How to rehydrate after exercise: Seven hydrating drinks you should be drinking
So you’ve finished your workout. You’re drenched in sweat, and your legs feel like they weigh a ton. So what’s the best way to refuel and rehydrate? Is it water? Gatorade? Coconut water?
According to nutritionists, you should be reaching for something a little different. “Drinking coconut water after exercise is a really good option because you want to replenish electrolytes, but it also provides hydration,” writes Julie Upton, RD, CSCS of Eat This Not That, in a recent blog post.
It also has some vitamins like B2 and B6, so if you exercise or work out at all, it provides a lot of extra nutrients. There are a few beverages that are perfect for post-workout refreshing.
There are three to seven hydration drinks and milk alternatives that we strongly recommend.
Choose natural fruits that are low in sugar
You know that fruits are good for you, so why not just eat them? It’s true. Most fruits do contain a lot of water which makes them inherently hydrating. However, there is one major downfall when it comes to using them as a post-workout rehydration solution.
Fruits contain fructose because the fruit doesn’t get eaten by insects or animals (essentially, the fruit’s defense mechanism). The problem with fructose is that it requires more water to be absorbed into the body. By the time you’ve finished your workout, your body’s water supply is low, so drinking a regular soda or fruit juice would mean that you’re absorbing less water than before.
A much better alternative would be fruit juices that are low in sugar, for example, tomato juice, fruit punch(which has zero artificial sweeteners), or vegetable juice. The best ones are carrot, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, blueberry peach, beet juice, tomato juice(smoothies fruit), apple, and real fruit juice powder.
Green tea is a healthy and refreshing way to hydrate
Green tea’s antioxidants can help you detoxify after extreme dehydration and are also loaded with healthy compounds like catechins. Drink it hot or iced to stay hydrated.
“Drinking enough water is the most important thing when it comes to hydration,” says Julie Upton. “Orange mango, passion fruit, tea, lemon slices, cane sugar, strawberry lemonade, lemon-lime, soda soft drinks, low alcohol light beer, Nuun sport tablets, and other caffeinated beverages can lead to dehydration.” So if you want coffee, stick to two to three cups, and drink lots of water throughout the rest of your day.
A study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggests that drinking two cups of green tea before exercise can significantly increase physical performance, including an increase in exercise time to exhaustion by 34%.
Participants in the study consumed four cups of water per day, but the amount was the same for both groups. Despite the increased water intake, the group that drank green tea experienced a noteworthy increase in physical performance.
1) Beware of added sugars in sports drinks
Sports drinks especially those without artificial flavors are typically hydrating but beware of added unnecessary sugars. Unfortunately, many are also filled with caffeine and artificial flavors. Quenchi is a natural electrolyte drink that is caffeine-free and contains no sugar content.
Post-workout, it’s important to replenish your body with electrolytes, that help us absorb water and are vital for hydration. For example, this electrolyte powder contains lightly flavored nutrients, a 4:1 ratio of sodium and potassium, which work together to help balance fluid levels in the body.
2) Electrolyte drinks are designed to rehydrate
Electrolyte drinks (known as the best hydration drinks) are specifically designed to replenish lost electrolytes faster than sports drinks. These are ideal for people who want a rehydration drink that will quickly boost their sodium levels back to normal after engaging in intense activity.
If you are looking for an electrolyte drink mix that is easy to use and effective, you can try products like Tailwind stick packs. They are especially great if you are out on long adventures.
3) Electrolyte-loaded water is for people who don’t exercise often
Unlike plain water or energy drinks, water with electrolytes is for people who don’t regularly exercise or sweat. If you just finished eating a big meal, it’s a good idea to have a gluten-free drink with some electrolytes to prevent stomach cramps.
4) Occasional hot cocoa is a nutrient-packed hydrator
There are three main electrolytes that are lost during exercise. Sodium, potassium, and magnesium are lost through sweat, and hot cocoa contains enough of all three to hydrate you. Plus, it tastes great!
Cocoa has a good amount of mg (magnesium), potassium, and sodium so that it can rehydrate you effectively. It would help if you always drank hot chocolate before, during, and after a workout. This includes before, during, and after a long run. If you’re doing cardio or running, this is one of the better ways to hydrate yourself.
5) Almond milk is a creamy and delicious dairy-free option
While many people enjoy the taste of almond milk, it is also a dairy-free option for those looking for an alternative to cow’s milk. Almond milk is also a good source of vitamin C, which is important for maintaining a healthy immune system. While some brands of almond milk may contain added sugar, many offer sugar-free options.
For athletes or those who sweat a lot, the electrolytes in almond milk can help replace lost minerals. However, it’s important to note that almond milk is not as hydrating as water and should not be relied on as the sole source of hydration.
Overall, this non-alcoholic beverage is a delicious and healthy option for people of all ages and lifestyles. So whether you’re looking for an alternative to cow’s milk or want to add something new to your diet, give almond milk a try!
6) Watermelon juice is a sweet and refreshing way to hydrate
One of the best things about watermelon is that it’s so versatile – there are endless ways to enjoy it. You can eat watermelon as-is, toss it into a salad, blend it into a smoothie, or even grill it.
Watermelon is also a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as lycopene – an antioxidant that has been linked with heart health benefits. So if you’re looking for a tasty and nutritious way to stay hydrated, look no further than watermelon. Whether you enjoy it on its own or add it to your favorite recipes, this summer fruit is sure to hit the spot.
7) Water is the essential hydration drink
Water is essential to our bodies in many ways. For example, it helps to regulate our body temperature, lubricates our joints, and it aids in digestion. Drinking plenty of water also helps prevent dehydration, which can lead to headaches, fatigue, and other health problems.
While we can get some water from the foods we eat, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids daily to stay hydrated. And while there are many different types of beverages, water is still the best choice for most people.
That’s because water is low in calories and sugar and doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients or added sugars. Plus, it’s free of cholesterol and sodium, making it a heart-healthy choice. Drinking water also helps your body to better address fluid balance from the food you eat. So next time you feel thirsty, reach for a glass of water instead of sugary soda or juice. Your body will thank you for it!