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Why I Drink This During Workouts

by | Oct 11, 2021 | Fitness, Nutrition

For me working out is Type B fun: fun after you’re done! My Outward Bound instructor taught me about Type B fun somewhere in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, ascending towards our 14,000-foot peak. Sunny clear skies created suncups – open bowl-shaped depressions in the snow tightly packed together in a honeycomb pattern.

Fields of suncups forced us to walk on narrow ridges that would sometimes collapse under the weight of my feet. My instructor flowed gracefully through these suncups while I had no rhythm on the dance floor. The experience pulled, stretched, and exhausted me. At times I was laughing hysterically, at other times crying, but all smiles when done – just like when I work out today!

Guess that’s why it’s called WORKing out, not PLAYing out. If you’re pushing yourself, you’re physically and emotionally outside your comfort zone. It’s uncomfortable. Period. One way to make your training comfier is nutritionally refueling during workouts. If you’re asking, can workout drinks really make a difference? Or, do workout drinks really work? Or even, what should I drink during my workout? Keep reading. After finishing this post, you’ll be fired up to exercise with my favorite workout drink recipe, knowing what’s best to drink during workouts and why.

If you’re pushing yourself, you’re physically and emotionally outside your comfort zone. It’s uncomfortable. Period. One way to make your training comfier is nutritionally refueling during workouts.

WORKOUT DRINKS EXPLAINED

Did you know there are workout drinks at Starbucks? Workout drinks are everywhere and fit into three categories based on time consumed around your workout (before, during, and after.)

Pre-workout drinks are consumed before you exercise, and post-workout drinks are consumed after you’ve finished your training. But are pre-workout drinks really necessary, and are workout recovery drinks really needed? I didn’t use either for years, but it’s remarkable how they push me now through more challenging workouts and recovery without fatigue or soreness (most of the time!). My favorite pre-workout drink is coffee, and my favorite post-workout drink is a plant-based shake filled with vitamers.

In this post, I’m diving into what I drink during my workouts – technically called intra-workout drinks (but who says intra-workout? Not me.)

Did you know there are workout drinks at Starbucks? Workout drinks are everywhere and fit into three categories based on time consumed around your workout (before, during, and after.)

WHAT’S THE BEST WORKOUT DRINK?

Working out works your body! Exercise is stressful, breaks down muscle, and increases acidity (not a good thing!) So I use a 3-part workout drink recipe filled with adaptogens, branch chain amino acids (BCAA’s), and greens to offset the hard work. It’s like a party in my water bottle – energy without caffeine – and prevents me from feeling exhausted with sore muscles afterward. Thank you, and thank you!

 

ADAPTOGENS: EXERCISE IS STRESSFUL

After I recovered from sleepless nights, breastfeeding (which I loved!), and diaper changes with my youngest, I hit the gym but struggled to release the sticky pounds. Unfortunately, my body was too stressed to go where I desired – and exercise was part of my stress burden. Here’s why: cortisol balance. Cortisol can increase or decrease depending on the intensity of exercise.

Cortisol – the “stress hormone” – is produced when we perceive a threat to help us fight or flee. But if we’re feeling threatened or stressed all the time, cortisol starts misbehaving. This misbehavior can create many problems, from sticky pounds, difficulty sleeping through the night, and ultimately chronic disease and even death. According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death and more than 75 percent of physician office visits.

Everyone knows what it’s like to feel “stressed.” Stress is a normal part of being human. Unfortunately, none of us can get rid of stress. Yet, all of us can create a stress relief toolbox for stress relief without medication.

My favorite stress relief (or cortisol balancing) supplements are adaptogens – powerful plants that help you better adapt to stress and support mental clarity.† I add one scoop of these adaptogens to my workout drink. Some moms have coined adaptogens ‘Mama Juice’ and want a continuous IV infusion throughout the day! I feel the adaptogen difference in my workouts, lack of mid-afternoon crashes, and consistently sleeping through the night. In fact, within a short time of starting daily adaptogens, I finished my fastest run ever and cried. The emotion that flooded me felt like when I was a little child on my birthday. When you go to bed, hugging your favorite present so close to your heart that no one can pry it away from you. It’s all yours to enjoy. That feeling!!!

