Need to Hydrate? Which is Better: Water or Sports Drinks?

two bottles of powerade on a table
After working up a good sweat during your workout you’ll need to rehydrate, but which is better for you, sports drinks or water?
Sports drinks work by providing your body with electrolytes, carbohydrates, and calories. The electrolytes in sports drinks are usually sodium, chloride, or potassium, which ensure that the cells in your body are working properly. While working out, you will lose some electrolytes, so that is why you need to stay hydrated while exercising. During a normal workout, usually an hour or less, you only lose a few electrolytes. Electrolytes lost during moderate workout sessions can be replaced by drinking water and maintaining a healthy diet.
There are situations however, that warrant drinking a sports beverage. If you are working out vigorously such as running long distances or lifting a substantial amount of weight, you will lose many more electrolytes that water alone cannot replace. Working out in a hot environment, even moderately, also calls for a sports drink.
Most people don’t drink enough water in their daily lives, even though it is essential to protecting the body before, during, and after exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine’s guidelines recommend that people drink about 17 ounces of fluid two hours before exercising, to promote proper hydration.
If you are looking to lose weight, you also need to consider the fact that sports drinks contain calories and sugar. If you are not working out vigorously, you will not burn those extra calories! Drinking sports drinks when not working out, much like soft drinks or juices, will add up and work against your weight loss goals.
The key takeaway here is, unless you are training extensively or under high temperatures, stick to water to hydrate your body throughout your workouts!

Optimize Your Pre-and Post Workouts with the Right Foods

bowl of oatmeal with berries
When it comes down to losing weight, many people believe that you just need to eat less and exercise more to achieve your goals. In reality, you need to eat the right foods, at the right time, at the right portion. More importantly, feeding your body before and after every workout is crucial for burning calories, keeping energized, building lean muscle, losing weight, and speeding up recovery time. If you work out on an empty stomach often, you’ll only lose muscle and not actually burn fat. Eating before a workout will ensure you draw protein from the right sources, maintain your metabolism, and have enough energy to power through your workout!
What to eat before working out:

  • Brown rice with black beans (1 cup)
  • A sweet potato with steamed broccoli in olive oil (1 cup)
  • 1 Whole banana with 2 tablespoons of almond butter
  • Multi-grain crackers with hummus (3 tablespoons)
  • ½ cup Plain Oatmeal with berries (can be sweetened with a little stevia or agave)
  • 1 Whole Apple and walnuts (1/4 cup)

You’ll need to start refueling 30 minutes to an hour after your workout! After exercising, your muscles will be depleted of glycogen, which fuels your energy to workout. Consuming protein and a little bit of carbohydrates after your workout will refill energy stores, build and repair muscle, and help keep your metabolism burning.
What to eat after a workout:

  • Protein shake: 1/2 banana, one scoop of protein powder, almond milk. (Add hemp seeds for extra protein!)
  • Salad with roasted chickpeas (1/2 cup), light olive oil and vinegar
  • 1 Cup of Sautéed or steamed vegetables a ½ cup of tofu
  • 1 Cup of Quinoa with 1 cup black berries and ¼ cup pecans
  • 2 Slices of multigrain bread with 2 tablespoons of raw peanut butter
  • Burrito Bowl: beans (1/2 cup), brown rice (1/2 cup), guacamole (2 tablespoons), and salsa

5 Reasons Kickboxing Class is Great for Your Overall Health

woman kickboxing
Kickboxing is a cardiovascular workout that involves boxing & karate-like training, paired with high energy music to get your heart pumping! It is one of the best workouts for weight loss, bone density, joint strength, muscle strength, and cardiovascular endurance. If you have been on the fence about taking a kickboxing class, and want to get into the best shape of your life, here are five reasons to go through with it!
Burn Fat & Calories
This high-energy workout is perfect for those serious about burning fat and calories! Typically, you can burn 500-600 calories in each hour-long class.
Build Self-Confidence
Before you know it, you’ll start seeing results not only within your physical appearance, but also in your overall energy. It will be due to the hard work and commitment that you gave!
Relieve Stress
With an intense kickboxing workout, your body will release endorphins which are the feel-good hormones in your body. Stress blocks the production of endorphins, leaving you craving fatty foods. After an hour-long class, you’ll feel great and mood will have improved!
Learn Self-Defense
Though the main goal of kickboxing is to get a great workout, it also teaches you the right way to throw a punch and kick. In a dire situation, this can prove to be very useful.
It’s Fun!
You will get to work out alongside some amazing people who are just as passionate as you, about staying healthy and getting in shape! Try taking a class with a friend or relative!

6 Reasons Why You Need to Hire a Certified Personal Trainer

personal training with Kevin Burns Back bay fit boston

If you’re tired of not seeing results you want, or are a beginner just starting to work out, then hiring a personal trainer might be the best option for you. Getting physically fit is a big challenge, but you don’t have to do it alone! If you have been on the fence about hiring a personal trainer, here are 6 reasons why you should go through with it!

A personal trainer will build a program that is customized to your needs. Our personal trainers will develop the most effective workout based on your fitness level and goals. We understand that one workout may not work for all people, so every routine is customized for YOU!

Personal Trainers are not just someone who will stand there and make demands. Back Bay Fit’s personal trainers will not only act as your coach, but also as an educator, confidant, role model, and a big source of motivation and encouragement.

Have you ever had difficulty sticking to working out? Scheduling a personal training session might just be the thing you need, to eliminate any excuse for not exercising.

Many people avoid going to the gym because they are unsure of how to use the machines, and are afraid to sustain injury. Personal trainers will show you the safe way to use exercise equipment.

Injury Rehabilitation
Along with safety, previous injuries also hold back many people from working out. An experienced personal trainer can show you exercises that will restore muscle balance and prevent future injuries.

Some days you leave the gym feeling like you didn’t get the workout you wanted. That could be because you are not performing the right exercises effectively or as intensely as you should. A personal trainer will optimize your workout time with the right exercises, and challenge you, so that you get the most bang for your buck.