Nutritional tip of the day

Mon 23 Mar 2015

Hydration and Sugar

If you’re like the majority of people attending the gyms, then the main aim for you visiting the gym is to lose weight, feel better about yourself and your body. In this case hydration before, during and after your workout is key.

Even though drinking plenty of fluids is essential for your overall health and fitness, don't be faked into drinking fluids that are high in sugar. Be careful and read the label, even sports drinks could contain a high level of sugar. For example, a bottle of Lucozade Energy drink (380ml) has 64 grams of sugar, which equals 15 teaspoons of sugar. 

According to UK daily guidelines it is recommended not to exceed:

  • 90 grams if sugar for women daily
  • 120 grams of sugar for men daily

This alone highlights that the all of us probably exceed the daily allowance every single day. Don't forget about the hidden sugars and read the labels carefully.

Replace all sugary drinks with water. Remember that you can always add a slice of fresh lime or lemon to add some flavour to the water.

Hydration and Caffeine

Caffeine is found in coffee, tea and energy drinks. Nowadays caffeine is associated with helping you boost your metabolism, but at the same time it is said to increase your blood pressure and affect your sleeping pattern.  

A diet that contains a large intake of caffeine could start affecting your health in a longer run. This includes problems such as inflammation of your stomach. Caffeine is also associated with higher cortisol levels (stress hormone), which again is not good for your health. Increased cortisol levels cause our body to store and hold on to more fat on our tummy, it is also associated with disturbed sleep patterns. This could even turn our bodies into a catabolic state, where our body uses muscle mass to supply us with energy.

Caffeine is also very diuretic, meaning that our bodies would not be able to hold on to us much as water, slowly leading to de-hydration.  

Try and reduce your daily caffeine intake for your overall wellbeing. 

Hydration will enable you to perform better at the gym and will also help you achieve your fitness goals.

Written by our health and wellbeing advisor Adam Nicholas.