Water is not enough to keep your body properly hydrated, especially if you’re physically active. Everyone needs to replace fluids and nutrients they use daily to prevent headaches, soreness, fatigue and even routine illnesses. Coaches, nutritionists, doctors and athletes repeat the same bad information again and again to people because they don’t know any better or because they were told information by someone they considered an “expert” so it must right. Let’s set some records straight and get your body set up to take maximum advantage of rapid hydration, sustained energy and nutritional antioxidant protection so you feel refreshed all day long!
What is hydration?
Hydration is the process of maintaining a good balance of fluids in your body based your physical requirements. If you’re an active person you will need a different balance than someone who is less active. Why? Your body consists mainly of water that is intermixed throughout your system. Water carries the fluids and nutrients to the cells of your body, making sure they stay replenished, toned, flexible and healthy. Without proper hydration those same elements cannot properly feed your body what it needs at a cellular level and various parts of your system can shut down very rapidly. This is why people experience headaches, fatigue, muscles cramps, etc. This is your body’s way of saying “hydrate me!” Good hydration with next generation products can help you get and stay in balance within 20 minutes.
When do need Hydration?
Dehydration is an issue throughout the year. Many people only think about it when they are physically active or during warmer temperatures but actually winter is equally important – that cold drying effect on your hands and face from being outside in the snow -dehydration. As your body dehydrates, it begins to retain moisture in its most importance areas. This leaves body zones such as your sinuses drier, you are less able to ward off harmful viruses and open yourself to infections. Ever sleep under a fan or an air conditioner and wake with a scratchy throat that became a head cold – dehydration. Keep yourself hydrated all the time for better health and maintaining a more active lifestyle.
Proper hydration to maintain health for an active person is unfortunately not as simple as just jugging some water. Think of your body as a sponge – no matter how much water you pour on it, the sponge can only absorb so much at a time and the rest runs off; same principle as saturated soil. So if you’re drinking one of those large containers of vitamin enriched water – it’s really a waste of money and you’re going to pee it away. Every day, water leaves your body based on your activity levels. An average person loses 3-6 liters of water per day. An active person can lose 1-2 liters of water per hourwhen exercising. And with that 1 -2 liters are the nutrients that your body needs to stay in good condition. Is there a way to aid your body in absorbing the nutrition is needs? Yes.
There are actually two distinct generations of hydration science. The first generation comes to us via college football and Florida State University. Based on his observations of players he developed a drink to aid his team retain their energy – the key ingredient – sugar. Called Gatorade to reflect its history it is still the largest product in this area because of time in market and advertizing. As science caught up, they learned that electrolytes such as sodium and potassium help the body to absorb more fluids. Carbohydrates work together with sodium to accelerate the rate at which water is absorbed by the body. It’s not just about throwing sugar, salt and potassium in a bottle and declaring victory – it’s about the right balance of ingredients to get the result you want.
These first generation products are usually higher in sugar and lower in nutrition. They help but second or next generation products take advantage of the latest in technology and science to deliver more effective and lower cost hydration. Don’t be fooled into spending your money for current “vitamin enriched” tap water with extra sugar or worse yet, no carbohydrates – you may feel good visiting the bathroom more often but it’s a waste of money.
Next generation products are characterized by a balance of essential electrolytes support cellular re-hydration, energizing carbohydrates for immediate and sustained energy; powerful antioxidants protect your body from fatigue and soreness and no caffeine. Nothing wrong with caffeine, it just not needed for hydration. They are a healthier alternative to high-calorie/high-sugar beverages.
Hydration drinks – quality ingredients count
Quality counts in everything – clothes, food, furniture, etc. Manufacturers will skimp on more costly ingredients to lower costs in this competitive market. Look for:
a serving size of 8oz – big bottles don’t mean your getting value or results because you can’t absorb it
high levels of antioxidant Vitamins A, C, E and potassium
good sugars – first generation products normally use cheaper processed cane sugar. This lowers cost, raises calories and does not provide as effective absorption as other naturally derived sugars.
Make sure it’s customizable to your needs – fitness goals, activity level and duration
Flexible and convenient – I don’t know about you but lugging around a lot of bottles seems like a waste of time. Look for a hydration product you can add to your existing water – bottled or tap. This makes it more customizable to your needs and cheaper – why pay more for water you already have.