Avoid The Sugar Crash From Your Post-Workout Protein Shake
Forget the “freshman 5”, you’re pretty sure you just gained the “corona 19”, or did your recently reopened local gym install a bunch of widening mirrors? Gulp. Probably not. Okay, well, what’s done is done, and now is the time to undo it!
Even if your local fitness center hasn’t reopened its doors, you might already be getting back into shape outside, and that’s great. But for all your hard work, the last thing you want to do is jeopardize your health afterward, and that’s when the real work starts.
You exerted physical strength when you jogged, lifted weights, or went for a rigorous bike ride, but now that your workout is over, it’s time to exert some mental strength, otherwise known as willpower.
Many health-conscious people may not realize how sugary their post-workout drink, shake, or meal replacement bar might be. With all of the options available on the market today, its easy to be distracted by health-promoting ingredients like amino acids, probiotics, vegetable-based protein, and other highly beneficial components that are included to help you recover. But if a whopping dose of sugar comes with them, unfortunately, the consequences to your health, and waistline, will far outweigh the pros.
You want to build-up muscle, not break it down. And one of the main reasons you exercise in the first place is to improve your energy levels throughout the day, so the last thing you want to do is cause a big crash. It’s time to ask yourself, has sugar been sabotaging your weight loss and strength training efforts?
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular post-workout options and how they could be harming your healthy intentions.
Whether you’re a professional bodybuilder or just an average joe who’s trying to “get his steps in”, at one point or another you’ve probably bought protein powder to incorporate into your health regime. The labels can be enticing. Brands use words like “high-protein”, which is honest advertising, but what these companies fail to print on their packaging is that a single serving size can have as much as 20 grams of sugar. That’s more sugar than in a generous scoop of ice cream!
If that isn’t dangerous enough, ingesting a surplus of protein can actually turn to sugar in your body. This process is called “gluconeogenesis”, which essentially means that your metabolism converts the excess protein into glucose. On a good day, the glucose would then get stored in your liver. But what do we know the body does when it’s trying to process too much sugar at once? If you guessed that your body will further convert the sugar into fat for long-term storage, then you’re right!
If the average post-workout protein shake has 40-plus grams of protein and 20-plus grams of sugar, and if you don’t carefully measure out a single serving size—it’s easy to accidentally scoop out too much powder—then you’re running a very high risk of converting that so-called health shake into real-life body fat!
Who could forget the origin stories of the premier sports drink, Gatorade? Created in 1965 by a team of scientists at the University of Florida, the first iteration of this world-renowned sports drink was used as an electrolyte supplement to rehydrate the Florida Gators, football team. Not only did it help to immediately replace critical body fluids of the players, but it also ended up being the secret weapon that gave the team the edge to win their games. But the original recipe was strictly water, sodium, potassium, phosphate, and lemon juice, with a negligible pinch of sugar added in, not for flavor, but because sugar is an important aspect of proper hydration when it’s kept in low, science-based volumes.
The notoriety of this newly named drink, Gatorade, caught on. Everyone wanted to drink it, but when the first recipe—the original one designed for football athletes—first hit the market, no one liked the taste. Almost seventy years later, people now love the taste of Gatorade and other energy drinks, but that’s because the recipe they use now includes a shocking 22 grams of sugar. Hey, we’re not picking on Gatorade. Most energy sports drinks pack in a staggering 14-38 grams of sugar—why, oh, why! People who are trying to make healthy choices are inadvertently harming their health when they tote their sports drinks around at the gym, or worse, sip bottle after bottle throughout the day!
Sugar-conscientiousness has caught on in the sports drink industry, too, but unfortunately, the alternatives ingredients that these energy drinks are now being made with are full of insulin-spiking chemicals that can cause some people headaches and other people diarrhea… And for some lucky people, they experience both! Yeah, nothing says “beach body” like not being able to leave your bathroom, yikes!
MEAL REPLACEMENT BARS
Who doesn’t love a good meal replacement bar? After a workout, you probably feel starved, and these single-serving protein-packed bars provide all the nutrition you need. They’re fast, convenient, and tasty. But along with providing you with all the nutrition you need post-workout, unfortunately, they also provide you with sugar, and its evil twin—sugar alcohol.
Yes, we said “evil twin”. You probably don’t have to be convinced that sugar isn’t healthy when it’s consumed in large volumes and especially when it’s been refined. But did you know that the sugar alternative “sugar alcohol” can be extremely detrimental to your health in ways that make natural sugar look like a shot of B-12?
Sugar alcohols have been around for decades, and they have been popular for just as long. They’ve been advertised as the healthier sugar option and with strong marketing in place, most people understand that sugar alcohols are not the real thing, though they look and taste like it. Sugar alcohols are categorized as a carbohydrate, but because they cannot be fully digested by the human body, they are also categorized as a fiber. Don’t get too excited, though, not all fiber has been created equal and the particular fiber that comes from sugar alcohols can cause stomach upset, bloating, a wicked case of the farts, and—drum roll, please—diarrhea...
Do you know what won’t have you running to the bathroom “before it’s too late”?
Our all-natural sweetener is made from organic, non-GMO stevia leaves. It’s alcohol-free, chemical-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, and diabetic-friendly because it’s made from the stevia plant. But unlike other stevia leaf products, ours is free of a bitter aftertaste, and we never include sucralose, saccharin, xylitol, or sorbitol—otherwise known as the “conspirators” that the FBI should be looking into on behalf of our bowels.
It will require creativity and ingenuity, but you can make your own protein shakes, energy drinks, and meal replacement bars using Sweetly Stevia as part of your post-workout regimen. If you’re acquainted with our blog, then you’ve already tried out some of our delicious recipes! Never miss out on a recipe or blog post again, click the Sweetly Stevia subscribe button at the bottom of the blog page and be the first to know!