Are sports drinks better than water, to function at a high levels during your workout?
As personal trainers, many times we have clients ask us questions about the different types of fluids they should be consuming when working out. Specifically, sports drinks vs. water. They are under the assumption that consuming fancy sports drinks or vitamin waters are better and will provide more benefit than drinking plain old water. Here’s what you need to know…
It’s a Myth: A sports drink or vitamin beverage bottle may look enticing and all fancy, but is not necessary your best option for hydration, not to mention they cost a lot more money and can cost you more unnecessary sugars and calories. If your goal is to lose weight, drinking calories like these would be sabotaging all of your hard work at the gym.
(The exception to this would be athletes who are competing in long, strenuous activities like marathons or bike races and loosing vital nutrients from their body and need to supplement their water with sports drinks. These athletes would need to consume sports drinks to help offset the electrolytes and salt they lose during excess sweating over longer periods of time (for example, an iron-man athlete who is competing for over 3 hours).
Fact: Water is all the fluid you really need to perform most athletic activities, including gym workouts. Water is the single most important method your body uses to transport nutrients and energy, and removes heat from your body from exercise. It is also necessary for digestion, absorption, and excretory function and helps to assimilate water-soluble vitamins in the body.
Conclusion: Most people who are simply exercising to get fit at the gym would be in their best interest to consume water to meet their fluid and bodily needs. Water is almost always your best bet, is free right from your tap, and won’t cost you a thing as far as unnecessary calories your body doesn’t need.
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