What’s wrong with the fuel most people are using? I call them Frankenfuels. From Gatorade to power bars to those creepy gel packs with the chemicals they contain and synthetic “nutrients”, I really don’t know how we got so far from real food.
Those Frankenfuels have very high sugar content. Gatorade was recently forced to take out the brominated vegetable oil, BVO. Another ingredient in many sport drinks is TBHQ it is a preservative also an anticorrosive agent found in diesel oil!
Many of the protein powders people use have artificial sweeteners and chemicals that lead to brain fog during a workout.
The truth is that we should be putting as natural a food source as possible into our bodies especially during and after strenuous physical activity. To understand why we need to understand carbohydrate delivery and the maximum rate of fluid absorption; Osmolality.
Most sports drinks have 6-8% concentrated solution. Bars. Energy packets and gels have 10-30% concentration of carbs. When you consume them absorption is not ideal unless you drink tons of water with them. Many labels suggest drinking at least 8 oz. of water with it and most people don’t follow directions. Anything above a 4% concentrated solution will result in GI distress and fluid emptying.
Another thing that’s been hyped up to sell sports drinks is electrolytes. The body can maintain plasma levels of electrolytes and salts several days without running out. The body maintains this via the kidneys as it slows down the rate of sodium excretion. Sports drinks actually speed up the loss of electrolytes through the sweat.
Why don’t people just eat real food? Well you can’t patent and make money off raw almonds. Real food takes time to plan and prepare. It is so much easier to grab a power bar at the gym. People have been led to believe they need to train with the fuel they will use during competitions. At the time of an iron man competition it is not very aero dynamic to carry bags of food along.
However, here are some good ideas of things you can prepare and take along;
-Chia seeds 3-4 tbsp Soak in water add lemon and stevia and make a slurry. Its clean burning food.
-Pemmican (rendered fat) or jerky
-Rice balls using pressure-cooked white rice, you can add eggs and meats or coconut, blueberries, raw honey and dates. Put in the food processor and make balls.
**Skip the rice if you are low carb and want your body to use fat to burn fuel.
-Raw seeds and nuts with a little dried fruit.
-Nut butters mixed with coconut oil and raw honey.
-Grain free granola
-Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein like PaleoZip by Joy Harari
Real food alternatives require less water than bars and gels. Bars and Gels contain fermentable carbs like fructose and maltodextrin, which causes gas and bloating and indigestion afterwards.
For post workouts, the ideal scenario is to eat a real meal. Don’t worry about protein carb fat ratio the experts say it is not necessary. Just eat your regularly scheduled highly nutritive meal.
So lets all commit to a more natural source of healthy energy to fuel our workouts. It will keep you healthier and younger looking in the long run.