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Hydrating Before and After a Workout

smiling young girl holds a glass of pomegranate  juicesmiling young girl holds a glass of pomegranate  juicesmiling young girl holds a glass of pomegranate  juicesmiling young girl holds a glass of pomegranate  juicesmiling young girl holds a glass of pomegranate  juiceOur bodies are comprised mostly of water, so staying hydrated is essential to our health. Proper hydration allows our muscles and nervous system to function correctly. Drinking fluids helps our bodies eliminate waste through urine, control our heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure, and keep a healthy metabolism. Without enough fluid intake, our bodies begin to shut down. The exact amount of water our bodies require depends upon the individual and their amount of physical activity. If you are taking in enough water, from drinks or food, you should find it necessary to urinate at least every 2 to 4 hours, and your urine should be light in color. If you workout, you need more to stay hydrated. People who exercise lose a lot of water through sweating and breathing, but your body often hides the signals of dehydration. Cramping and headaches are known signs of dehydration, but those are actually late signs. You may not feel thirsty during the middle of a run or bike ride, because exercise stifles the thirst mechanism, but your body may desperately need water. Dehydration during a workout can impair your physical capabilities, as well as your mental clarity. Knowing how important it is to stay hydrated, it makes sense to find out the best drinks for before and after a workout.  Everyone knows that water is the best choice for rehydrating your body, and sports drinks are good after an extremely long or intense workout, but here are some additional drink choices to hydrate and repair your body.

Best Drinks Before and After a Workout

smiling young girl holds a glass of pomegranate  juiceCoffee: A cup or two of coffee can increase endurance, energize your workout, and alleviate post-workout soreness. To get the most out of your workout with this fluid, drink some about an hour before your workout. The caffeine in coffee prevents pain signals from your muscles to the brain, allowing you to work out harder and longer.

smiling young girl holds a glass of pomegranate  juiceCherry Juice: The antioxidants in cherries can lessen swelling and inflammation after a workout. One study suggests that regularly drinking cherry juice before and after a workout leads to faster muscle recovery.

Beer: Say what?!? Researchers in Spain found out that beer can hydrate a body faster than water or sports drinks. Similar to chocolate milk, beer’s combination of carbohydrates and protein assist the body in faster recovery and rehydration. It can also ease post-workout aches and pains.

Chocolate Milk: Chocolate milk, like beer, has the perfect amount of carbs and protein to restore tired muscles. Also, the amount of sugar and sodium in milk is just enough to raise insulin levels for the body to retain water and get back your energy.

Although these four drinks might seem unusual for pre-or-post workout, they might be the right choice for you. What’s not the right choice is energy drinks. Although the caffeine in energy drinks act as a stimulant, they are full of sugar. This inadequate balance of caffeine and sugar do not aid in rehydration, nor do they increase your workout energy and stamina. For daily hydration, continue to drink your water. For quick rehydration after an intense workout, a sports drink continues to be a solid option.  When it comes to day-to-day workouts, consider something you might already enjoy, like coffee or beer.  Want to feel like you’re indulging? Cherry juice or chocolate milk might be right for you.  Whichever you choose, just remember that staying hydrated is the goal.




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