Is it ok to have sugar after a workout?

45Many soft drinks are often referred to as ‘energising’, ‘refreshing’ or ‘hydrating’. They should really be called ‘weight-gaining’, ‘tooth-decaying’ or ‘health-disrupting’.

Products like ketchups, cereals and sweet treats are typically full of sugar. They can be hard to spot as they often appear in different guises (caramels, syrups, etc.).

They recommended amount of sugar we should have in our diet differs from country to country, but the most are around five teaspoons for women and nine for men. So how many are we having?!

The average can of coke has ten teaspoons; a can of Red Bull has seven teaspoons; a Vitamin Water has eight teaspoons and a sports can bottle has seven teaspoons. If you’re a female all of the above will push you over your daily recommended allowance.

There was a time when fat was blamed for globally increasing waistlines and too much saturated fat, but sugar now takes the centre stage. This is because you primarily because the body struggles to cope if you continue to overtax the pancreas (which is employed to keep the blood glucose levels within safe limits) and body cells (which overtime get tired of opening the gates to let yet more sugar in). Insulin sensitivity then develops which normally leads to weight gain and can lead to insulin resistance or an increased risk of type II diabetes.

Many innocently assume that swapping full sugar soft drinks for ‘diet’ versions is the answer but the body doesn’t see it that way. Artificial sweeteners do nothing to dull your cravings for more sugar. Plus they still promote the insulin spikes that require the pancreas to work overtime!

If you train regularly try to swap your sports drinks for a banana, which provides vitamins, minerals, and fibre – and drink water!


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