Now that you’re done with your workout, it’s time to fuel up at the juice bar! Some drinks have fillers, and they are geared toward profit while others are the real thing.  How can a gym member order a juice bar item that is genuine? We dive into this common issue to find out.


First Up: When and Where


Before you figure out what drinks to skip and which to focus on, you need to know when the best time to fuel up at the juice bar really is. Is it before you get sweaty, or after your fat burning supersets? Stopping off at the juice bar before your workout can be beneficial but know what you’re getting into before you slurp it down. Your body needs carbs to push through the workout you have ahead, but it doesn’t need all that sugar. You may find it’s easier to skip the juice bar and fix a quick egg scramble or oatmeal before leaving the house. Then, you can hit your post-workout snack at the juice bar.


Navigating Your Way Around the Café


If your gym has some version of a café (juice bar, full service café, etc.) it can be tempting to stop off, grab a post-workout snack and chat it up with friends before heading out. The tricky part is not overdoing it. Here’s some tips for staying in check, and determining which options are just a ploy for gyms to make a profit, and which ones are the real thing:


  • Watch out for the sugar! Juice bars are everywhere, and so is the sugar in those tasty smoothies. Fruit does contain plenty of fiber and other nutrients but having too much of it can actually reverse the hard work you just did at the gym!
  • Choose whole fruit when possible. No matter what you opt for at the juice bar, just don’t make it a daily habit. “Some people theorize that drinking the juice versus eating the fruit allows the nutrients to be better absorbed by the body, but as a registered dietitian, I always recommend eating fruit versus drinking the juice.”


So how do you avoid the bad, when it’s right there at your gym and convenient? Be choosy. Do your research on that peanut butter and vanilla shake, or the mango tango smoothie you love. How much sugar does it have? Calories? Carbs? Be wary of the ‘promotional’ juice blends, as gyms tend to push out the higher priced, higher sugar items (they’re tasty, but they’ll cost you!) Combining juice with a healthy fat and protein can be a sensible step towards healthier snacking. Meal prep before you hit the gym and you’ll avoid the trap.