5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Sports Drink

With all of the variety of sports drinks it’s hard to know, which one to use or how to use it.  Make sure you are choosing what works best for you and fueling your sport!

1. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink.  Drink proactively. Do not allow yourself to become dehydrated during a workout.  Drink about 2 cups of fluid 1 hour before, 1/2c 15 minutes before and take a couple sips every 15 minutes throughout your activity.  When activity lasting longer than 60 minutes incorporate  a sports drink.

2. Fuel with the Carbs, electrolytes and fluid. Do not dilute your beverage because you are then diluting the nutrients too. You will not take in enough electrolytes and carb if you dilute your drink. If you don’t like the taste of your drink, then consider choosing a different sports drink.

3. Check the label. Many athletes choose a drink because it’s popular versus choosing by the nutrient needs for them.  Always consult a Sports RD to determine your individual nutrient needs.  It’s recommended that you get a minimum of 100
milligrams of sodium per 8 ounces of sports drink.

4. Drink what you like.  Don’t just choose a drink because a teammate told you it is the best.  If you do not like the way it tastes you will not drink enough to stay hydrated.

5. Keep it sport/exercise specific. Only consume your sports drinks when needed.  If you are exercising for over 1 hour then you may need a sports drink.  If you are exercising in hot/humid climates you may need a sports drink.  If you are having it with your daily lunch, then you should just be having water.

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