Live Well. Drink Water.
We, as consumers, are bombarded daily by more than 5,000+ advertisements and brand exposures per day according to SJ Insights. As a consumer it can be hard to tell what is the best option available to us, at times. So when it comes to choosing the healthiest beverage for ourselves it can be very confusing.
Choosing the right beverage is important because being properly hydrated can affect many areas of our body and life. Effects of dehydration can include: tiredness, headaches, dry skin, and muscle cramps. However, being properly hydrated has benefits such as helping physical performance, optimal energy levels and proper brain functioning, and even helping maintain a healthy weight (with a proper diet and exercise level). Now all you need to know is what are the best forms of hydration available.
Are you surprised to see regular, old water on the list? You shouldn’t be because water has remained a top choice for effective hydration and will continue to do so. Water may not be as flashy or tasteful as other beverages but it gets the job done. In fact, drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day is recommended for healthy bodily function. Another major benefit of water compared to other beverages choices is that water is often much cheaper and doesn’t contain any harmful additives to it.
Sports drinks have exploded in the beverage market and have been very attractive choices, especially when they are sponsored by professional athletes that claim these sports drinks will boost your performance. However, these beverages are best used to help repair and replenish your body in very specific situations (typically not for everyday consumption).
LIVESTRONG detailed interesting Pros and Cons of Gatorade and helped clarify when sports drinks are recommended. A few guidelines for when to use sports drinks are to check your sweat rate. The more you are sweating the more likely you are to lose essential electrolytes during your physical activity which sports drinks like Gatorade can replenish. Next, record the length of your workout and determine if it was a mild workout or intense workout. Then, consider what you have eaten recently. If you ate a pre-workout meal or snack, then you don’t need any extra carbs or sugars for approximately 60- 90 minutes. Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade are meant to be used to replenish your body with sodium and electrolytes after intense, prolonged physical activity. One major con to sports drinks is the higher sugar content and other additives they have which water does not.
Flavored and infused waters like Vitamin Water or Lacroix Sparkling Water are other options people have been using to stay hydrated. The key appeal to this category is they have the appearance and perception of being healthier than over beverages like sodas or sports drinks. Vitamin Water is infused with vitamins. But Vitamin Water also has sugar in it. According to Authority Nutrition one 20 oz (591 ml) bottle of Vitamin Water contains about 120 calories and 32 grams of sugar, just about 50% less than a regular Coke. A simple multi-vitamin may suffice better than the sugar filled Vitamin Water. While holding the perception of “health”, many flavored and infused waters are either just sugary beverages at their core or zero-calorie drinks with potentially harmful artificial sweeteners.
As you can see each category from traditional water to sports drinks to flavored/ infused water has their advantages and drawbacks. And the question of what is the healthiest beverage is often not a black and white scenario but is a grey area with multiple variables. When in doubt, plain water is the answer.
Live Cryo is dedicated to improving your health and overall well being. We hope that this blog helped inform you and empower you to make wise decisions when it comes to choosing beverages that will keep you both healthy and hydrated.