It’s well known that we need to rehydrate after exercise to replace sweat loss. But did you know that when you sweat you lose more than just water?
Electrolytes such as sodium and potassium are also lost in your sweat. These minerals need to be replaced when you rehydrate during and after exercise to restore the balance of water and electrolytes in your body (1).
Why Are Electrolytes Important?
Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals that travel through the blood and extracellular fluid (2). Sodium is the most highly concentrated electrolyte lost in sweat, and is needed by the body to help balance the level of fluids (1, 3). As a positively charged ion, sodium works in contrast with the negatively charged potassium to create cell membrane potential, which is essential for normal muscle and nerve function (4).
Maintaining stable sodium levels is especially important during an intense workout. Low sodium levels can result in a decrease in the amount of extracellular fluid in circulation, which results in less blood volume and a lowered blood pressure which can cause fatigue (5).
Potassium is another important electrolyte that helps to control the balance of fluids in the body. It also helps nerves and muscles “communicate” and supports heart muscles (3, 6). A lack of potassium in the body can cause muscle cramping and weakness, as well as leave you with low energy. Even though far less potassium is lost in sweat compared to salt, it’s still important to restore depleted stores after a workout (4).
Refuel on Carbs
It’s also essential to rehydrate with a drink that provides carbohydrate, as the body’s energy stores will have been depleted during your workout. More and more studies are suggesting that consuming carbohydrates during a workout can improve performance, endurance, and recovery (7, 8).
In addition, consuming carbs immediately after exercise works to your advantage. It’s the time when your muscles are ready to store glycogen at a much faster rate (9, 10). By consuming carbohydrate in the form of monosaccharides, or simple sugars, – as opposed to complex carbohydrate that will need to be broken down by the body – can increase the rate of delivery of the carbohydrate to be absorbed in the small intestine (11).
Introducing Next Generation – AMPED™ Hydrate
Sports drinks are a great tool to help rehydrate and restore electrolyte balance; however, many popular formulations tend to contain excess sugar and calories that can deter health-conscious exercisers from using these products.
With your goals in mind, Isagenix created . This unique carbohydrate-electrolyte solution is enriched with zinc, B vitamins and vitamin C. AMPED Hydrate also supplies the body with easily digestible carbohydrate that can be delivered to your muscles quickly. One of the benefits of consuming a carbohydrate-electrolyte mix is that sodium stimulates the uptake of sugar and water in the small intestine, which helps with rehydration (11).
No matter what exercise you’re undertaking, AMPED Hydrate helps to rehydrate, nourish, and energize your body to get the most out of every workout.
- Sawka MN, Montain SJ. Fluid and electrolyte supplementation for exercise heat stress. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72(suppl):564S-72S
- NHS Choices. Electrolyte test. 2015. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Electrolytes/Pages/Introduction.aspx (accessed 05/09/2017)
- NHS Choices. Vitamins and minerals. 2017. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Other-vitamins-minerals.aspx (accessed 05/09/2017)
- Higdon J. Sodium (Chloride). Linus Pauling Institute: Micronutrient Research for Optimum Health. 2004 Feb.
- Sahay M, Sahay R. Hyponatremia: A practical approach. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Nov-Dec; 18(6): 760–771
- NHS Choices. Potassium test. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Potassium-test/Pages/Introduction.aspx (accessed 05/09/2017)
- Rowlands DS, Swift M, Ros M, Green JG. Composite versus single transportable carbohydrate solution enhances race and laboratory cycling performance. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2012 Jun;37(3):425-36
- Wallis GA, Hulston CJ, Mann CH, Roper HP, Titpon KD, Jeukendrup AE. Postexercise muscle glycogen synthesis with combined glucose and fructose ingestion. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2008 Oct;40(10):1789-94
- Thomas DT, Erdman KA, Burke LM. American College of Sports Medicine Joint Position Statement. Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2016;48(3):543-568
- Ivy JL, Katz AL, Cutler CL, Sherman WM, Coyle EF. Muscle glycogen synthesis after exercise: effect of time of carbohydrate ingestion. J Appl Physiol 1988;64(4):1480-1485
- Shirreffs SM. Hydration in sport and exercise: water, sports drinks and other drinks. Nutr Bull 2009;34:374-379
When it comes to athletic performance, the nutritional focus tends to be before and after training. While proper preparation and recovery are critical, people tend to forget the importance of nourishing their bodies during the workout. Here are three things not to forget the next time you hit the gym.
Drink Enough Water
Sweating is the first sign that your body is losing water, and during a hard workout it can lead to dehydration. The loss of even 1 percent of body water can negatively affect physical and mental performance significantly. To maximize performance, consistently supplying your body with small amounts of water before and during your workout is key.
Why Electrolytes Are Important
Hydration and electrolyte status are linked, and only replacing water during a workout without electrolytes can lead to an imbalance in your body that can result in impaired physical and mental performance. When you sweat your body not only loses water, but also critical electrolytes such as sodium and potassium that play a major role in energy production (1-3).
To restore these vital electrolytes, many turn to sugary sports drinks that are often laden with excess calories and artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners.
