Sports Supplement Drinks: Which Ones Work and How They Impact Hydration Levels
You hear a lot about sports supplement drinks and hydration levels, but it can be tough to separate the claims made by manufacturers from nutrition-based facts. It’s essential to understand the importance of staying hydrated when exercising, whether you’re doing high-intensity cardio for endurance, weight training for performance, or trying to reach other fitness goals. Only then can you choose the right beverage for your body and its needs.
Hardcore athletes and casual fitness enthusiasts alike must make sure to hydrate properly before, during and after a workout. Water, sports drinks, milk and other beverages regulate your body’s temperature and also keep your joints regulated, which can help avoid soreness after you exercise. Fluids also streamline the transmission of essential nutrients where they’re needed, increasing your overall health. When your hydration levels fall too low, such as during or after a strenuous fitness session, you can’t perform at the level you might expect. Even worse, you may experience fatigue, light-headedness, cramps, fainting and other severe dehydration symptoms.
One way to make sure you’re maintaining proper hydration levels is to check your urine periodically throughout the day, whether working out or not. If your urine is barely yellow or colorless, you’re probably in good shape as far as hydration. However, dark yellow or orange-tinted urine is a sign that you’re not getting enough fluids into your body. Drink water or sports supplement drinks and hydration levels should return to normal.
Top Sports Supplement Drinks
Stay Hydrated with H20: Water is the number one go-to at any time before, during or after exercising, as it’s free of preservatives, sugars and additives that you may not want in your body. However, it’s not always the best choice if you’re working out for longer than 60 minutes or engaging in extremely strenuous exercise. Water doesn’t have sodium, which helps the fluid get to the places in the body where it’s needed most.
Make Way for Milk: The nutrients in milk make it a top notch recovery drink after a workout. The body quickly absorbs its protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, replenishing depleted nutrients post-exercise. Research has also shown that milk can be just as effective as sports drinks or water for hydration levels, and its high protein levels can increase muscle growth.
Knock Back Some Pickle Juice: It might sound crazy to anyone but the professional athletes who have been using it for years, but pickle juice is a beverage you need to check out if you suffer from cramps in hot conditions. The concoction of water, salt, vinegar and sugar replenishes the electrolytes you lose when working out.
Swig a Sports Drink: These beverages take the hydrating benefits of water and give them a boost with the addition of carbs and sodium. Certain brands also add essential nutrients and protein, so check labels depending on your needs.
No matter what you choose from this array of options, you should always consider sports supplement drinks and hydration levels as your starting point. Your body needs the right balance of carbs, vitamins and sodium in order to take advantage of the sweat-session investment you’ve made. There are certainly other factors that you can weigh to find the right sports beverage for you, but hydration should be among the top considerations.