Regardless of what your favorite type of activity outdoors (or indoors) is running, walking, swimming, hiking during vacations, hiking for several hours, etc. Hydration is your best friend. There are some important facts you should know before discussing the best hydration drinks for specific types of activities.
Before starting, you should know that not all drinks are hydrated in the same way and, surprising as it may seem, water is not the best hydrating drink. So you should not completely trust pure water. If you follow our advice, you’ll want to have something else in your drink. There are also recipes for homemade hydration drinks, but we will also get there.
Before delving into the science of your body and how to hydrate yourself better, we need to clarify the definition of osmolality. This is the balance of electrolyte to water in your bloodstream or in a specific fluid. Electrolytes are particles of nutrients (minerals) that the body needs to maintain proper function.
Electrolytes will dissolve much more slowly in the body if they come from food. When they are already dissolved and in liquid form, the body digests them almost immediately, with little effort. Pure water passes quickly through the bladder and helps little to hydrate.
Since people are different and our bodies are balanced by different measures of water, food and nutrients, osmolality is something specific for each organism. We will explain how to keep up with the specific needs of your body.
So, in order to calculate the amount of sweat that you have lost during an activity, exercise or walking event, you can first do an experiment. Weigh yourself before the exercise, without clothes. Then, exercise one hour (make sure you’re not sweating too much, not too much).
The general rule is to exercise only at the level of pleasure, when you are not doing too much exercise so that the activity becomes unpleasant. After that, weigh again (naked). The difference between the initial and final weight is the amount of water your body lost. So, remember, for every pound lost, you need 16 ounces of water.
Another important thing you should know about sweat is that it contains seven times more sodium than potassium, so sodium is your main concern when choosing a hydration drink. It must contain more sodium, and it must be the predominant nutrient.
The best hydration drinks to try after physical activities.
You need to know that all fluids have a moisturizing property. That does not mean that everyone is equally useful to you. For example, oatmeal drinks have 84% water, so they are not a good choice for a hydration drink, while coconut water is basically 100% water. It is ideal Therefore, the higher the percentage of water in the drink, the better your body will be hydrated.
Option # 1 – the electrolytic drink
This drink is basically water that contains high amounts of electrolytes. In such drinks you will find lemon juice, coconut water, orange juice, a little honey, salt. You can also make your own electrolyte drink at home. It dissolves easily in the body and distributes water to the bloodstream much faster than conventional tap water. When you sweat you lose electrolytes, so you must replace them.
These electrolytes are sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, etc. In general, a simple drink with electrolyte is the best drink after walking, working in the garden, etc. It is not ideal for after intense training like marathons.
Option # 2 – sports drinks
Most sports drinks contain sodium and carbohydrates. Everything is fine and still helps the body to hydrate much more efficiently than just with water. The optimal amount of sodium should not exceed 500 mg per drink, or your body will begin to draw water from the bloodstream to help digest the minerals. You definitely do not want to do that, as it will cause thirst and will require you to drink more water. Also, avoid carbonated sports drinks. Your stomach will bother filling you with bubbles. You absolutely do not want that discomfort.
When we talk about sports drinks we have to mention a new scientific experiment done with athletes. These athletes were divided into two groups. The first had a conventional sports drink with carbohydrates and sodium. The same group was given the second group, but with a protein content in the drink. The result was the second hydrated group even better than the first. This can definitely improve the products on the market in the future, so you may want to take it into account the next time you drink a sports drink. If you have protein, go for it.
A secret to sports drinks is that, because of their high sodium content, they make you thirsty, so you are prone to drink more. Of course, too much sodium can also be a bad thing, so if you’ve already taken a sports drink and are still thirsty, you’d better choose old-fashioned water, but do not overdo it.
Option # 3 – fitness and water design
These are new categories that appeared lately in the market. They are somewhere between running water and most sports drinks. They have less nutrients and electrolytes, and they are mostly water. At least they are tastier. However, they hydrate, so if you prefer a simpler option, try water for exercise.
The water designer is a category not yet proven to fully follow his own claims. These products contain all the vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and oxygen that the body needs. That includes even the nutrients to burn fat. As we said, it has not been proven that they work and they are a new frontier to explore. They will not harm you, but we do not know exactly if they do the good they claim. Of course, if your main concern is hydration, serve for that purpose to the last drop.
Option # 4 – hydration tablets
These tablets contain many of the most vital nutrients, vitamins and electrolytes in a tablet. They are a very good option for people who do not have immediate access to water and can carry several tablets in a pocket. While you are in a marathon, when you find a bottle of water, take one and let a hydration tablet dissolve.
It is an excellent way to stay hydrated with zero calories (most companies do not add calories in the hydration tablets).
Your own drink for proper hydration at home?
We can give you some tips on how to make your own hydration drink. You do not have to worry about the label and whether that particular beverage has all the necessary nutrients or not. It is true that you can not really make a drink with zero calories, but at least it will always be low in calories.
You need to remember that all citrus They contain many electrolytes, so basically they are your best friend. No matter which citrus fruits you decide to add to the water, you will end up pleasantly hydrated. The best low-calorie option is lemon (and lime) and then grapefruit.
You can also add all the types of citrus juices you have on hand in a bottle. If you agree with more calories in a drink, the healthiest option is to add a spoonful of honey. It is also packed with a variety of minerals and also, because of its simple sugars, helps regulate cortisol levels. As we know, during intense exercise, the cortisol levels of the body increase, which means that the body is in a state of stress. This is the reason why sugar is extremely potent against the damaging effects of cortisol.
