Sports Drinks

Lots of people (many of whom aren't burning that many calories) think sports drinks, such as Gatorade and other energy replenishers, are more nutritious than water. This is not true.

While these drinks have their place in a real endurance athlete's life, people who are simply working out do not need the extra calories (from sugar) that give these drinks their flavor and energy. In fact, most nutritionists consider sports drinks to be no healthier than soda. And soda has no nutritional value at all.

Even those bottled waters with additives that aren't sugar (such as teas or minerals) that claim to boost your mood or reduce fat are only marketing ploys. None of these bottled waters have been shown to effectively fulfill their claims.

The added sugar in sports drinks is not only bad for your waistline, but also hurts your teeth, too. If you do reach for these drinks every once in a while, be sure to at least rinse with water afterward to keep the sugar from hurting your enamel.

Make Your Own Sports Drink

If you do need to add some flavor to your water, try putting fruit in (orange is delicious, but you can even add watermelon or strawberries). Lots of spas offer their clients water with cucumber slices, which is highly refreshing.

You can also use fruit teas for flavor or, if you want, mix some juice with water to create a flavor you like. Some good additions to water include straight cranberry juice (not cocktail) with lime (it's like a virgin Cosmopolitan) or orange juice with a little cherry juice for a virgin Tequila Sunrise.

Stay Away from Anything Fizzy

Bubbles have no place in your belly when you're exercising, as they will create gas, which can lead to cramps and discomfort. Even drinking carbonated liquids after you exercise isn't good for you, as it creates a sense of fullness (that you can see if you look down at your torso) that takes away from the natural diuretic effect of exercise.

If you love the refreshing taste of bubbly water, save it for a few hours after you exercise, or have it with a meal. But try to sip it slowly to reduce the gas effect.

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