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Is Water Enough for Hard Workouts?

There are a lot of different brands and types of sports drinks out there, so how do we know which ones are the best ones to drink? A lot of that depends on exactly what your activity levels are and what type of hydration needs your body has.

Your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work properly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate your joints. Water is needed for overall good health. Now, if you consider yourself a modern athlete like me, you probably need a little more than just water to make sure you stay properly hydrated at all times in order to maximize the results from all of your hard work!

Your choice of hydration depends on whether your primary goal is rehydration, keeping your body cool and maintaining fluid balance, or replenishment of energy, restocking sugar and electrolyte stores. As a general rule, the higher the amount of carbohydrates in your beverage, the slower the absorption rate is.

Most sports drinks lie in the middle of the spectrum regarding absorption rate. While water is the most readily absorbed, drinks like fruit juice have the greatest amount of sugar concentration and are the least absorbable. Most sports drinks contain a higher amount of sugar than that of our body fluids and are not readily absorbed into the bloodstream which is not optimal for hydration.

  • Sports drinks include dissolved minerals like sodium, plus carbohydrates. That means sports drinks reach the bloodstream faster than water.

  • Minerals like sodium play a big role in regulating fluid balance, and they help determine how fluid interacts with muscle fibers, other cells, and your blood. Since sports drinks contain these minerals, they help you maintain an ideal fluid balance.

  • Sodium also stimulates thirst, so you’ll be prompted to drink more.

Remember! 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. If we sweat and work hard, then simply replace our sweat with plain water then we are simply diluting our body. This is far from beneficial and can even become dangerous (look up hyponatremia). In order for us to optimize the way our muscles forcefully contract and even relax we must keep our electrolyte levels topped off. Considering the effects that the sun and warmer temperatures can have on your body and your performance, and to be sure to get appropriate hydration are a must.

Not only that, but in order for us to continue to pump oxygen-rich blood through our muscles at an efficient rate we must prioritize our hydration with these electrolytes, specifically sodium, so that our blood doesn’t become more viscous or thicker. The thicker our blood becomes the harder it is to pump through our bodies and because that is what delivers oxygen to our muscles, we are in trouble especially when it comes to a drop in our performance.

Modern Athletes may need to work with a sports nutritionist, preferably a registered dietitian, to ensure they consume enough calories and nutrients to maintain their body weight, optimize performance and recovery, and plan a timing strategy that suits their body, sport, and schedule.

Many professional athletes endorse the use of sports drinks to better prepare them and to stay mentally and physically sharp throughout their season. Minnesota Vikings’ Running Back Alexander Mattison also emphasizes the importance of sports drinks like Hydra-Guard in his preparation to play at the NFL level. “I believe that staying Properly Hydrated with products such as Hydra-Guard is very important because as an athlete, it becomes part of a healthy lifestyle choice and it helps me to prevent any injuries,” says Alex. Check out Hydra Guard's online store and use the code JOAO10 for a special discount on your checkout now!

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