By Amy and Patrick Carpenter
Question: I was at the gym the other day and saw someone drinking a sports drink during their workout. Is this really needed if you’re only in the club for a typical one-hour workout?
Answer: The short answer is “no.” The average person, who works out for 60 minutes or less, will need nothing more than water to get them through their workout. Your body has all the fuel it needs to exercise for that long, especially if you start the workout well-fueled — and you should. It really comes down to your goals, and the type of workout you’re doing in order to reach those goals. If optimal performance is your focus, or if the planned workout is very intense or longer in duration, then sports drinks are a wise choice. In these instances, your body will need the extra calories and electrolytes. In fact, research has proven this over and over again. If you have additional questions related to sports drinks and performance, then contact a sports dietitian or personal trainer.
Question: People keep telling me that most supplements simply don’t work. If that’s the case, can you tell me which ones do work well?
Answer: I would agree that there are many supplements out there with very strong marketing, but little research to support either their efficacy or safety. That said, there are some tried and true supplements that may help improve health and/or performance, but the decision to use them or not depends on what your specific goals are. Without knowing much more about your particular situation, here’s a short list of what I like to call foundational supplements that may be beneficial in one way or another:
• Fish oil
• Sports nutrition bars
• Sports drinks
• Protein powder
• Pre- and post-workout formulas
These are generally considered to be safe supplements that promote health. However, this is by no means an exhaustive list, so my advice would be to talk to a sports dietitian or personal trainer so they can help you determine whether a specific supplement is appropriate for you.
— Amy and Patrick Carpenter are the owners of Anytime Fitness locations in Churubusco, Columbia City, Bluffton and Huntington. They are lifelong residents of the area, small business owners, and are dedicated to helping all of us get to a healthier place.