Exercise undoubtedly increases oxidation in the body. So both athletes and sometimes-gym-goers alike need more anti-oxidants than those who don’t exercise. Vitamin C in particular has been studied to replace losses from the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is released during exercise, and is known to catabolise (eat up) muscles for energy. Carbohydrates are needed to fuel this extra activity, and amino acids (protein) for muscle repair/growth. Vitamins and minerals are necessary to allow cellular energy production. The best sources of vitamins & minerals are through fruit and vegetables.
Before training, ensure you have a higher carb (rather than fat) meal with plenty of B vitamins. The B vitamins are water-soluble which cannot be stored in the body, and are needed for mental and physical energy.
Rehydration is also essential to replenish fluid losses from sweat and increased respiration. Fresh juices are the perfect formula of readily available electrolytes, fluid, carbs and fibre. Serious hydration after a workout will allow the body to cool down efficiently and enhance muscle definition. Studies have shown that coconut water is as effective as sports drinks for rehydration following strenuous exercise.
So ditch the sports drinks over fresh juice hydration with all the natural goodies your body needs.