fine. But don’t swig these pricey, bunk (imho) drinks and think you’re doing your body any favors. The very fact that you’re either drinking an “energy drink” or “recovery drink” that has little to no nutritional value suggests that you may be better off drinking the water out of our new dehumidifier at the box. We’ve postulated that it probably tastes like socks but I bet the sodium content is high.
What about gluten? Well, many main stream “thirst quenchers” have modified food starch in them. These starches increase shelf life and enhance texture. Neither of which suggest it’s healthy for you.
So what should you drink?
Water mostly. Tea or coffee (americano with heavy cream for me) is a much better choice than a Red Bull or Monster, nutritionally speaking. I eat an overall Paleo diet but I do include dairy. Here’s where I get my milk- Campbell Classic Dairy. Yes, raw milk. I don’t suggest everyone do it but that’s a topic for another time.
Here’s the take home- If you’re working out at CFW (or anywhere for that matter) more than likely you don’t need much more than water to fuel your efforts. In fact, swigging G Prime is more than likely adding to the cortisol-insulin-inflammation issues that are causing you to pack on the pounds. Drink water all day. Drink coffee or tea (in small to moderate amounts) in the morning. If you do a strength workout- eat meat and veggies post workout and/or a protein shake or milk (if consuming dairy). If you do a cardio effort- eat something starchy- baked sweet potato or carrots. If it’s a long cardio effort- consider a high quality recovery drink.
Fuel your body well and it can do amazing things!
Peace, Love & Recovery,