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The Best Drinks for Staying Hydrated as an Athlete

The Best Drinks for Staying Hydrated as an Athlete

One of the key elements to staying fit and recovering from your workouts quickly is staying hydrated. Water aids in removing waste, helps to lubricate joints so that they don’t become inflamed, and in general helps all the cells in the body function properly. 

This is why it’s recommended that adults need to consume 6-8 glasses of water a day – more so if you’re undergoing grueling training and workouts. Current research has shown there are many different liquids out there as good as water is for staying hydrated. The following are some of the best beverages for staying hydrated.

Water

Of course, water is the basic most hydrating liquid out there – our bodies, being 55-60% water, depend on it. As long as the water source is clean, its health benefits are innumerable.

Unfortunately, one of the most popular ways of purchasing water is to buy small bottles of 12-24 oz in bulk, but it isn’t the best option for the planet. All that plastic has to go somewhere and if you aren’t reusing the water bottles or filling up your own flask from a tap, then that plastic winds up in a landfill. 

This is why it is a great idea to purchase a water filtration pitcher to keep in the refrigerator. This way you have cold, purified water available around the clock. Decant it into your reusable sports bottle and you’re set for the gym. You can visit https://www.best-osmosis-systems.com/water-filter-pitcher-reviews/ for a detailed list of the best water pitchers on the market.

Milk

It makes little difference if you drink skim milk or if you prefer full flavored whole milk when it comes to staying hydrated. Researchers at Stirling University in Scotland found that a glass of milk helped people retain more than 1/3 of the fluid they drank over a 2-hour span, and it helped them remain hydrated for over 4 hours. 

This points to it possibly being better than water for rehydration and that it may be more effective than water at countering dehydration. Milk also has the added benefit of being great for post workout recovery due to the natural blending of carbs, protein and sodium. This doesn’t even factor in the calcium and vitamin D that will help keep bones strong. Of course, we don’t recommend it sitting heavy in your stomach BEFORE a workout! 

Coffee and Tea

It was a long-held belief that the diuretic effects of coffee and tea drinks kept people from staying hydrated. However, this isn’t true unless you drink coffee and tea all day long. A cup of either beverage two or three times a day will help you stay equally hydrated as water will.

There is an added bonus of antioxidant properties in many types of teas. If you avoid sugar and creamers in your coffee, then consuming a cup before a workout will give you a fairly healthy energy boost as well.

Beer

That same study in Scotland also researched beer, and the good news is that lager has almost the exact same hydrating potential as water does.

However, beers with a higher alcohol content will cause dehydration and can weaken your ability to recover and rehydrate yourself due to the alcohol and sodium content. Fortunately, this isn’t an issue with beers that have alcohol contents under 4.5% ABV or low alcohol (<2.3%ABV) brands. Many athletes opt to avoid alcohol all together; but perhaps this will alleviate some guilt when you catch up with friends over a pint from time to time.

The Verdict

Clearly, there are many ways to keep your body hydrated. Whether you prefer sticking with a tried and true method like drinking water, or would rather use beverages that researchers are only now finding out can help you stay hydrated, there’s something for everyone.

The key is finding out what helps you feel the best after a workout and sticking with that so you can stay in your best possible shape.

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