5 Hydration Dos and Dont's
Drink up! But what?
2. Do Consider Sports Drinks During Intense Workouts continued...
Take a swig of an electrolyte drink, and you make sure your
body doesn't overheat. You also give yourself an energy source -- one that only
serious athletes need, Zeisel tells WebMD. "The amount of sugar in the sports
drinks is relatively small compared to the amount of sugar someone burns in
exercise. But clearly, it's better than nothing as a calorie source."
"Certainly for people engaging in exercise in a hot
environment, an electrolyte replacer can be a lifesaver," he says.
Electrolyte drinks provide the body with fuel in the right
quantities, so you don't get an upset stomach, says Bonci. "And the
carbohydrates, sodium, and potassium help move fluid more quickly out of the
body and into the muscles, where it needs to be during exercise."
3. Don't Bother With Electrolyte-Plus Drinks
Any add-ons to the basic electrolyte drink -- whether it's
choline, creatine, or something else -- "makes no difference to anyone except
the professional who cares whether they finish 1/10th or 1/000th of a second
faster than the other person," says Zeisel. "Most everyday athletes are not
going to notice or care about it. But for the person who won the Boston
Marathon, it might be what they need."
As far as the protein drinks, unless you're biking the Tour de
France or something similarly grueling, your body isn't going to require that
protein surge, Zeisel says. "If you're eating protein in your meals, that's
much more protein than you'll get in the drink. [The drinks are] supposed to
spare your muscle protein, but in reality it's a marginal gain. Just eating
protein will do that much."
4. Do Consider 'Recovery Drinks' for Muscles
However, "recovery drinks" like Endurox R-4 help endurance
athletes recover from the workout, says Carmichael. "Recovery drinks have a
heavier mix of carbohydrate replenishment, they replenish glycogen stores, and
usually have antioxidants to help reduce muscle stress and protein to help
muscle recovery." "Even the weekend warrior who plays a lot of tennis one day,
who is sore the next day, could benefit from drinking one within the first 30
minutes after playing. It helps reduce muscle stress," Carmichael tells