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Drink your water people!

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Anytime a person is involved in physical activity, especially during hot temperatures, hydration becomes extremely.    When a person works out for instance, fluids and electrolytes are lost through sweat as a means of regulating body  temperature.  Failure to replace the fluids lost from sweat results in dehydration, which can  lead to harmful weight loss, as well as cramps. But with sports drinks becoming increasing popular the question that tend to be asked is,  “What’s better, water or Gatorade to hydrate the body?”

To keep the body hydrated a person needs water to deliver nutrients to the  cells, regulate body temperature, and carrying out waste products. The  Institute of Medicine suggests that men consume around 13 cups of total fluids a  day and women consume about 9 cups, which includes water from other beverages as  well as high-water containing foods. A good indicator of hydration is to drink  enough fluid so that the body does not feel physically thirsty and so that it  produces regular, light-colored urine. The darker the urine the more likely you are dehydrated. It is important to replace water lost  from the body, especially when exercising, because the body loses this water  through sweat.

Gatorade is a blend of electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, that are  found naturally in the body.  It also contains carbohydrates (sugar) that are used to help replace lost fluid  from the body through sweat during high intensity physical activity. The  National Athletic Training Association (NATA) recommends that sports drinks  should be below 8 percent in carbohydrate content.  Any more than this will  impede the rate of fluid emptying from the stomach and absorbed by the  intestine. The sodium in sports drinks enables the body to retain fluid that is  lost through sweat.  Sports drinks are a useful fluid replacement when taken as  recommended. They are high in calories to help replace energy lost during  exercise. Highly active people and especially athletes have a greater need for  fluid replacement with sports drinks in addition to water.

If you are participating in intense exercise I recommend water to aid in hydration before, during and after physical activity to keep the body in balance.  Sports drinks are generally  preferred over water only when exercising at a high intensity, for a long  duration of time (90 minutes) and/or in high temperatures.   Additionally, when participating  in vigorous exercise, a carbohydrate drink, like Gatorade, helps replace  glycogen stores lost during exercise. According to the American College of  Sports Medicine (ACSM), a carbohydrate replacement found in a sports drink such  as Gatorade should be used after an hour or more of high intensity activity of  lower intensity activity lasting longer than an hour. Drinking water along with  sports drinks is often an excellent combination during activity. Water should be the main fluid replacement for activities of lower intensity or duration or  during periods of inactivity and throughout the day.  Gatorade should not be consumed casually like I have seen many people do recently.  It should be used only after intense exercise lasting for more than one hour.

Carbohydrate and electrolyte levels in Gatorade and other sports drinks are what  aids in hydration during vigorous exercise. Carbohydrates are essentially a mix  of sugars. For this reason and the calorie content, it is important to recognize  that sports drinks such as Gatorade should not be consumed as regularly as water or as the sole fluid replacement. It is intended to supplement water, not replace it. And, for many, drinking Gatorade without physical exertion is unnecessary, and possibly even worse for you than simply drinking water.

For example, a 30-minute walk is an excellent cardiovascular activity, but does  not require drinking a sports drink such as Gatorade afterwards. In this case,  drinking water will suffice. If you participate in a workout or other physical activity for more than one hour, than Gatorade might help, but for regular training sessions, water is best.

I personally don’t drink Gatorade and instead use 90X Results and Recovery formula that provides everything the body needs following intense exercise such as P90X, Insanity or AsylumOther than that I drink water.


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