If you are a beginning athlete or engage in regular light exercise, you may wonder whether you should be drinking plain water or sports drinks before, during, and after a workout. If you don't quite understand when you should drink water and when you should switch to a hydration drink, follow this simple guide:
Are you working out?
If you are not working out at the moment, you most likely should be drinking water. Drinking water throughout the day will keep you hydrated and make you ready for your workouts. However, there is not a need to drink hydration drinks since you will get adequate electrolytes and carbohydrates through food.
Are you sweating?
If you have a mild workout with minimal sweating, water should be fine. However, once you start sweating, you start losing electrolytes, and you should think about keeping them balanced. You should keep in mind that in dry, hot areas, your sweat may evaporate before you notice it. Check your skin for fine white powder, which indicates you are losing salts. If you have this powdery layer, re-hydrate with a hydration drink.
How long is your workout?
Generally, if your workout is less than half an hour long, you can drink water. Longer workouts result in a more severe depletion of electrolytes and carbohydrates. A hydration drink will keep you performing your best throughout your long workout and improve your recovery period.
Is your workout intense?
Intense workouts may require a hydration drink even if they are shorter than half an hour. If you are straining, panting, or pushing yourself near exhaustion, refresh yourself with a hydration drink.
Does water quench your thirst?
If you pay attention to how you feel when you drink while working out, you may notice that sometimes water does not quench your thirst. This is a sign that you may need electrolytes more than just plain water.
Will you be eating during your recovery period?
If you plan to eat in the hour after your workout, you can usually skip the hydration drink and just drink water. However, if you are not going to eat immediately, think about re-balancing yourself with a hydration drink.
With more experience, you will be able to listen to your body and understand what it needs for peak performance. But when you are just starting out, this guide will help you understand when to switch from water to a hydration drink.
Contact a company that offers an athlete hydration drink for sale for more information.