Been working hard under the heat of the summer sun lately? Well I sure hope you’re keeping up on your hydration levels, because dehydration can be serious! But what is best to drink?? Water or a sports drink?
Sports drinks have the word “sports” in their name because they were first developed for athletes who needed to restore electrolytes, which are basically potassium and sodium. These drinks can be beneficial if used when needed, but can also be excessive if used carelessly because of their sugar and calorie content.
Typically, intense activities lasting over an hour can cause a person to lose a substantial amount of fluid, therefore, a sports drink may be beneficial. However, fluid loss from moderate activity lasting up to an hour can be replenished by good ol’ H20, too! Water should always be your first choice because your body needs it with or without exercise and it’s calorie free. As a person’s exercise intensity levels increase, so does the need for electrolyte replenishment. Until then, water is the best choice! Check out our Sports Hydration Flyer for more info.
So just how much water is needed each day you ask? That depends on where you live, your body size, how active you are, etc. The hotter and more humid your climate is can cause greater fluid loss. A larger body mass may require more water to reach hydration. People who engage in lots of physical activity will need to rehydrate more. The typical recommendation to ensure proper hydration is 8 cups (64 ounces) of water. Some people use an equation to figure out their water needs:
Body weight x 0.5 = daily water needs in ounces.
For example, if an adult weighs 160 pounds, they should aim to drink about 80 ounces of water a day, which is about 10 cups of water! Healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables are a good source of water as well. Why else do you think it’s called ‘Water’melon??