Impact of Different Beverages on Your Workout
Hydration is a key element in fuelling your workout. Regardless of whether you’re running, lifting weights, or playing sports, hydration is a must to keep you performing at your best.
That being said, hydration isn’t the only consideration when choosing a beverage for your workout. Different options can boost your energy, aid with recovery, and give you focus. Here is the impact of different beverages on your workout.
Over half of the human body is comprised of water. As such, it makes sense that we need to drink a minimum of 64 ounces per day to look and feel great. Drinking water can help you prepare for your workout by lubricating your joints and regulating your body temperature.
When drinking water for exercise, the goal is to replace the fluids you lost through sweat. Plan to drink a liter of water an hour or two before your training session and another immediately following. Scale your needs based on the intensity of your exercise. Consider weighing yourself before and after training to get a baseline for your replacement needs.
For many people, coffee is the jolt of energy they rely on for early morning workouts. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of best single-serve coffee makers to make a morning cup quick and easily accessible. However, a lot of people wonder how coffee impacts their body while training.
There’s a common misconception that coffee causes dehydration. While coffee is a mild diuretic, there’s only a need for concern if it’s your only source of hydration for exercise. Coffee can also cause stomach upset for some when combined with intense training.
On the plus side, it offers increased mental focus and energy. Drink water first, enjoy your morning coffee, and listen to your body when training. It’s also a nice alternative for those who react poorly to pre-workout supplements.
When you sweat, you don’t just lose water; you lose electrolytes. Things like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium are all electrolytes that aid with your body’s functions. If you get muscle cramps or feel dizzy and unfocused after exercising, despite drinking plenty of water, you could have an electrolyte imbalance.
Coconut water is rich in potassium and magnesium, as well as antioxidants and other nutrients. Unlike sports drinks, which often have a lot of refined sugar, coconut water is relatively low-calorie. Consider this option as an alternative to water before or after your workout.
Believe it or not, chocolate milk is a great post-workout beverage. The carbohydrates in the beverage assist with muscle recovery and energy regeneration. The minerals, like calcium and potassium, replenish electrolyte stores. Finally, this drink tastes like childhood and can satisfy post-workout cravings without sacrificing progress made.
For non-dairy individuals, look for low-sugar almond, cashew, or soy milk that offers protein and nourishing minerals.
Sports drinks, like Gatorade, have a time and place. In addition to replenishing electrolytes, the sugars in this beverage can fuel long-duration workouts. For example, triathlon athletes and marathon runners will benefit from drinking a sports drink.
For others, however, the sugars could be negating your goals. If you drink a sports drink to fuel a short workout, you could be consuming more calories than you burn. For these training sessions, choose something else on this list to keep you moving, like a smoothie with fresh fruit.
Experiment with different beverages to see how they impact you. Remember, what works well for someone else might not be a great option for your goals or unique molecular makeup. Be an avid label reader and prioritize nutrition and recovery over quick energy boosts.