Need a Workout Boost? Stay Clear of Energy Drinks and Bars

Are you looking for an extra pick-me-up while before, during and after your workout? If so, you might be tempted to down a few energy drinks or energy bars.  While these products may seem like a good addition to your workout, you may actually be sabotaging your fitness goals by eating and drinking these items – particularly if you are attempting to lose weight.

The truth is that these types of products can be good to use if you are going to be engaging in endurance training, such as if you are training to participate in a marathon, but they are not a good option for the regular “Joe Blow” who is looking to get into better shape.  In fact, if you suck down one of these energy drinks or energy bars before your workout, you will basically be burning off the calories you just consumed rather than burning away the fat that has been stored away in your body.

Not only do energy drinks and bars generally come chock full of calories, they usually have a great deal of sugar in them as well.  This only further serves to sabotage your effort to get into shape.  It’s not just energy drinks that can wreak havoc on your workout, however, as many supposedly “healthy” drinks are filled with calories and sugars as well.  Fruit drinks, for example, should be avoided whenever possible.  While eating fruit is good for you and offers a number of benefits, drinking fruit juices provides you mostly with the sugars and calories without the bulk of the nutritional benefits. Look at the label on the back of your favorite fruit juice and you may be surprised by the number of calories it carries.

The same is true when it comes to milk.  While you certainly want to consume the proper amount of dairy, drinking whole milk will add the calories on quickly.  Replace it with skim or lowfat milk so you can enjoy the benefits without the drawbacks.

Still, if you are looking for a pre-workout pick-me-up, stick with eating something healthy – such as an apple – and be sure to eat it an hour or more before you workout.  This way, you will get the energy boost you need without packing on the extra calories.