Whether you’re strengthening your core in a yoga class or working your booty off in a high intensity spin class, chances are you’re getting your sweat on. The longer you work out and the harder you go, the more you will sweat away key nutrients.
Sweat contains electrolytes, especially sodium and chloride. Along with water, these electrolytes need to be replaced to prevent fluid imbalance within your body. Research shows that fluid deficits greater than 2% of body weight can compromise cognitive function and aerobic exercise performance, especially if you’re in a hot environment.
To combat this, it’s key that you stay hydrated. Depending on your workout, water may do the trick, or if you’re really going after it, you may need the extra support of a sports drink. Check out what both provide and decide what’s best for you!
h20 for those on-the-go.
Water is doing a LOT of heavy lifting inside of that body of yours. It carries nutrients throughout the body, serves as a solvent for minerals, vitamins, amino acids and glucose, cleanses the tissues and blood of wastes, and aids in maintaining the body’s temperature. Whoa—it’s a real workhorse!
To keep all of these functions going and maintain a healthy hydration status, you need to drink adequate amounts of water. While water needs vary depending on your diet, environmental temperature and humidity, altitude and your personal activity level, a general guideline is that men should consume around 13 cups of water a day and women should consume nine cups.
While drinking just water is beneficial, you may want to consider a sports drink if you’re participating in a strenuous activity for greater than 45 minutes. The added benefits could do wonders!
sports drinks for the win.
A quality sports drink not only provides fluid, but it also supplies carbohydrates and electrolytes often lost when sweating. When shopping for a sports drink, look for these key ingredients:
- Carbohydrates: Carbs provide additional fuel to help you get through your workout.
- Sodium: The most common electrolyte in sports drinks, sodium helps to replace sweat losses and stimulate thirst so that you keep on drinking.
- Potassium: While exercising does not necessarily increase the need for more potassium, individuals who tend to sweat more may need more potassium in their diets.
- Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA): If you need a sports drink for the purpose of recovering, having BCAA within the drink will help support muscle protein synthesis, which can break down during exercise. It will also help protect against harmful free radicals that can damage muscle cells.
- No artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners: A lot of sports drinks are loaded with artificial additives. Look for a label that is free of those things, utilizing botanical extracts and plant-based ingredients instead.
After all that, do you know what you’re filling your bottle with? If you’re taking things easy or just trying to maintain your health, fill it up with water. However, if you’re taking your body to its limit, add a scoop of a sports drink and shake up your hydration.