After your work out, how do you quench your thirst? Many people turn to sports drinks to replenish the fluids and electrolytes they’ve lost while exercising. However, most sports drinks contain high amounts of sugar, namely high fructose corn syrup (HCFS) – about two-thirds the sugar found in soda. Consuming sugar after doing exercise will affect your insulin sensitivity and human growth hormone (HGH) production.

There are more to these products than simply serving as “energy drinks” – they can actually do more harm than good. They do provide you a burst of energy, but after a while your energy drops. Your pancreas and other glands will then overwork themselves to balance out the sudden toxic stimulation to your blood sugar.

In addition to HCFS, sports drinks also contain ingredients that can harm your health, including artificial flavors and colors. “Energy drinks” also contain high amounts of sodium or processed salt in order to re-supply lost electrolytes when you sweat.

In a nutshell, when you’re drinking sports drinks, you’re consuming a chemical cocktail that can harm your health. Sports drinks that are labeled “low-calorie” and “sugar-free” often have artificial sweeteners that can damage your health further due to their toxic composition.

What Are Your Beverage Options After a Workout?

Pure drinking water is the best beverage to drink after exercising. While bottled water may seem like a wise and convenient choice, know that it is no better than sports drinks. About 40 percent of bottled water contains tap water that may not have had received any additional treatment.

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), bottled water contains over 30 contaminants, including Tylenol and pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, and pesticides. The plastic used in the bottles are also dangerous because they have chemicals that can contaminate the water. The leach rate of these dangerous compounds increases when the bottle is exposed to heat.

A safe option would be to bring your own purified water. Do not drink directly from the tap, as certain dangers, such as disinfection byproducts (DBPs) formed when chlorine reacts with organic matter, are present or remain after treatment done by water companies. Additionally, government agencies fail to keep certain chemicals in water regulated. To be safe, invest in water filters for pure, clean water for your whole family.

If you’re worried about replacing lost electrolytes, you can add a small amount of unprocessed natural salt, like Himalayan salt, to the water. This natural salt has up to 84 minerals that will support your biological functions.

Another type of beverage you can drink is fresh coconut water. Not only will this beverage hydrate you, it is also an excellent natural source of electrolytes.