If you would like to ask a question click here

See our Archive of all the previous questions our expert has answered

Ask the Nutritionist
Search for more expert advice


How long do you need to exercise before you recommend drinking a sports drink? — S. Mindel, FL

Richard Cotton


When you exercise for longer than 90 minutes, your body''s carbohydrate stores will begin to deplete. Sports drinks can help slow that loss and improve performance. But most everyday workouts don''t last more than an hour and a half, so water will do the trick. Drink about eight ounces of water 20 minutes before your workout and sip another four ounces every fifteen minutes while exercising. Drink another glass or two afterwards to make sure you are fully re-hydrated.

Consider this at 50 calories per eight-ounce serving, drinking eight ounces of sports drink before, 12 during and 16 ounces after is 225 calories. Four workouts per week, 52 weeks a year adds up to 46,800 calories. At 3,500 calories per pound of fat, that''s 13 extra pounds gained DURING exercise. Stick with water during your everyday workout.

About Richard Cotton

Richard T. Cotton is the chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Richard oversees the ACE's studies and evaluations on fitness products and serves as the ACE's media spokesperson for these studies and other health and fitness issues. He has written numerous articles on health and fitness-related topics such as the importance of certification and safe and effective exercise techniques.

Sign up for FoodFit's FREE newsletters

Get healthy recipes, nutrition information and fitness tips!

privacy policy Submit


FoodFit is a part of HealthCentral
© 1999- The HealthCentral Network, Inc., Copyright All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy and Terms of Use