Hydration during training and exercise is VITAL! Possibly one of the most important parts of training (and life for that matter!).
Our bodies are made up of 2/3 water so you can imagine how important H2O is to our body. In fact, if our body does not get water, it will die within days – that’show important it is!
Water helps our digestive system and helps our kidneys regulate blood pressure, filter blood, and regulate electrolytes – don’t get me wrong, that is a fraction of its power, it does a whole lot of other good stuff too!
I remember my prof saying something about drinking 1 glass of water forevery hour of exercise to prevent dehydration, and allow the body to function at optimal levels.
So basically what I am getting at is that you really do not need to consume sports drinks during exercise or training. However, there are exceptions: it dependinghow long you’re exercising and how hot it is outside.
Let me tell you why sports drinks are so popular. Sports drinks are essentiallyelectrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals – such as sodium, potassium, phosphate, calcium, magnesium – that have an electrical charge. These charged up minerals are what cells need in order to maintain proper voltage along their membranes, as well as allow for electrical impulses to travel from cell to cell (so we can function and move). Electrolytes also regulate and maintain water in the body and balance blood acidity – but most importantly, during exercise, it allows for proper motor behaviour.
When we exercise vigorously we sweat…right? Well, sweating is what releases electrolytes from the body, so naturally, we want to replenish them by consuming more electrolytes. If we do not we might start fading mid workout, leading to low blood sodium (hyponatremia) and eventually death (if not replenished as soon as possible).
Okay, I really did not intend to scare you with that spiel. You can take a breath because you actually DO NOT really need sports drinks, unless you are exercising for extended periods of time (like a marathon), or you are exercising in SERIOUSLY HOT conditions. Water will suffice during all other times Remember to keep hydrated before, during, and after exercise and you do not need to fear hyponatremia or death for that matter