Friday, July 19, 2013

Is Soda Bad For You?

Is soda bad for you? I'm still surprised to get this question so often when there has been so much research and news about the negative health affects of soda on our health over the past decade. As you can see from the image above, soda and other drinks can contain incredibly large amounts of sugar. Is sugar bad for you? The short answer is, consuming at one time in these large settings is. Sugar has
many negative affects on the human body, but lets just stick to what it does to my readers who want to burn fat and build muscle... it will make you fat. End of story.

When you consume refined sugar like this, your body releases insulin to help break it down and transport it to the places in your body, like your cells, that need it for energy. The only problem is that when your body releases insulin, it also signals for your body to hold onto fat. So it your one of my readers who is heading to the gym each day and trying to pack on muscle get ripped and get ripped, drinking soda or drinks like the ones above will definitely hinder you in achieving your goals. Below are a few tips you need to keep in mind around drinks and sugar;

1. Drink Water or Unsweetened Ice tea
Consuming sugary drinks throughout the day will stop you from burning fat and can even dehydrate you. Stick to water or unsweetened ice tea.

2. Consume Sugar After You Workout
If you absolutely need to consume sugar, then you should consume it after you have done an intense muscle building workout. This is the one time of the day your muscle cells can utilize some of the sugar you consume. But note I said "some of the sugar". Working out each day and then throwing back a soda or other sugary drink may benefit muscle growth to some degree, but it will more than likely also still signal your body to hold onto fat. My advise would be to consume a very small amount of sugar, and stick to complex carbohydrates like brown rice or whole wheat pasta, that will digest a little slower and cause less of an insulin spike. If you're "bulking up" and arent caring about excess fat, then do what you feel comfortable with. If you're not sure, experiment with different quantities of sugar after you work out each week, and see what difference it makes to you body.

3. Stay Under 15 Grams Of Carbs Per Meal
If you're wanting to build muscle and not put on much excess fat, you'll still want to consume some carbs. Everyone's bodies reacts differently to carbs, so I tell people to experiment until they find what works for them. But as a general rule I say to stick to under 15 grams of carbs per meal to avoid any large insulin spikes.

4. Read The Label
If you like to consume a lot of variety of packaged drinks, always check the back of the label to see what the sugar and ingredient content is. You will be surprised how some drinks can be marketed as "healthy" but really contain large amounts of sugar (like the Nestle Iced Tea in the image above).

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