The Best Post-Workout Beverage; Water vs. Sports Drinks
It’s an age old question: after a workout, should you be rehydrating with water or sports drinks? Sports drinks are marketed with clips of athletes recovering from intense exercise but can these drinks really work better for your body than plain old water? Let’s take a look!
The benefits of sports drinks are mainly touted as their containing electrolytes and carbohydrates that should, in theory, help you rehydrate after physical exertion. According to Harvard’s health blog, while electrolytes can be helpful for professional athletes if they get muscle cramps during a game, the majority of the regular population doesn’t need electrolytes when we exercise.
In fact, there is real concern that the carbs and calories in sports drinks could actually hinder your athletic or fitness progress rather than help. Since you could hydrate with water, replacing that with a calorie and sugar-heavy drink would actually make you lose less weight and might even make you sluggish. On the other hand, if you’re a more-than-casual exerciser sports drinks might work for you. Sports Dietitian Suzanne Girard Eberle gives guidelines that if you are going to work out for more than an hour, and that workout is going to be high-intensity, that is when the electrolytes and carbs in sports drinks become helpful.
For the average person’s fitness routine, water is still a perfect way of re-hydrating. Plus, there are alternatives to the muscle-aiding properties of sports drinks’ electrolytes. Collagen supplements like Gym & Tonic provide your body not only with the protein it needs for your workout but also with 18 amino acids. These amino acids are important because they are what your body uses to naturally heal and build your muscles. Mixing Gym & Tonic into your pre or post-exercise water can help you recover faster and reach your fitness goals without the extra sugar and calories of a sports drink.