We all know that food products can be tricky sometimes. What do words like “natural” or “healthy” mean when included on labels? Some words are regulated, with the products required to meet certain standards before claiming them, while others are not. So when you see “sports food” advertised as a helpful nutritional option, you might wonder if these snacks are actually helpful and necessary.
That information is especially important to know if you’re following a medical weight loss plan. You’re paying closer attention to your nutrition and calorie count than ever, and you’re also working out regularly. So you want to offer your body the best fuel. Should “sports food” be a part of your plan?
In some cases, sports foods might be appropriate. Sports drinks that replace electrolytes can be helpful if you sweat profusely during a workout, especially on a hot day. An athlete can sweat out a day’s worth of sodium in the course of one intense exercise session. Replacing those lost electrolytes isn’t a terrible idea. Sports gels contain plenty of carbohydrates, but also have added B vitamins and sodium. The simple carbs are a concern with both of these options, but in some cases they can be appropriate.
On the other hand, some sports foods walk a fine line bordering junk food. The often contain a dozen or more processed ingredients, which don’t add anything necessary to your nutrition plan. If you’re looking for protein and carbs, there are plenty of ways to accomplish those macro goals without resorting to packaged snacks.
Whatever you decide to do about sports foods, the main thing to remember is your calorie count and nutritional goals. When following a medical weight loss plan, these are always your top priorities. Because some sports foods like sugary drinks contain way too many simple carbs and calories, they might not fit well into your overall nutrition plan.
Come to see us, and we’ll discuss your own goals in more detail. Then we can decide if sports foods could be helpful and necessary, or unnecessary and even a bad idea.