Sports drinks are so ex­pen­sive. Do I re­ally need them?

Trail Running (UK) - - Training - Jack Hart, Stam­ford

The an­swer to this will de­pend on what you want that drink to ac­tu­ally do – stick with us here. “Sports drinks re­ally drop into three cat­e­gories,” says Cas­par Rose: “Pre-, in­tra- and post-work­out drinks. First you need to con­sider the de­sired ef­fects of these drinks and what is re­ally es­sen­tial to your per­for­mance.” Sports drinks can def­i­nitely help you, but Cas­par has a word of cau­tion: “These drinks are there to as­sist you but of­ten have been cre­ated by com­pa­nies with shelf life and mar­gins in mind. Fo­cus on your needs and you can find a lot of al­ter­na­tive so­lu­tions that are be­spoke to you.” With that in mind, here’s a lit­tle break­down of what to look out for…

PRE-RUN

“Here, you want some­thing fast-act­ing and high-en­ergy. Most pre-work­out drinks are full of ar­ti­fi­cial in­gre­di­ents, so try an espresso, some co­conut oil and a quick shot of beet­root juice to get some ni­trates in.”

IN­TRA-RUN

“These drinks/gels are of­ten made up of a mix of aminos, elec­trolytes or fast-act­ing carbs, salts and sug­ars. I wouldn’t rec­om­mend these un­less you’re train­ing reg­u­larly for ex­tended pe­ri­ods and with spe­cific per­for­mance goals. In that case they can be worth the money – oth­er­wise, water is an ex­cel­lent go-to.”

POST-RUN

“Pro­tein is king here, but pre-made shakes – although con­ve­nient – are of­ten full of su­gar and not worth the money. You’re much bet­ter off blend­ing a pure pro­tein smoothie af­ter your work­out.”

Cre­ate a be­spoke sports drink

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