I see many commercials for hydration drinks on TV – the most recent one that had me shaking my head was an ad for chocolate milk as an ideal post-workout drink. HAH!
Rather than reaching for that awful tasting sports drink that is bright blue and full of sugar and artificial ingredients (we all know which one I am alluding too…) try these easy and healthy alternatives during or after your workouts. I will often sip on them if I am out in the hot sun or sweating on the beach as well!
Water. I know right, what a concept?! The reality is, unless you are really exerting yourself in a very physical work out or spending the majority of the day in very hot sun, water will probably be sufficient for your needs, as long as you are remembering to eat balanced meals and snacks. Please try not to buy plastic bottles of water – they are bad for the environment and bad for your health! Instead grab a stainless steel water bottle that you can fill up all day long and quench your thirst. (I think this one is pretty cute, I have it in two sizes!)
Coconut water. It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports drink. Ounce per ounce, most unflavored coconut water contains 5.45 calories, 1.3 grams sugar, 61 mg of potassium, and 5.45 mg of sodium compared to Gatorade, which has 6.25 calories, 1.75 grams of sugar, 3.75 mg of potassium, and 13.75 mg of sodium. (taken from WebMD). Bonus – it tastes delicious! It is important to note that neither sports drinks or coconut water contain enough sodium or carbohydrates if you’re doing some intense endurance training – in this case supplement with some raisins and salted almonds or something similar.
Homemade. This is always an option if your needs are simple. Check out 9 homemade hydrating drinks here.
Commercially prepared hydrating drinks from companies we trust like Vega and Emergen-C have the benefit of being convenient and also having good amounts of what you need inside.
Don’t be afraid to take your physical activities outside, now that you are armed with tasty ways to stay hydrated!
* Remember consult your health care provider before making any changes to your nutrition or workout plans, as those with certain health conditions may experience negative effects from physical activity or changes in their electrolyte levels.