Are sports drinks healthy or should you steer clear of them?


When I started my home training routine, I was all about my body. I wanted to increase my resistance and strength and build as much muscle as possible. While both of these goals were unrealistic because I didn’t set out with a challenge in the long run in mind, the problem was that I wasn’t keeping myself hydrated properly.

I used to think that drinks like Gatorade and others are good for you, and that’s because they have loads of electrolytes. But one day, I realized that I didn’t have the least idea of what electrolytes really are.

Once I started doing a bit of research, I was shocked to discover that many of the drinks that are recommended to sports aficionados and athletes are actually rich in sugar and many other substances that are anything but healthy. Why in the world would I want to drink something sugary when I’ve just completed a two-hour workout?

Of course I’m dehydrated, but honestly I would rather drink a gallon of water instead of anything else. What I mean by this is that some drinks, and I am definitely not saying that all of them are the same, are just as ‘healthy’ as Coke.

I went online and looked for some reasons water is better than sports drinks. For one, it doesn’t have any calories, but it does hydrate the human body. These days, vitamin water is becoming more and more popular, and so I told myself that there should be some ways to make your own at home. I quickly found out that you can make your own cashew milk, for instance, or get your electrolytes from water and seeds, nuts, and fruit.

Obviously, I’m no longer interested in going to the gym, mostly because it costs money that I can save. Once I bought my kicking bag and a variety of other equipment, I decided that going to the gym three times a week was counterproductive because I could do everything I wanted in the comfort of my own basement. So, my case is unique because I don’t get exposed to the variety of sports drinks available in gyms. You know how those places are packed with refrigerators right at the door just in case you’re feeling a bit tired or thirsty. Therefore, the temptation no longer exists.

Honestly, I would much rather have a cup of coffee for a bit of extra energy once in a while than drink something that contains so many calories and sugar. Some of these drinks can have as many as two hundred calories, but water literally has zero.

The benefits of jumping rope


Jumping rope can be easily considered one of the best exercises out there. Whether you want to burn some calories, or you have no idea how to include some cardio in your routine, this is easily an idea you can apply. In case you’re still on the fence whether you should include jumping rope in your exercise regimen, here are some great reasons in its favor.



Scientists agree: there’s nothing like jumping rope when it comes to burning calories

They said it, not anyone else. I’m talking about scientists here that claim to know that 10 minutes of jumping rope are the equivalent of burning calories to jogging for 8 miles. So, who are we to contradict them? With an average of 0.1 calories consumed per jump, there aren’t too many other exercises out there, capable of faring better.


Jump Rope for Heart tells you about enjoying better cardiovascular health

There is a program called Jump Rope for Heart created by the American Heart Association, over 25 years ago. Jumping rope is, according to health care professionals, the perfect arch nemesis against heart disease and stroke.


Ideal for other athletic activities

Fitness specialists who insist on the importance of including jumping rope into your routine say that this type of exercise will improve your stamina and will prepare you well for other athletic activities. They state that while jumping the rope, you are building body awareness, which means that you will know, at any point, where your feet are.

This simple thing will connect your body to your brain while exercising, in a way that will develop healthy habits. You will find your balance better, and you will experience better coordination, as a result.


Developing bone density

Other fitness trainers also draw attention to the fact that jumping rope is ideal for developing bone density. Many activities that are supposed to do that can be hard on your joints, such as jogging, but jumping rope offers this incredible benefit without the risk of damaging your ankles since the shock of impact will be absorbed by both your feet.



It’s an affordable piece of equipment

Even the most expensive jumping ropes on the market cost very little. If creating your own gym at home sounds like a faraway dream, start small and first buy a rope. You will get plenty of exercise, and you won’t have to worry about purchasing costly equipment. A rope and two small weights are enough of a starting investment, and your wallet won’t suffer because of this.


Highly portable

No matter where you go, you will always be able to take your jumping rope with you. This just means that you won’t have to worry about skipping exercise while away from home.





4 ways to improve your workout


There is nothing worse that going through a terrible workout and the pain is even increased tenfold if you have to endure that every day. Supercharging your gym sessions is not going to be achieved by daydreaming alone to get the alternate setting. Here are four ways to improve your workout.

Pre-workout diet

Before doing workouts, eat slow-digesting carbs including whole grains for breakfast and lunch to keep insulin levels low. This will also help you burn more fat during the day. In addition, compared to fast-digesting carbs, slow-digesting ones help you maintain a higher level of endurance. Go for sweet potatoes, oatmeal, buckwheat, whole-wheat bread, and fruit.

Don’t partake of higher-fat meals such as fast food and packaged foods for up to four hours prior to every workout. High-fat meals hinder the capability of nitric oxide to dilate the blood vessels for a maximum of four hours so there is lower blood flow to your muscles, resulting in decreased muscle pump. This will cost a lot if you have invested in a nitric oxide supplement.

A green salad with the last whole-food meal is best before hitting the gym. So is 3 to 5 grams of creatine supplement and 20 grams of whey protein. Add 200 to 400 milligrams of caffeine a couple of hours before plus 3 to 5 grams of arginine 30 to 45 minutes prior to the workout. Put in two teaspoons of cocoa extract to your pre-workout protein shake and you should be ready to hit the gym equipment like a fine athlete.


During the workout

Doing the last sets with forced reps drives the growth hormone levels almost 4,000 percent higher than doing no forced reps. After reaching failure during the last set of each exercise, perform 2 to 3 forced reps but use them sparingly to keep from overtraining.

You don’t need to train to failure during every set as you only need to do that once to increase your strength. Focus on the specific muscle during training. Do not get distracted by other things even in the environment.

It also helps to vary the speed of your reps and to train with several partners as well. Listening to music while training jacks up your adrenaline levels.

It is not advisable to train too heavy for too long as it could inhibit instead of promoting muscle growth. Instability devices such as wobble boards and exercise balls can be counterproductive. They could result in a 40 percent decrease in strength than when you do bench exercises.

Do your cardio after the weight workout to prevent blunting the growth hormone by around 1,100 percent. In fact, you should perform cardio on a different day.

Don’t forget to execute pulling exercises with wrist straps on for more reps.



To help your body grow and repair itself after the workout over the next few days, it needs to get the right fuel that will also get it ready for the next workout. To achieve this, drink a shake with 20 grams each of casein and whey proteins. It will also significantly increase your muscle mass compared to simply taking whey and not casein.

Do stretches only after training and not before weightlifting since they can weaken you. You should also take 300 to 500 mg alpha-lipoic acid and 3 to 5 grams creatine with 50 to 100 grams of fast-digesting carbs.



Keep a constant state of readiness

If you are to maintain testosterone levels, cholesterol plays a vital role. You get 55 percent more strength and five times more muscle growth with a diet higher in cholesterol while weight training. At least 1 to 2 egg yolks with egg whites at breakfast and one meal of lean red meat a day are fine, as well as duck, shellfish, and liver as healthy cholesterol.

Relax in a hot tub or sauna every day and if you can, do workouts after 6 pm for 10 weeks to lose more body fat and gain more muscle. Four cups of tea each day for 6 weeks lowers cortisol levels for more muscle growth.