BCAA’s: EXERCISE BREAKS DOWN MUSCLE

Have you ever felt sore a day or two after an intense workout? It’s because your muscles are recovering (rebuilding) from the muscle breakdown incurred during your training. Breakdown sounds like a bad thing, but it’s not when you understand that muscles break down to build up. Your muscles are continually breaking down and rebuilding, referred to as muscle protein breakdown (MPB) and muscle protein synthesis (MPS.)

During exercise, muscle rebuilding decreases. After training, muscle rebuilding increases, and so does muscle breakdown unless you refuel. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and muscles are about 80% protein. So I think of amino acids as the perfect food for hungry muscles – who, when fed, rebuild and grow! While amino acids markedly increase the rebuilding process, they’re less critical for slowing muscle breakdown than insulin. Glucose stimulates insulin secretion. So always have some sugar in your workout drink as well as amino acids to slow muscle breakdown!

I add two scoops of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s) to my workout drink to offset muscle breakdown and support muscle rebuilding. This BCAA formula blends in nutrients designed to reduce fatigue, build lean muscle, and burn fat.† Yes, yes, and yesss, please! Check out what makes this BCAA formula so unique.

GREENS: EXERCISE INCREASES YOUR ACIDITY

Have you ever felt that burning feeling in your muscles during a workout? Or muscle cramping? Maybe even nausea or weakness? That’s what lactic acid build-up feels like. When you exercise hard enough or long enough, your muscles don’t have enough oxygen to produce the energy they need to perform. As a result, your body builds up lactic acid, which decreases your pH.

The pH of your blood should be neutral, between 7.34 and 7.45, to ensure your body functions properly (and delivers oxygen to your cells – slightly important!) When the pH of your blood falls outside this neutral range, your body will adjust it back to rebalance by leaching minerals – like calcium and magnesium – from bones. Over time this acidity can weaken your long-term health.

To offset the acidity exercise produces, I add one scoop of organic greens to my workout drink. Vegetables, especially greens, are the most alkalizing foods you can eat. Read Why Everyone Needs More Greens. Plus, greens are high in dietary nitrates, which the body converts to nitric oxide – a compound that increases blood flow. Improved blood flow means more efficient oxygen (fuel) delivery to the cells and more carbon dioxide (waste) removal as you move your body. Yes, yes, and yes!!!

Refuel The Easy Way! Add one scoop of adaptogens (Ionix Supreme), two scoops of branched-chain amino acids (AMPED BCAA Plus), and one scoop of greens (Organic Greens) into your workout water bottle with water and ice. Shake and refuel!

If you’re ‘WORK’ing out, your body is gonna feel it – pushing yourself, physically and emotionally, outside your comfort zone. It’s uncomfortable. Period. So make your training comfier with nutritionally refueling before, during, and after your workouts. These three powerful nutrients (adaptogens, BCAA’s, and greens) will help you exercise with more ease and less fatigue – a winning combination! Now get ‘er done 🙂

#WeAreInThisTogether for #HealthyChange

Feel Better, Be Better!

P.S. If you’re looking for workout sports drinks like Gatorade, here’s a healthy alternative workout sports drink I love. It’s not what I use during workouts, but it makes water healthier and taste better! Plus, it’s FUN, and kids love it!

P.P.S. Are you thinking, “this probably won’t work for me?” Chances are it will. If you’re not 100% satisfied for any reason, there’s a 30-day hassle-free return policy for your convenience. Honestly, you have nothing to lose but some fatigue and sore muscles! Try Refueling the Easy Way!

†This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

About the Author: Dr. Sue

Sue McCreadie, MD (aka Dr. Sue), is a board-certified pediatric physician and wellness expert with two decades of experience helping thousands of families achieve vibrant health. In her pediatric practice, Dr. Sue helps children adapt their diet and lifestyle to optimize their genetics for health naturally. Online Dr. Sue helps other women learn how to eat for their genetics and use a nutritional system to feel confident with energy to live their best life. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband, Dave, and their three children, Kaitlin, Elle, and Addison.

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