Sugar vs. No Sugar Drink After Training

The debate about taking sugar or non-sugar drinks after a workout often draws controversy. It is one of those marketing headaches for brands in the modern age where convenience foods are notoriously known via there “unrefined” or “processed” carbohydrate content. All sugars are carbohydrates known as simples carbs because they have a single sugar molecule. More about nutrition and health while you in training you can read in the sports medicine essay.

For instance, the ingredient label on a Pepsi can reads – 41 grams of carbs and 41 grams of sugar. The amounts are equivalent meaning every single sugar comes from carbohydrate.

 Pepsi responded to the marketing craze informed by connotations about the effects of sugar during exercise by launching zero sugar soda variations.

The Pepsi Zero Sugar was initially sold under the name Diet Pepsi Max until 2009, and then Pepsi Max until 2016. The soda has zero calories and no carbs or sugar. It is infused with ginseng and sweetened with anon-sugar, aspartame.

However, there is a notable difference in Pepsi Zero Sugar caffeine content compared to other cola beverages. In every 355ml of the soda, there are 69 milligrams of caffeine.

This is twice as much as the caffeine in other cola soda. For instance, Diet Pepsi, which has 36 milligrams of caffeine.

The upside of sugar

Sugar has its evils, but its benefits, especially for people who are active, cannot be understated. Despite the bad connotations attached to sugars, when taken in moderation, unrefined sugars can be very beneficial. Carbohydrates supply the necessary blood glucose used as fuel during a workout. The unutilized sugars are stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles, and act as energy reserves.

Unfortunately, the capacity of the body to store glycogen is very limited. The outcome is the unwanted conversion of any excess sugar into fat.

No athlete wants to hear that their body is converting excess sugar into fats, which may explain the obsession with diet soda. Therefore, moderation of sugar intake is critical to achieving the desired results during exercise.

The body’s own balancing mechanism is scientific evidence of the role of sugar in boosting performance during training.

However, sugar drinks post-workout elicit controversy.

The science behind no-sugar post workout

Scientific evidence shows the existence of a two-hour window after vigorous activity during which the human growth hormone (HGH) reaches peak levels. The levels of HGH are bound to drop significantly if a person consumes during this time. the release of the hormone may drop or stop entirely.

The absence of HGH may negate any benefits likely to have been gained had its release been maintained.

How exactly does this happen? Scientific studies show HGH plays an important regulatory role in homeostasis. It maintains fluid balance and is involved in the building of glycogen and burning of fat.

The increase in demand for energy during and after exercise trigger the conversion of stored glycogen to create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the active energy molecule used by cells.

The physiological process that occurs in muscles, which are in need of most energy during intense activity, is mostly anaerobic. This means glycogen reserves are depleted very first resulting in low blood glucose levels.

Diet soda in the context

Most varieties of diet soda marketed by Pepsi and Coke have zero calories and have no significant nutritive value. Carbonated water, colors, flavors, sweeteners, vitamins, or caffeine form the main ingredients in diet sodas.

While diet soda reduces sugar intake, its effects on weight loss are conflicting. Diet soda has been linked to a number of lifestyle diseases in observational studies, but there is no conclusive empirical evidence to give the findings credence.

Sugar post-workout, Yes or No?

After examining the HGH role in sugar metabolism, it is safe to say yes, if you want to maximize The release of HGH after exercise, you should definitely refrain from consuming sugary drinks. But will HGH be key to massive muscle gain or weight loss? The evidence is conflicting.

However, it is important to note that HGH action post exercise can have detrimental effects on the body as the body tries to replenish sugar levels when they run too low post-workout.

Athletes may benefit from HGH burning fat but suffer muscle loss due to depletion of its major component, glycogen.

Therefore, consuming sugar drinks post-training can help to ameliorate some of the unwanted effects of HGH which are discussed in detail here. Sugar intake post-exercise helps by:

  • Preventing muscle breakdown,
  • Promoting muscle growth and recovery,
  • Restoring glycogen stores,
  • Increasing fat metabolism and fat loss,
  • Improving performance, and
  • Aiding in weight loss.

Therefore, unless you are on a strict weight loss program, sugar drinks post-training represent a better alternative. No sugar drinks trigger high levels of HGH and can have unwanted effects as the body tries to compensate for low blood sugar levels experienced after workouts.