Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hydration Questions Answered

Often when I see people at the gym working out they are toting their traditional sports drink alongside them. I admit I have done this as well, but before you go out and spend a fortune on the newest gatorade or electrolyte drink take these points into consideration.

  1. Sports drinks are loaded with extra sugar and calories that you do not need, in fact, if you are working out less than an hour or at a low intensity water will be just fine and much better for your body. After all, do you really want to reverse all the progress you made with your workout by replenishing those calories from sugar in your sports drink?
  2. If you are working out longer than an hour or at a high intensity a sports drink may be necessary because water alone cannot replace the sodium you are losing. 
  3. Sports drinks taste better than water so you will be more likely to hydrate yourself during the workout.
Alternatives to sports drinks are:
  • Traditional water - for shorter, less intense workouts
  • Coconut water - packed with 5 essential electrolytes and as much potassium as a banana, coconut water can rehydrate as well as the leading sports drink without the sugar and calories. It tastes great too! (I recommend VitaCoco). 
  • Lemon water - if you like your water flavored but don't need the extra calories 

As always, it is up to you to gauge the intensity and needs of your body during a workout, but if you want to cut down on extra calories try one of the alternatives. You just might find that you like it!