Losing Weight – Don’t Forget To Hydrate!

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Hydration is extremely important to keep your body functioning the way it should. Everyone should say stay hydrated, but especially athletes and those who are working out. Water is obviously the best way to hydrate your body and it is so very important to regulate your body temperature, to transport nutrients and waste through your body, to lubricate your joints. Safety, comfort, and performance all rely on staying hydrated. Think about it – if you’re working out you’re sweating (that is, if you’re doing a good job), and you need to replace that fluid with much more water than what you sweat out. Our bodies are made up of approximately 70% water, so we need to replace what we’ve lost…often.

Dehydration can cause fatigue, dizziness, muscle cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. The harder you workout the more you need to drink to ensure that you don’t suffer from dehydration.

There’s a myth that you have to replace your electrolytes and sodium during regular workouts with sports drinks, such as Gatorade. It doesn’t necessarily hurt to do this (other than loading up on the sugars that are in some of these drinks – check the labels), but it’s not necessary unless you are running a marathon, or are exercising in extreme conditions for several hours (3+).

If you choose to drink sports drinks, please read the labels. Below are a few of the sports drinks and the sugar content for an 8 oz serving. The average container is a 4 serving container, so if you drink a full bottle, multiply the below numbers by 4 to get your actual count…now, that’s a LOT. Just be careful that you aren’t just loading up on sugar, calories, and sodium.

Gatorade

Calories: 50

Sugars: 14g

Sodium: 110mg

Great Value Sports Drink

Calories: 60

Sugars: 14g

Sodium: 110mg

Vitamin Water

Calories: 50

Sugars: 13g

Sodium: 0mg

Powerade

Calories: 50

Sugars: 14g

Sodium: 100 mg

Propel

Calories: 10

Sugars: 2g

Sodium: 35mg

It’s pretty obvious that water is the best choice, but sometimes we need some flavor to help us keep stay hydrateding. Out of the 5 sports drinks listed above, it appears as though Propel is the best out there – fewest calories and fewest grams of sugars. Yes, the sodium is a bit higher than the vitamin water, but no where near the other sports drinks.

What is your favorite sports drink? If it’s not on the list, what is the calories, the sugars, and the sodium it contains?

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