It’s important to keep in mind that, when it comes to intensive or prolonged exercise, calories and carbohydrates actually support weight loss and fitness. “It’s a contradiction, but you really do need the calories to perform well,” says Barbara Lewin, RD, LD. “The calories are what’s enabling you to work out at your best. if you’re not well-fueled, you’re not going to work out as hard.”
Lewin, a sports nutritionist who works with professional and Olympic athletes, as well as “regular” gym-goers, shares her go-to mix for a healthful, natural alternative sports drink.
- 3.5 cups water
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
An eight-ounce serving provides 50 calories and 110 mg sodium, according to Lewin.