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You’re in the middle of working out and you’re thirsty. You reach into your gym bag to get something to drink and what do you pull out? Water? Gatorade? A protein shake? It can often be a confusing choice with so many options to drink to rehydrate yourself when you’re exercising. We took a look at the most common exercise beverages and broke it down to make working out a little easier for you.
No matter how many options there are out there for you to drink: energy drinks, sports drinks, protein shakes, etc. The number one choice is water. It has zero calories and replenishes your body; water would be the ideal. However, the reality is that some Belles may like something flavored to drink, and may prefer other options. At the end of the day, you just want to be hydrating yourself. But if we’re going to take other things into consideration, here’s how the rest of the options break down.
“What To Drink When You Exercise” from Medicinenet.com states that the longer the amount of time you spend exercising and sweating, the more you would need to drink sports drinks. It all comes down to your need for what they call “fluid replacement” which would basically be necessary if you exercise for more than 1 1/2 hours. Sports drinks usually have carbohydrates in them which can help keep your energy up and make you feel less tired when your performing. They also help you replenish electrolytes and other minerals which can be lost if you break a sweat.
If you’re exercising for under an hour, the reasons for drinking a sports drink don’t really apply, so regular water would be sufficient.
While these are beneficial in terms of being nourishing and replenishing your body, drinks like Gatorade have up to 50 calories, 110 mg of sodium and no nutritional value in terms of your vitamin intake.
Energy drinks will give you the boost of energy thanks to their caffeine content and therefore can increase your endurance and reaction time. The problem is that they aren’t really helping your body in terms of its performance as a whole.
While they aren’t the worst to drink while exercising, they definitely aren’t the best choice either.
When it comes to vitamins, the article states that the best way to get the necessary daily intake is a nutritious diet. Eating the right foods will provide you with not just the correct vitamins, but the energy you need to get through your workout. Vitamin waters have added sweetener, so regular water with lemon or lime would be a better and healthier choice
Remember to take into consideration the duration of your activity and the amount you normally sweat. Drinks like Gatorade are better for longer, more high intensity workouts, while energy drinks and vitamin waters should be consumed in moderation. Next time you’re heading to the gym or hydrating take these things into consideration. Choose what’s best for you and experience more energy and a healthier you.