What Hydrates Better Than Water

What Hydrates Better Than Water?

Woman Drinking Water

It’s important to keep yourself hydrated when you’re working out. Especially, in warm conditions.

There is a hydration debate – sports drinks or water? On one hand, you have the purists. H2O is the way to go! On the other hand, you have more studies showing you need more than just water. It isn’t as easy as people are making it out to be, though. It isn’t necessarily water vs. sports drinks, rather, the appropriate time for them. We have put together some more information for you to learn about hydration and the body.

Fluid Absorption Rate

The absorption of fluids into the body is largely dependent upon two factors. The first factor is the rate at which it is absorbed through the walls of the intestine. The second factor is the speed at which it is emptied from the stomach. Carbohydrates and electrolytes control the absorption rate. Sugar and electrolytes impact your fluid absorption rates. As a general rule, the higher the carbohydrate content of your beverage, the slower the absorption rate will be. Consequently, trying to maintain proper hydration and balanced electrolyte levels during a run with sugary sports drinks is difficult.

Still, water can pass through the body too quickly and without providing the necessary sugar to spark the insulin response and ignite the recovery process. Therefore, your choice for hydration will depend on whether your primary aim is rehydration or the replenishment of energy.

What to Drink Before, During and After a Workout?

Cyclist Drinking Water

We always hear that you need to drink a lot of water. While that is true, sports drinks after a certain amount of time are more crucial to refueling.

Before and during your run, rehydration is your main priority. This is especially important for training in warm conditions. Rehydration will allow you to maintain fluid balance and stay cool. Therefore, the best choice before and during a workout is water, heavily diluted sports drinks or water with electrolyte tablets. These provide your body with the best combination of electrolyte replacement and immediate absorption.

If you are doing continuous exercise for 60 minutes or less, than water is fine. However, beyond 60 minutes and if the intensity is high, you should consider a sports drink. The reason for this is because sports drinks include electrolytes, carbohydrates, and water. Electrolytes help to regulate nerves and muscles, carbohydrates help restore the body’s glycogen. In addition, try to avoid unnecessary amounts of simple sugars. Research also shows that high sugar drinks or energy bars an hour before your workout can cause you to fatigued quicker.

On the contrary to before and during, water is not the best choice for your recovery needs after your workout. Water or a diluted sports drink doesn’t contain enough sugars and electrolytes that your body needs in order to bring itself back into balance. The best options is a drink the contains a fair amount of sugars, electrolytes, and protein. At the very least, you should be drinking a sports drink after you exercise to help ignite the recovery process.

How Much Do I Drink?

Experts recommend the pee test. In other words, every time you urinate, check the color. The color should be of light lemonade. The darker the urine, the more dehydrated you are. The lighter the urine, the less dehydrated you are. Yes, it’s possible to be over hydrated. It can lead to headaches and rare medical conditions if you persistently are over hydrated. Our advice on how much, before exercising, take your weight and divide it by two. That represents the number of fluid ounces you should consume in a day. In other words, if you weigh 180 pounds, you should take in 90 ounces of water, which equates to about 5-6 bottles of water. Remember juicy vegetables and fruits, such as watermelon and cucumbers contain lots of fluids too.

In conclusion, it’s highly important to know when to hydrate yourself for the proper activity. All in all, what hydrates better than water is up to you, your body and your workout. Sports drinks are available to replenish your body and to help your body recover after a workout but you still can really never go wrong with water. For more direction on how to refuel your body, talk to one of the professionals at The Fitness Studio. We have trainers that are here to assist you with your fitness goals and are knowledgeable about nutrition and diet.