The drink you need when you’re working out — especially when you’re doing endurance work. It’s good for when you’re playing golf, too. (Golf requires the dexterity and coordination of a violinist, but it feels as physically demanding as running a marathon!)
Originally published 2007
It’s good to have water or an energy drink, especially if you’re a long way from home and you start feeling tired. Here’s my “patented” Fitness Formula, virtually guaranteed to prevent bonking:
- 24 oz of water
The mixes listed below call for 10 or 16 oz. of water. 24 oz allows for multiple mixes.
- 1 scoop of electrolyte formula
I like Cytomax. But you can also use children’s Pedialyte formula.
- 1 scoop of fiber power
I like the Fiber35 fruit & vegetable blend. Tastes like fruit juice. The fiber slows digestion, so you get a slow energy release as you go along. And it holds water in the intestines where it can be re-absorbed — something that seems like a much better idea than chugging down water to “hydrate”, and then peeing it all out before it does any good. It does make you thirsty after a while, though, so it’s good to have extra water on hand.
- 1 scoop of unsweetened iced tea mix (optional)
Caffeine stimulates the adrenals, so they can produce more of the enzyme that “unlocks” the fat stores, allowing fat to be burned for energy. It also stimulates the heart, so you work harder. But all that stimulation comes at a price — there’s more stress on your body. So use sparingly.
Variations on this formula also make a great morning drink or afternoon pick-me-up.
- I make tea in the morning, so I’ll skip the ice tea mix. And instead of the Fiber-35 powder, I’ll grind up a teaspoon of flax seeds. The seeds provide plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as fiber. (See Oils and Essential Fatty Acids.) The fiber helps me feel full until lunch, both it and the Fiber-35 are heavy on insoluble fiber. Since the electrolyte mix has a lot of sugar, I’ll add a teaspoon of “Sprinkle Fiber” (100% soluble fiber) to make sure that sugar doesn’t digest too quickly.
- For an afternoon pick-me-up, add a scoop of protein powder instead of the ice tea mix, and go light on the fiber. (It’s best to avoid caffeine after 2pm. Otherwise it’s hard to go to sleep, since it takes 10-12 hours to clear the system. And fiber slows digestion — so if it takes too long to digest, it doesn’t pick you up until you’ve gone home for the day!) I like the rice-based protein powders I find in the health food store, but egg-based versions are also terrific. (Whey based versions are a distant third on my list, because whey is a dairy protein that tends to reduce my energy and clog up my sinuses. But it may work for you if it doesn’t have that effect.)
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