One of the biggest questions I get asked by clients is how to rehydrate during and after a workout.
Clients often jump to high sugar electrolyte drinks like Gatorade and Powerade to replenish. Although these drinks do contain electrolytes, the bad properties out weight the good. These sports drinks are pumped full of sugar and chemicals, and do more harm than good. These sports drinks will increase the blood sugar and cause a spike in insulin, which will give you a boost of energy but will ultimately lead to a big crash. Long term these drinks can lead to weight gain, and possibly type 2 diabetes due to the high sugar content and the high fructose corn syrup.
The sugar in these drinks cause you to crave more. So you end up drinking more than you initially expected. You take one sip, and it’s so good you want more! Sugar is a drug, and can create similar responses in the brain to cocaine. Crazy?!? Is this how you want to hydrate your body??
I recently had a client reach out to me looking to find ways to rehydrate during and after her golf game. The Florida heats is excruciating this time year, and golf is such a long sport that it is key to hydrate properly on the course and after the game too.
Water is simply the best way to hydrate! If you drink enough water (minimum 64 oz, but most people need up to 100 oz per day) during the day, simply adding a few more cups of plain water during and after your workout is enough. For extreme athletes, those who play professional sports, marathon runners, triathletes, or anyone with an electrolyte imbalance should consider a hydration supplement.
My favorite way to hydrate, in addition to plain water, are NUUN tablets. They provide electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, and are very low in sugar and they have very few ingredients. This is not a sponsored post, I just really love this product! Gatorade and Powerade, among other sports drinks, have made a big name for themselves as the top sports drinks. They have campaigns on how beneficial they are during and after your workouts and games. The one thing these companies do not discuss are there ingredients. These sports drinks, all varieties, are loaded with sugar!! They started with high fructose corn syrup, which has now been linked to cause diabetes, obesity and other major health problems. Some varieties of these beverages have switched to artificial sweeteners, so the sugar content on the food label may appear lower or even zero… but this is not true. Artificial sweeteners are actually worse for you than regular sugar!! It makes me so upset that companies find it okay to put these ingredients in their products. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to diabetes, obesity, brain tumors, and several other health conditions. These sweeteners are not just in sports drinks, they are actually in several common beverages you can find in any grocery store. It is so important to read the food labels on everything you consume. You are what you eat. The cleaner and more pure the better.
If you need help reading food labels, check out this article and video interview here.