Best and Worst Drinks to Sip Before a Workout Slideshow

Best and Worst Drinks to Sip Before a Workout Slideshow

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A 2009 study done by the University of Illinois-Urbana showed that drinking caffeine one hour before a workout can actually help reduce muscle pain during exercise. A more recent study done by Coventry University in England found that caffeine might also help you work out longer and more intensely. Try sipping a cup the next morning you are ready to hit the gym.

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There is nothing better than water for your workout. A classic choice, water gives you what you need to stay hydrated during your workout and is the best way to replace lost fluids. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, try to drink two to three cups of water during the two to three hours before exercise.

Packed with vegetables, V8 is a great source of potassium and sodium, two electrolytes you sweat out during intense exercise. Choose the low sodium variety, as it still supplies plenty of sodium for your workout. Try drinking an 8-ounce glass an hour before you exercise to get 900 mg of potassium (20 percent of your daily needs!) and 140 mg of sodium.

Coconut is quite the trend recently, and for good reason. It naturally contains the potassium, sodium, and magnesium that sports drink companies pump their drinks with. It also contains less sugar then traditional sports drinks like Gatorade (12 grams of sugar in a 14-ounce serving as opposed to 14 grams of sugar in 8 ounces of Gatorade).

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Like coffee, green tea contains caffeine, which can benefit your workout. On top of that, green tea is one of the best sources of ECGD, an antioxidant that has been shown to have weight loss benefits. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was shown that ingesting green tea extract before exercise helped men burn 17 percent more fat during a 30-minute cardio workout.

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Sure, fruit smoothies have the image of being an innocent beverage, but take a closer look at the nutrition facts at your favorite smoothie store and youll be in for a surprise. Jamba Juice's pre-workout smoothie has 380 calories and 62 grams of sugar.

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The store-bought varieties of this classic beverage are made with the same sweeteners as soda and contain just as much sugar. So the damaging effects of lemonade on your workouts are the same as soda. If you crave that citrus kick, try making flavored water by soaking lemons or limes in ice water.

There are rows upon rows of energy drinks at the grocery store these days. They all claim to provide the energy you need to power through anything, whether it's an intense workout or a long day at the office. But what isn't mentioned is the high amount of calories and sugar found in these drinks. Rockstar is one of the worst, with one 16-ounce can coming in at 280 calories and 62 grams of sugar.

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After hearing that coffee is a good beverage choice before your exercise, you may be tempted to drop by Starbucks on your way to the gym. Think twice: The amount of actual coffee in most of Starbucks blended drinks is minimal. A Venti will set you back 580 calories, 22 grams of fat, and 75 grams of sugar. It may be hard to get moving on the treadmill after downing one of these.

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It is a well-known fact that soda is nutritionally void and loaded with sugar, so it should come as no surprise that is a poor choice for your pre-workout drink. Soda's high sugar content on top of its carbonation can lead to not only a sugar crash but also stomach cramps and nausea during your workout.

Best and Worst Drinks to Sip Before a Workout Slideshow