Sipping on fluids during workouts is an essential part of your hydration. Most of us drink fluids before and after exercising. But, if you are ignoring your during-workout drink, then you are missing out on an important hydration step.
Your body is like a vehicle that needs fueling regularly. When you are working out, the requirement for fluid intake increases manifold because you are stressing, sweating, and losing electrolytes and nutrients in the process.
This is precisely why many athletes and sportspersons take special care of their hydration and can be seen sipping throughout their training and workout sessions.
During workout drinks: Why are they important?
Staying hydrated during your workouts is important for a few reasons:
- Proper hydration helps you perform to the best of your abilities during your workouts.
- It helps you avoid facing dehydration later in the day.
- Proper hydration along with proper workout ensure that you get a good night’s sleep allowing your body to recover properly post workouts.
- Hydration, especially through water during workouts, aids in an increased weight loss
The connection between hydration and workouts:
When you work out, it is normal to sweat a lot, especially during intensive workouts that last 45 minutes or more. With sweat, you are not only losing water or fluids but also essential minerals, otherwise known as electrolytes. Electrolytes perform many significant functions that allow your body to function smoothly and your chances of falling sick reduce drastically.
Water is an indispensable component of the human body. It is common knowledge that water regulates your body temperature, circulates nutrients within your body and transports waste to the excretory organs.
What you may not know, however, is that water plays a major role in protecting your body tissues and organs. It also regulates the functions of cell membranes and the activity of enzymes.
This last point gains significance when you are working out. You will obviously need to keep drinking water or any other fluids to ensure continuous nutrient and fluid supply.
The significance of hydration for workouts:
- Hydration ensures that your tissues and organs function properly and remain protected.
- Staying hydrated during workouts allows you to perform to the best of your capabilities, so you are getting the maximum mileage out of your exercise or training sessions.
- Water is known to be excellent for weight loss. So, if you are working out with the specific goal of losing weight, then water is the best hydration fluid for you.
- Hydration also reduces the risk of heat stress, especially when you are working out outdoors or staying in hot climates.
- In many cases, when you work out, the rate at which you sweat exceeds the amount of fluids you take. This is especially applicable to intensive workouts or workouts that exceed 45 minutes or an hour.
- You must drink to compensate for the fluid deficit, which in turn will help you avoid performance issues related to dehydration.
Workouts and dehydration: The risk factors
- Dehydration results in a decrease in physical and mental performance during your workout sessions.
- You will experience an increase in body temperature.
- Your heart beats faster and you will start feeling sick
- Fatigue sets in and the process of workout starts feeling laborious.
- Ultimately, dehydration reduces the rate at which your intestines absorb fluids. At this stage, reversing the effects of dehydration on your body may become difficult and often require medical intervention.
So, you can see how during workout drinks are extremely important.
How much during workout drink should I consume?
There is no cap on how much you can drink during workouts.
You must take small sips regularly, say every 15-20 minutes. The key is to not gulp or drink quickly.
How much you drink depends on various factors such as:
- Workout duration
- Intensity of the workouts
- Type of workouts
- Your sweat rate
Excess fluid intake often causes a condition known as hyponatremia which can be harmful, and in certain cases, life-threatening.
So, how can you avoid drinking excessively? Follow the thirst cues given by your body. Once you feel satiated, stop sipping. You can continue this way till the end of your workout.
The Best During Workout drinks
There are a wide range of workout drinks you can choose from. Water, fruit juices and smoothies, electrolyte drinks, sports drinks, the options are innumerable. We list some of the best during workout drinks.
The best during natural during workout drinks:
This is the most popular during workout drink, especially for short duration, low-intensity workouts lasting about 30 minutes.
Waters such as mineral water contain a good amount of minerals and ensure that you get the necessary electrolyte supply.
Wondering what to drink during workout to lose weight? There is no better option than water. It promotes satiety and lipolysis, allowing for quicker weight loss.
2. Chocolate milk:
This delicious treat is quite popular among all age groups and is a complete balance of proteins, fats, and nutrients, making it a perfect during workout drink, especially during high intensity workouts.
3. Coconut water:
This naturally occurring electrolyte drink is rich in magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, and manganese. However, the sodium content is on a slightly lower side. For this reason, some athletes prefer adding a pinch of salt to coconut water to make it a complete hydration drink.
To change up your routine, you can substitute your regular hydration drink with tea. Teas such as green tea and matcha tea are excellent for hydration and contain nutrients and antioxidants too.
Many fruits are natural excellent sources of hydration. You can blend a choice of fruits with milk or yogurt or water and carry as your during workout drink.
What about During Workout Supplements?
The fitness world is bombarded with many supplements that are expensive and claimed to be effective in muscle growth and injury recovery. So, how good are these during workout supplements?
They can be good for you but are not wonder products, so to speak. Additionally, they can be expensive, and the ingredient list is always not revealed completely.
Still, if you prefer supplements, you can go for them. They do not cause any major damage. Just stick to non-steroidal supplements and you are good to go.
Best During Workout Supplements:
1. Energy Drinks:
The most popular and widely used during workout supplements, energy drinks contain the perfect balance of water, nutrients, vitamins, and in some cases calories and additional supplements.
BCAAs, often available as capsules or powders, contain essential amino acids and may help in building muscle and reducing muscle soreness and fatigue. BCCA supplements reduce soreness especially during workouts.
For the best results, you must use these supplements for a prolonged period and not just during your workout days.
These supplements are gaining popularity for their ability to enhance exercising performance. The research on the efficacy of this essential amino acid for athletes is still limited.
Why only during workout drink? Why not during workout food?
So, we have spoken only about hydrating with liquids and not with foods, when there are so many water-rich foods that can be equally hydrating. So why not foods for during workouts?
For one, sipping on fluids is easier when you are trying to work out. Imagine trying to grab something to eat mid-workout. It can be quite inconvenient. Having a bottle and sipping out of it is much easier.
Fluids get absorbed easily into your bloodstream, making the necessary nutrients and fluids readily available to your body. So, you are quickly able to replace the lost fluids and electrolytes.
Foods, on the other hand, take a lot of time to get metabolized, so by the time you get your necessary nutrients, your workout session is almost over. Still, if you are looking for during workout foods, banana is an excellent option owing to its nutritional composition.
During workout, drinks are as significant for your workouts as pre and post-workout drinks. They continue the process of hydration and ensure that replacement of fluid and electrolyte loss. The best workout drinks help avoid dehydration and improve performance and hence must be included in your workout routine.
Whether you choose water, natural electrolyte drinks, commercial sports drinks, or supplements, you must remember to sip in small amounts as opposed to gulping.
Make during workout drinks a part of your fitness routine. Enjoy the full benefits of your workout sessions.