"the beer I had for breakfast..." (Kris Kristofferson)Rule #47 as an excuse. I don't really think it's the best energy drink around. On the other hand neither are the ones being sold as energy drinks. I was thinking about this while looking at the bathroom scale this month. I mentioned in a post a while back that I had gained a bunch (55 lbs) of weight. Not making excuses, but my house had burned down and the combination of stress, disruption in normal activity, eating restaurant and convenience foods as well as drinking too often put a warm layer of fat over my frame. I am pleased to say that I have lost over 40 of those 55 pounds and am on track to getting back to "normal." Normal for me is fluctuating between 215 and 210 on a seasonal basis. Years of weight training have put a lot of upper body mass on me which I don't intend to lose. It doesn't help when I'm riding against the wind, and is a downright pain in the ass climbing, but life's full of little trades.
Back to the matter at hand. I took my time taking the weight off, once I had control of my time and activity again, and I did it without dieting. I simply got back to my normal activity routine, amped it up a bit, and focused on eating high protein meals. There is no real mystery to it. I don't count calories or carbs or fat but focus on quality protein and the rest took care of itself. I don't weigh my food or get group support from anybody.
Now my son will tell you that I am a total health fanatic when it comes to eating, but he is wrong. I have developed that reputation because I make a few choices others do not. There are simple choices one can make when shopping: fresh is better than frozen, frozen better than canned, "natural" is better than regular, certified organic is probably the best choice.
Those are pretty simple choices, get stuff that is processed the least, you will be more likely to enjoy real food. Most of those choices are more expensive, but hell, it's your food! That is no place to compromise quality in your life.
Two consistent choices I have made over the years is to limit or eliminate processed sugar and "enriched" flour from my diet whenever possible. It's almost impossible to eliminate them. You find those products in nearly everything served by restaurants, but they are not really food. The known nutrients in those two raw products are removed during processing and sold back in other products ranging from animal feed to cosmetics. Of course the government won't allow them to sell the remains, so chemical substitutes are used to replace them, so obviously the remains have been "enriched." We get cheaper flour, bread and sugar as a result, but artificial nutrition as well. I think there is no coincidence between the epidemic rise in obesity and diabetes in America and the proliferation of these two products in our diet in the past 50 years. When it comes to flour, I have always used whole grain, stone ground flour. It still has all the good stuff left. The difference is really dramatic. When you eat a big plate of spaghetti made with enriched flour, you will feel like taking a nap. When you eat the same portion made from whole grain flour, you will feel satisfied and energetic. I don't know what that tells anybody else, but I would say the enriched flour product is screwing with your blood sugar and insulin levels. Do that every meal of every day for 30 years and guess what? It's just a personal observation, I could be wrong, but I doubt it. I don't think very many sports drinks and "gel" packets are much better. Most are loaded with sugar like sodas, and sugar has to be used immediately or your body will store the energy as fat. I guess it's ok when you know you are going to need some energy for brisk ride, but really, a Snickers bar or PBJ will work, and be a lot more satisfying. The thing about using any of the sports nutrition is that they are so heavily laden with sugars it will prevent your body from leaching on the fat tissue for energy. If you want your body to consume the fat you have to rely on protein and not carbs. If you eat carbs, make sure they are the complex kind from whole food sources. That's what has been working for me, and I am trudging onward to a happy medium again. KISS.