If you’re exercising as much as you should (at least around 2-3 hours a week according to the NHS) then you need the right fuel to help keep you active.
You lose a lot of water while undertaking vigorous exercise so you need keep your body’s water balance on an even keel to prevent debilitating dehydration. It’s pretty logical that you should at least be replacing whatever water you sweat out. So if you’re digesting as much fluid as you should (see How much water should I drink?) you’d want to make sure it’s the best, right?
There’s a scary and confusing plethora of radioactive-looking sports drinks and supplements out there, so what’s the best way to stay healthily hydrated while getting a sweat-on?
Yup – you guessed it: water (naturally). Replace like for like. But not just any old water, oh no. If you’re in to taking care of yourself – getting exercise, healthy diet, looking good – then it’s logical that you’ll be careful about what you put in to your body. Ideally you’d only want naturally-occurring stuff in that replenishing water, right? That means it should only have the essential, healthy minerals in it (like Calcium and Potassium) and nothing else dodgy – like chlorine, dirt or bacteria – then you’ll be on to a winner.
But what about all of those crazy-coloured, powerful-looking sports drinks that seem to promise to turn you in to an Olympic-class athlete? Our trusted expert and online fitness coach, Joe Wicks, puts us straight about this:
‘I’m not a big fan of sports drinks or fizzy drinks. I think people rely far too much on sugar energy than real energy derived from macronutrients (fats, protein and carbohydrates). Sugar just causes the body to crave even more junk food as blood sugar levels take a nose-dive.
‘Nothing is better than purified water for hydrating before, during and after a workout so skip the sugary energy drinks and give your body what it really needs – H2O.’
- more about exercise and drinking water from the NHS
by Bob Fear