I'm going to attempt to post a weekly training tip every Friday. I know that not everyone reading this is a triathlete, and I apologize that you will have to suffer through these. I'll try and make them at least somewhat entertaining so you can still enjoy them. So here we go, my first ever weekly training tip!
Have you ever seen a Gatorade commercial? Me neither. Ha! I'm pretty sure everyone has seen a Gatorade or Powerade commercial. If not, here's a Gatorade one for your viewing pleasure:
That's actually one you probably haven't seen, since it's being used in the UK. Anyway, these companies do a great job making you think that you have to drink them while you're working out. That's pretty much not true.
As a registered drinkatitian (just a step above a dietitian, and completely legit...trust me), I can safely say that while working out, you do not have to drink a sports drink. Sports drinks do serve their purpose, but for most people, and most workouts, they are not necessary. They aren't going to hurt you any, however, other than hurting your wallet.
For workouts lasting one hour or less, you should not need a sports drink. Of course, there are exceptions such as excessive heat/humidity. Typically, that's not the case though. As long as you have been hydrating properly before hand, and eating a relatively healthy diet, your body will have enough electrolytes and carbohydrates stored up to last for an hours worth of working out. Now, if you're not sure about whether or not you've been hydrating/eating well enough, it's up to you if you want to use the sports drink. I would say go ahead an go without it. Personally, I don't use any sports drinks unless my workouts are over an hour and a half. There was a time when I used Gatorade Endurance for every cardio workout. I now realize that I was basically wasting my supply of Gatorade.
These sports drinks do a great job at delivering the necessary carbs and simple sugars to your body when you are working out, but you only need them during longer workouts. So today's tip: try to use water more often. Not only is water healthier for you than a sports drink, but your wallet will thank you!