Plain old water seems to be the best thing to drink during a workout if you aren’t a pro athlete or training to become one. You can also enjoy some sports drinks and even energy drinks, but only if you choose the right kind, especially if you are working out to lose weight. A protein shake is best enjoyed after a workout as it will help your muscles recover better.
Why Water Is the Best Option to Drink During a Workout
It’s essential to stay hydrated during a workout and water will ensure this as providing hydration most efficiently is exactly what it does. Drinking no less than eight glasses of water per day is associated with many health benefits by default. Many studies prove this and the vital role of hydration for maintaining your health.
Unlike sports and energy drinks, flavored sodas, and even sports shakes, plain water doesn’t come with a huge calorie baggage. In fact, a study from the University of Illinois proves that drinking more water helps you lose weight. In a large part, this occurs because water is one of the most effective appetite suppressants.
Simply put, drinking a few sips of water every time you feel hungry will help you deal with hunger pangs more efficiently. As a whole, this will reduce your daily calorie intake and help adjust to a weight loss diet.
When drinking water during a workout, you manage to stay hydrated without adding a load of extra calories you’ll have to burn off right away. However, if your workout is intense and/or you are the ‘sweaty’ type, this drink might not be sufficient.
When to Choose a Sport or Energy Drink During a Workout?
You should drink sports drinks when your workout is hard and you’re sweating a lot. Some people are naturally prone to excessive sweating, they too will benefit from a sports drink during exercise.
The reason for this is that these beverages contain electrolytes, minerals, carbs, and plain old water. This means that aside from helping to keep you hydrated, they also restore the nutrients you lose with sweat and give you a boost of energy through carbs.
The matter of consuming energy drinks during workouts is a bit more complicated. These products vary greatly and some of them are a really bad choice for you. The benefits energy drinks can offer to exercisers stem from caffeine, which boosts your stamina and helps improve performance.
However, the majority of energy drinks also contain a lot of sugar and sodium. Neither is good for your health. They are also high in calories, so these drinks aren’t suitable for a weight loss program by default.
If you want to boost your energy and stamina with an energy drink, be sure to choose a sugar-free option.
How Much Should You Drink During a Workout?
There’s no ‘right’ amount of liquid to consume when you work out as it depends on many factors. The most important of those are your personal constitution and needs, intensity of the workout, and environment.
Your best guide is your own body as you should always try to drink your fill. However, if you choose sports or energy drinks, this might mean overloading on calories. Therefore, if you get thirsty fast, you’d best choose water for your workout or at least limit the amount of other drinks.