Tag Archives: staying hydrated

No More Soda?

Everyone has heard the soda debate.  To drink or not to drink?  Diet or regular?  Well, we can all enjoy a nice cold soda every now and then, whether it’s because they are refreshing or simply for a caffeine kick, without a worry in the world.  The problems arise when we start replacing water intake with soda.  First you’ll learn the difference between regular and diet soda, then what you should know about the things too much soda and not enough water can do to you.

It’s important to know the difference between regular soda and diet so you decide which one is best for you, if you don’t decide exclusively on taste.  Regular soda is sweetened using high fructose corn syrup, which has calories and carbs galore.  Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose, and although that means zero calories and carbs, they’ll still get you.  Taking in large volumes of aspartame on a regular basis has been linked to dizziness, memory loss, headaches, irritability and joint pain.  Regular soda, with its carbs and calories and without aspartame can cause its own problems.  Consuming lots of the easily digested sugar or high fructose corn syrup found in regular soda causes a spike in blood sugar and insulin which make you more vulnerable to stroke, diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease.  These sugars can also lead to weight gain by causing increased consumption due to a failure to satisfy hunger as solid foods do and, as whole, has been associated with increased blood pressure and, especially in children, tooth decay.  People with diabetes should avoid regular soda because of these spikes and, if you choose to drink soda, stick with diet.

The biggest health issues associated with soda aren’t its actual contents.  The problem is that when you’re drinking soda, you’re not drinking water.  Chronic dehydration affects 75% of Americans and being dehydrated, even a little bit, can cause your metabolism to slow by as much as 30%.  Dehydration can lower the quality and results of workouts by making you feel weak and also make it hard to concentrate.  Choosing to drink water instead of soda will help quiet hunger, especially late at night and aid in weight loss.  Staying properly hydrated keeps skin healthy, while dehydration can speed up the adding process and cause fatigue.

You don’t have to give up your Coke, Dr. Pepper or Pepsi just yet, but now you know why you need to balance soda intake with water.  If you are ready to jump the soda ship, and still want bubbles, try seltzer or flavored, carbonated waters.

Sports Drinks 101

As the warm, or just plain hot, summer months approach, many fitness enthusiasts worry about hydration. Especially as the weather becomes friendlier, people want to exercise outdoors. Opting for something with flavor, like a sports drink, rather than just plain water, will not only make you more likely to drink it, but can have other post-workout benefits as well.

For most people, the food we eat today has enough salt in it to keep us from facing a deficiency. If you are training for a marathon or exercising very hard for several hours a day, you burn through more salt through sweat than the average person and will need to make a point to replenish the fluids in your body. When we work out for extended periods of time, the important nutrients we lose are called electrolytes. Types of electrolytes include potassium and sodium, which are essential for proper hydration, maintaining fluid balance and preventing muscle cramps. That’s why, as an athlete, it’s so important to replace them after we sweat them out.

Plain old water isn’t loaded with electrolytes, so the best place to get them quickly is by drinking a sports drink. While all good sports drinks contain at least 15mg of sodium, there are also sports drinks that offer various amounts of both carbohydrates and protein in addition to sodium and potassium. These drink choices are absorbed and maintain fluid balance faster than plain water, getting your body the fluids it needs right away. Carbohydrate-protein sports drinks have been tested and are shown to possibly hydrate better than regular, no protein, sports drinks by aiding with fluid retention. The calories from carbohydrates in sports drinks have also been shown to improve endurance, increase energy, promote faster recovery and limit any immune system suppression that can happen after a tough workout.

When a workout leaves you wiped out, stick with your sports drink. Energy drinks might quench your thirst and give you a big boost of energy after a tough session, but they’ll also dehydrate you while leading you to an energy crash no one enjoys. Make sure you’re maintaining hydration all day; don’t worry about it only after you’ve worked out. Don’t worry about getting your eight glasses of water a day, instead, drink to match your thirst and use your urine as a gauge for maintaining proper hydration.

Summer Hydration Tips

As the warm, or just plain hot, summer months approach, many fitness enthusiasts worry about hydration.  Especially as the weather becomes friendlier, people want to exercise outdoors.  Opting for something with flavor, like a sports drink, rather than just plain water, will not only make you more likely to drink it, but can have other post-workout benefits as well.

For most people, the food we eat today has enough salt in it to keep us from facing a deficiency.  If you are training for a marathon or exercising very hard for several hours a day, you burn through more salt through sweat than the average person and will need to make a point to replenish the fluids in your body.  When we work out for extended periods of time, the important nutrients we lose are called electrolytes.  Types of electrolytes include potassium and sodium, which are essential for proper hydration, maintaining fluid balance and preventing muscle cramps.  That’s why, as an athlete, it’s so important to replace them after we sweat them out.

Plain old water isn’t loaded with electrolytes, so the best place to get them quickly is by drinking a sports drink.  While all good sports drinks contain at least 15mg of sodium, there are also sports drinks that offer various amounts of both carbohydrates and protein in addition to sodium and potassium.  These drink choices are absorbed and maintain fluid balance faster than plain water, getting your body the fluids it needs right away.  Carbohydrate-protein sports drinks have been tested and are shown to possibly hydrate better than regular, no protein, sports drinks by aiding with fluid retention.  The calories from carbohydrates in sports drinks have also been shown to improve endurance, increase energy, promote faster recovery and limit any immune system suppression that can happen after a tough workout.

When a workout leaves you wiped out, stick with your sports drink.  Energy drinks might quench your thirst and give you a big boost of energy after a tough session, but they’ll also dehydrate you while leading you to an energy crash no one enjoys.   Make sure you’re maintaining hydration all day; don’t worry about it only after you’ve worked out.  Don’t worry about getting your eight glasses of water a day, instead, drink to match your thirst and use your urine as a gauge for maintaining proper hydration.

Have questions about sports drinks or when to use them?  Email us at Info@FitNicePT.com