Five Hydration Do’s and Don’ts

Many people have discovered that proper hydration with sports drinks helps them run faster, have better motor skills, and stay mentally sharper–and the research bears that out. But sometimes plain old water does the trick.

1  Consume sports drinks during intense workouts.

When you exercise, you lose water and salts through sweat. Gatorade and other sports drinks replace both, and often add other minerals and sometimes vitamins and carbs, too. All these help, especially during intense workouts. Stay away from sports drinks when you’re not exercising, though, lots of calories!

Don’t bother with add-ons.

Any add-ons to the basic electrolyte drink–whether it’s choline, creatine, or something else–makes no difference to anyone except the extreme hard-core professional. If you eat protein in your meals (and you should) that’s much more protein than you’ll get in drinks. Theoretically, the drinks are supposed to spare your muscle protein, but in reality it’s a marginal gain. Just eating protein will do that much.

3  Try recovery drinks.

Recovery drinks can help endurance athletes recover from the workout. They 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. Slam one within 30 minutes of your exercise and you can reduce muscle stress.

4  Quit or reduce caffeine. 

Caffeine, from coffee or soft drinks, is a diuretic.  That means you’ll expel more salt and water through your excretory system, depleting your body of what it needs for exercise.  Drinking caffeine before a workout can actually worsen dehydration experienced with heavy exercise. And because they’re highly acidic, they can also upset your stomach.

5  Drink water.

You need water for virtually every metabolic process and you generally do NOT get enough water in foods you eat. While you’re exercising, drink water every 15-20 minutes, if possible.  Sports drinks and juices may cause upset stomach or have a laxative effect. Flavored water is good because you’re likely to drink more of it and get the hydration you need. It’s the easiest way to stay hydrated!

So, bottom line?  Stay hydrated all the time.  Lug that water bottle everywhere.  You’ll even get a recommendation to drink more water after your massage sessions with us.  We recommend drinking water even more to help flush toxins released during the session out and help your muscles retain more moisture to retain their flexibility and range of motion.