Many athletes may contemplate between choosing between a sports drink and water. We see the advertisements and commercials on TV that allow us to believe that sports drinks are the answer for enhancing sports performance and hydration levels. Are they actually the best option, or should one stick to the good old fashion water?
Benefits of a Sports Drink
Some examples of sports drinks are Powerade and Gatorade. Sports drinks are designed for athletes participating in vigorous exercise. They contain added water, carbohydrates, sodium, electrolytes, and potassium. Sports drinks are meant to replenish the nutrients lost during intense activity.
Sports drinks can be filled with added sugars and calories . It’s important to note that these drinks may look like juice and taste like juice, but are not juice. They are meant for the sole purpose of high intensity physical activity.
Benefits of Water
Not only does plain water have 0 calories, and no sugar, but it provides our bodies with a lot of health benefits that include maintaining body temperature, lubrication and cushioning of joints, protection for the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and aid in the removal of wastes.
When participating in high intensity exercise, one can become dehydrated easily. The body is constantly being worked, causing one to sweat and lose water. When that happens, it’s important to replenish those lost nutrients and not become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause hazy thinking, mood changes, and cause the body to overheat
When having to choose between water and a sports drink, the better option is water. It’s not to say that sports drinks do not come with beneficial added vitamins and minerals that water does not have, but they also come with added sugars and calories. Water should be the primary source of hydration for everyone. If you choose to drink a sports drink though, know that it is designed for athletes or those participating in high intensity physical activity.
How HRUC Can Help With Dehydration?
If you, or someone you know has been participating in high intensity exercise, and begins to feel faint, dizzy, have darker urine than usual, and can’t hold down fluids, don’t hesitate to seek medical treatment. These are all signs of dehydration.
Know HRUC is here to provide medical treatment for such cases. Hours of operation include Monday- Friday from 8am-7pm and on Saturdays from 10am-4pm. There is no need to make an appointment, because walk-ins are always welcome!