Five Former Fatties

Fat loss info from former fatties

Sports Drinks, Bars, Gels, Goos and Other Nasty Shit

Michelle

I went on a nice 5km run on Saturday and guess what? Not once did I consume a sports drink, fancy bar, goo, gel or other glow-in-the-dark chemically-laden expensive ‘sports product’.  F-bomb of the day… “Fuck shelling out wads of your hard earned cash on drinks, bars and other shit you don’t need!”

I remember when I first started running; I was an information vacuum trying to suck in as much information as I could. I found a lot of advice about electrolytes and hydration, how often to drink (usually bottled), when/what to eat on a long run or workout, and on and on. I eventually learned from a doctor that the most important thing on longer runs/workouts, especially on hot days, is a bit of salt in my water. I am not a world-class athlete who has to balance everything perfectly or my performance will be off by 5 seconds; I’m a middle aged woman who enjoys running and likes to compete against her own time (okay, and occasionally the jerk who just passed me who had no right doing so).

There is an entire industry trying to convince you all this stuff is necessary; they are not benevolent organizations just informing the active public on how to fuel their bodies in the most healthful ways. They exist to separate you from your money; specifically, to put your money in their pockets.

So what do we do?  First, we cut through the bullshit and realize that the average active person on an average run or workout does not generally require special fluid (sweltering hot days aside) or glorified candy bars and gummies. Second, we can take a look at what these companies are offering and just make our own for the days we do need something extra. Some do-it-yourself drink recipesare here and here (I haven’t tried them, I just googled them).  There are many do-it-yourself bars out there too (you know how to use Google), not to mention the already assembled humble banana. Finally, we can become more curious and ask ourselves if adding all these chemicals and calories to our bodies is necessary; how many people consume more calories consuming the ‘fuel’ than expending on the run or workout? And this doesn’t even touch on the fact that none of this is whole or natural food, and all are heavily packaged at the cost of our environment.

So keep your money, be wise about your body’s needs and make your own drinks and food for hotter and/or longer runs and workouts.  Your body, bank account and the planet will appreciate it.

(PS: while you’re at it, I’m glad my post didn’t end up being about the Tyranny of Water Guzzling Preachers (it almost did), because here Krista at Stumptuous posted on that very topic today!)
UPDATE: article on sports drinks published in The Atlantic in July 2012 entitled The Controversial Science of Sports Drinks concerning the influence of the sports drink industry over academia.

Posted in Michelle by Michelle on March 5th, 2012 at 6:41 pm.

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