When it comes to athletic performance and exercise, hydration is key. Because the human body is comprised of more than 70 percent water, drinking plenty of fluids helps maintain and replenish what you lose in the heat of competition or exercise. The type of workout, duration of exercise, and environmental conditions all affect how someone should think about hydrating.
When we sweat in the gym or outside we lose water, yes, but also electrolytes. We lose sodium, potassium, and magnesium. It is extremely important that as we hydrate, we make sure it is with a balance of electrolytes as well.
Sports drinks, or electrolyte-enhanced beverages, help to replenish water, electrolytes, and energy lost during exercise. They often contain a source of energy-boosting carbohydrates, as well as a balance of potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium, which help combat dehydration, replete glycogen stores, and delay fatigue.
Sports drinks also have sodium in them, so they’re going to make you thirsty. When you’re thirsty, you want to drink more. In doing so, you’re keeping your body hydrated. That’s a good thing! Water is still important but sports drinks replace those nutrients you naturally lose during a game or exercise.
Individual hydration needs can vary based on activity level. During a workout, our bodies sweat to help cool us down. Some athletes sweat more than others, especially if they're working out in a hot or humid environment.
Here’s What to Look for in an Electrolyte Drink
Sports drinks come in many forms, including ready-to-drink beverages, powders, and tablets. If you are looking for the easiest, grab-and-go option, a ready-to-drink sports drink is usually available at any grocery or convenience store. If you travel frequently or simply want a more portable sports drink, choosing a tablet or powder that you mix with water may be preferable.
When you sweat, your body loses fluid and electrolytes. Sports drinks contain electrolytes—including potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium—to help combat dehydration. They work with your body to improve the absorption of fluid and replenish mineral losses. Look for a sports drink that contains at least sodium and potassium.
If you are engaging in endurance activities or strenuous sports, you may need a sports drink that is high in calories. When choosing a sports drink, consider your activity level, caloric expenditure, and energy needs. You may choose a sports drink higher in calories if you are training for a marathon. However, if you are exercising for over an hour but trying to lose weight, you may want to replete electrolytes without consuming extra calories.
Many sports drinks contain sugar to help athletes replace carbohydrates lost during exercise quickly. If you watch your sugar intake or prefer a sugar-free option, some tablets and powders are low in sugar. Avoid sugar-free sports drinks that contain potentially harmful artificial sweeteners!
Ultimately, taking steps towards better mental and physical health will complement one another. When you have a good attitude and you feel well physically, you’ll feel less vulnerable to stress. Moreover, you’ll feel as though the world has more possibilities and there’s more to look forward to during your workouts.
Paul Millsap, 4x NBA All-Star and Hydra-Guard Partner has always made his nutrition and health a priority, which reflects his elite performance and extremely successful career in the NBA. Paul’s ability to maintain playing at the highest level has been nothing short of amazing. It's a professional career that every athlete strives for.
The key for longevity in any athlete’s career is to take care of their bodies first and that's something that Paul has obviously done very well. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink caught Paul’s attention in early 2019, when he officially partnered with them in efforts to bring the brands healthy benefits more readily available to more households across the country.
"Being a professional athlete naturally encourages me and my family to live a healthy lifestyle. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink raises the bar to unprecedented heights with its beverage innovation. It’s packed with electrolytes, and being an all natural sports drink with low sugars is a game changer, this product is changing the industry," says Paul.