Sports Drinks, Fruit Juice
and Weight Loss

Sports drinks are enormously popular beverages not only with athletes but also with the general population as well. Whilst they may be somewhat beneficial for hard training athletes, they should not be consumed on a regular basis and should certainly not be consumed by people who don't exercise regularly.

The same may be said for fruit juice. Despite the public's perception that fruit juice is healthy, it is another beverage that should not be consumed on a regular basis, if at all! However, due to clever marketing, juice bars in shopping centres are massively popular. It is not uncommon to see queues of people lined up in front of them waiting to get their sugar-loaded fruit smoothie.

Of course fruit juice does contain some beneficial vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. However, you are far better off eating the whole fruit rather than consuming fruit juice.

Why You Should Not Consume Sports Drinks or Fruit Juice if You Want to Lose Weight...

Both sports drinks and fruit juice are concentrated sources of sugar and as a result, they cause a significant spike in your blood sugar level when they are consumed. This increase in blood sugar induces a large release of insulin from the pancreas and this promotes fat storage as well as prevents the mobilisation and utilisation of fat as a fuel source.

Sports Drinks

Plus, sports drinks and fruit juices make it far too easy to consume a large amount of calories. For example, one 300ml glass of orange juice has the same amount of sugar as 3 whole oranges but without the fiber, which can help to slow down the absorption rate of the carbohydrates, keeping your blood sugar stable and limiting the insulin response.

Of course, there is no need to cut out these beverages altogether, especially if you enjoy them, it just means that you need to account for them in your daily intake, i.e. they are a high-density carbohydrate source. This means that you can only have 1-2 serves a day of these sources of carbs if you are serious about losing weight and getting in shape. You may also need to reduce your intake substantially if you want to lose weight. If you are going to consume these beverages then don't have more than 150mls any one time.

Now I know 150mls isn't much, especially since most of these drinks contain about 600mls, but if you really want to lose weight then you must be willing to limit your intake substantially until you achieve your goal. Thereafter you can still only have a moderate amount though. Alternatively, if you're willing to increase your exercise expenditure significantly, you can increase your intake of sports drinks and/ or fruit juice moderately.

Of course, you can have sports drinks and/ or fruit juice on your treat-day and you can allow yourself to have a significantly larger amount.

Why Diet Soda and Weight Loss Doesn't Work Either

Once many people realise that sports drinks and fruit juice is not good for their weight-loss efforts, their attention turns to diet drinks. Diet drinks also stop your body from being able to access and burn fat. Despite what some people think, diet soda and weight loss don't go well together!

Even though diet drinks are virtually calorie-free, they still don't support weight loss because of the artificial sweeteners they contain. Artificial sweeteners are up to 1,500 times sweeter than sugar. Therefore, whenever they are consumed as soon as they hit the taste receptors in the mouth, the pancreas in immediately stimulated to release insulin into the blood stream. This occurs because the body is expecting a massive surge of sugar into the blood stream. Then when it doesn't occur any sugar that is in the blood stream gets stored.

As a result of the blood sugar getting stored, the blood sugar then drops and one of the side effects of a low blood sugar level is an increased appetite and possibly sugar cravings as well.

Overall, if you want to lose weight and get in shape fast it is best to avoid sports drinks, fruit juice and diet drinks altogether. The best drink to have every day is fresh, filtered water. In fact, as a general recommendation, drink about 250mls of water per 10 kilograms of body weight per day. Not only will drinking water help to curb your appetite but it will also make it easier for your body to maintain its metabolic rate and maintain its muscle mass. These factors will of course, make it easier for you to lose weight.

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