Do not forget the most important thing. Salt. Here you have many options, you can add Celtic salt, salt from the Himalayas, etc. They contain different amounts of minerals, so you also need salt. Empty table salt is out of the question, as it is highly processed and lacks all the nutrients. Sea salt, however, is a very good option.
Here is how to prepare your landlady. citrus juice. It is very simple. You need 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1/2 cup of orange juice, 2 cups of water, salt on the tip of the spoon (about 1/8) and 1-2 tablespoons of honey.
An additional idea is to add coconut water, either to the whole mix, or instead of the 2 cups of plain water. If you are vegan and do not want to use honey (or for any other reason) you can substitute honey with organic maple syrup. Another option is to use blackstrap organic molasses. It is loaded with magnesium, manganese, calcium and other minerals. Mix everything, and go. Enjoy it! No artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors and other additives of unknown origin.
Another very good moisturizing drink is the ginger drink. Boil several rings of ginger root, for 15 minutes, and when the liquid has cooled, add stevia (or some other favorite and healthy sweetener) and sea salt, Celtic salt or Himalaya. Ginger not only helps the rehydration process, but also helps relieve muscle pain and accelerates recovery after intense training.
A watermelon drink With coconut water it is also a very good hydrant. Watermelon is full of nutrients and, since it contains more than 90% water, it is basically a and n. 8216; water. “Try it at home and squeeze several slices of watermelon to finish only with the juice, add the coconut and salt (follow the above requirements on the choice of salt.) No need to add more sweeteners since the watermelon has enough content of natural sugar for your purposes.
Beet juice It is also another of the best ideas for athletes and active people. It is very low in calorie content, moisturizes the body as well as any other hydration drink on our list, as it provides a healthy amount of the necessary nutrients. Light in taste, cleanses the liver and supplies water to the bloodstream quickly.
The previous list will not be complete if we forget to mention the traces of trace minerals. These supplements are full of almost all the vital nutrients. You must check the product label before buying it. Also, read where the minerals are extracted, the source and how. Some products are, for example, the Great Salt Lake.
Most of these formulas do not contain salt (it is eliminated), so you should not worry about taking too much. And again, before committing to a specific product, read the label, its claims, the minerals it contains and, also, good advice is to read the customer’s experience. Sometimes, some products say one thing, but it turns out that private customers have a negative experience.
Some tips and tricks from the experts.
The first sign of severe dehydration is, surprisingly enough, the thirst in your mouth. We are very used to this sign and we do not pay immediate attention, but it is the first thing the body says. You are already in approximately 1% dehydration. Dehydration at 5% death occurs. Then, consider the next time you feel thirsty. The best way to keep dehydration at bay is to drink water or another hydrating drink about every hour. Even if you do not feel thirsty, drink. Thirst is already a serious signal, which you should avoid.
Listen to the signals of your body. For example, pay close attention when dizziness it happens You may think that you are just lazy and want to push your willpower to continue, but dizziness is a serious signal that you should not ignore. The reason for this is that the water in the bloodstream has decreased.
As a result, the blood has thickened, which impairs the circulation of blood to your brain. Also, if you feel especially tired in the muscles, to the point of a strong and uncomfortable pain, it is better to stop exercising. Another option is to obtain a moisturizing drink, from those listed in the previous list. Drink several ounces of any hydrating drink and wait a while. If your dizziness goes away, you can continue your training, if you interrupted after feeling dizzy.
Pay attention to your body weight. As previously advised, you should weigh yourself before and after exercising. This is a very good way to measure the water your body lost. If it is more than 3% of your body weight, you are in a state of severe dehydration. You must finish the activity or drink an electrolyte or a sports drink immediately. Never underestimate the importance of weighing yourself before and after intense training. The body sends its signals when something is not synchronized.
To add to the health benefits of your electrolytes and sports drinks, you should eat fruits. An intelligent way to hydrate is by eating a fruit together with drinking water. However, be careful, as some people may be sensitive to water mixed with fruits and may cause an upset stomach. The best option is still fruit juices mixed with water, to eliminate cellulose and simply absorb the most important vitamins and minerals.
You also have to be aware of about moisturizer. You may be tempted to drink as often as you like, but sometimes exaggerating is actually as harmful as not doing it at all. Drinking too much (any type of moisturizer) can cause hypernatremia. This means that excess water actually dilutes the sodium content in the bloodstream.
The result of this is swelling of all the cells in the body, especially brain cells that are easily affected by excess sodium in the blood. The symptoms of this condition are vomiting, headache, muscle cramps and pain, fatigue, confusion, loss of appetite, etc. Generally, during exercise, this condition is triggered by prolonged workouts and the consumption of liquids at a higher rate than the loss of fluid through sweating.
Urine It is another very good way to determine if you are adequately hydrated or dehydrated. When the urine is dark yellow to orange and smells bad, then you should immediately grab the nearest hydration drink. If the color of your urine is pale yellow, then it is in the ideal state of hydration. When it is colorless, it has excess water in your body and you have to reduce the speed of consumption.
Finally, you need to know that Coffee and tea (and other drinks with caffeine) are not as bad as we thought previously. Coffee can make you run to the bathroom sooner than water would, but do not force water out of your cells, as previously believed. So, coffee does not dehydrate you more than water. The same goes for tea drinks.
It may seem that hydration has become a science in itself, but the fact is that it should not be complicated. Of course, knowing the basics is always beneficial and can only be useful in making the right decisions.
Nature has given us the ideal options to stay hydrated. Not only that, but you can also find a wide range of products, specially designed for runners, athletes and people who live active lives. Their formulas are planned so that these drinks provide the right amount of nutrients and electrolytes that the body needs. This does not mean that you should trust them blindly, but consciousness leads to a healthy lifestyle.