Hydration: Great options for exercise
Staying hydrated goes hand-in-hand with exercise. When we sweat, we lose water and precious electrolytes (like sodium and potassium) that we need to replace to keep our bodies going. In this post, we’ll explore a handful of different healthy options and point out some drinks we are better off staying away from.
The Good: let’s start out with some easy, time-tested, healthy options.
- Benefits: it’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s just what the body needs! Best of all, it’s sugar-free and won’t contribute to weight gain.
- Drawbacks: no taste, no electrolytes — although, some bottled waters now have added electrolytes.
2) Coconut Water
- Benefits: a great natural source of electrolytes — especially potassium! Great tasting (if you don’t like coconut, it comes in a variety of flavours, including pineapple and chocolate).
- Drawbacks: more expensive than tap water.
3) Infused water: add some flavour to your water by tossing some cucumber slices, oranges, strawberries, or melon to your water bottle!
- Benefits: great flavour!
- Drawbacks: prep time and cost for the additional ingredients.
THE BAD: these options get dinged for all the sugar!
1) Sports drinks: we’ve all seen the commercials, but are they right for us?
- Benefits: excellent source of electrolytes like sodium and potassium. Great flavours!
- Drawbacks: a 32 oz. bottle of Gatorade can have over 50g of sugar in it — that’s like eating over 12 teaspoons of sugar! If you absolutely need a sports drink, try a lower-sugar option (like G2 Gatorade).
2) Fruit juice: it’s basically fruit, so it has to be good, right?
- Benefits: depending on the fruit juice, they can be a source of vitamins and electrolytes.
- Drawbacks: just like sports drinks, these are packed full of sugars, but don’t have any of the fibre contained in the actual fruit. To make them healthier, try diluting fruit juices with water or drinking vegetable juices with lower sugar content.
THE UGLY: this option is for the adventurous bunch!
1) Chia with lime: stir in a scoop of chia seeds and a splash of lime juice to a tall glass of water
- Benefits: chia seeds are an excellent source of fibre, protein, minerals, and omega-3 oils!
- Drawbacks: chia seeds turn gelatinous in water, so the texture can be a turn-off to some!