Refuel on Carbs
Not only is replacing the loss of water and electrolytes important during a workout, but the body’s energy stores as well. More and more studies are proving that consuming carbohydrates during a workout leads to improved performance and endurance (4, 5). However, not just any form of carbohydrates will do the trick, often the excess of simple sugars in sports drinks leads to abdominal distress and discomfort — the last thing you want during intense physical activity.
Introducing the Next Generation – AMPED Hydrate
AMPED have an increased in electrolytes and other nutrients that supplies the body with a blend of quickly absorbing carbohydrates to help spare muscle and liver glycogen stores, boost energy, and restore any shortages that may inhibit performance.
No matter what type of exercise or active level you are, AMPED Hydrate is the perfect sports powder to rehydrate, nourish, and energize your body to make the most out of every workout.
- Maughan RJ, et al. Fluid and electrolyte intake and loss in elite soccer players during training. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2004 Jun;14(3):333-46.
- Maughan RJ, et al .Water balance and salt losses in competitive football. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2007 Dec;17(6):583-94.
- Newell M, et al. Fluid and electrolyte balance in elite gaelic football players. Ir Med J. 2008 Sep;101(8):236-9.
- Rowlands DS, et al. Composite versus single transportable carbohydrate solution enhances race and laboratory cycling performance. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Jun;37(3):425-36. doi: 10.1139/h2012-013. Epub 2012 Apr 3.
- Wallis GA, et al. Postexercise muscle glycogen synthesis with combined glucose and fructose ingestion. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008 Oct;40(10):1789-94. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31817e0f7e.
The question of how much water your body needs to stay hydrated can be a bit tricky. Is it eight glasses a day? There are easy rules to follow when trying to stay hydrated, but is there really a definitive answer to how much water is needed on a daily basis? Because we all have very different hydration needs that vary depending on our health, activity level, diet and climate, there is no specific one-size-fits-all recommendation.
However, one thing is certain, and that’s the fact that water is critical for each and every one of us. Water makes up 60 percent of our body weight and can vary depending on size and gender (1). Hydration can come from water, food, or metabolic water production. Generally speaking, healthy adults should drink a minimum of 2 litres, or 8.5 cups, of water or fluid every day. However, that can vary greatly from person to person (1-4).
Differences in optimal intake
While considering optimal hydration, there are a few factors to keep in mind. You must take into account the intensity of your fitness routine, the temperature outdoors, current health status and, for women, being pregnant or lactating (2-4).
Athletes who engage in vigorous activities have hydration requirements greater than those individuals who are sedentary by about one to three cups per day. Performing exercise for extended periods of time, especially over an hour, makes electrolytes (sodium and potassium) imperative to hydration. Replacing electrolytes that are lost through sweating helps avoid the condition of having too little sodium in your blood (2-4).
Similarly, living in warm weather with high temperatures or humidity causes greater fluid loss than that of individuals living in climates that are more temperate. For this reason, additional fluids and electrolytes are recommended for people lucky enough to live where it’s warm (2-4).
Fluid intake becomes even more variable if you are sick or are experiencing vomiting or diarrhoea. Those who have chronic health conditions that prevent normal fluid release or abnormal fluid retention should discuss their hydration needs with a physician (2-4).
Lastly, pregnant or lactating women require more fluids for adequate hydration in the range of 10 to 14 additional cups per day. Putting their recommended daily fluid intake level to around 4.5 litres or 18 cups (2-4).
What counts toward hydration
Optimal hydration can be reached through drinking various fluids and by eating water-dense foods.
Findings from a recent study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggest that regardless of the fluids ingested, the body knows how to use them for optimal hydration (5). Researchers observed a group of healthy males, randomised to varying sources of hydration for 24 hours. They were randomised to either consume water, water and diet soda, water and regular soda, or water with regular soda, diet soda and orange juice mixed. After testing the subjects’ urine for biological markers of hydration and dehydration, the scientists discovered that all of the men were adequately hydrated.
Coffee, despite some common beliefs, is also a good hydrator. While early research may have observed that coffee can induce urination in some people, later research confirmed that it does not in any way contribute to dehydration of any part of the body and it can be useful in providing hydration over the course of the day (1). Hydration through coffee, which is also positively associated with better mood and cognition, is a win-win in terms of both its hydrating and uplifting benefits (5-7).
Most recently, scientists have proposed milk and whey to be good sources of optimal hydration. In the Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences, a study looked at the components of milk and whey proteins as an alternative source for hydration and rehydration after exercise. Due to the branched-chain amino acids, natural electrolytes and longer feeling of satiety that whey-based foods offer, they are a superior source of hydration and rehydration (8). Whey-based protein recovery drinks and meal replacement shakes do count toward hydration and provide added satiety.
Hydration and weight loss
Hydration is paramount to health and wellness and can even contribute to weight gain or weight loss. It’s no secret that sugary beverages, laden with empty calories, could be one of the culprits leading to global obesity (9). However, sugar-free drinks like water, coffee and tea have been linked to better weight-loss success. As described in the European Journal of Obesity, there are many beneficial effects of ample fluid intake on potential weight loss and weight maintenance, because the act of ingesting healthy fluids can help prevent the ingestion of excessive calories from foods (9).
Also, proper hydration plays a role in counteracting overeating. Thirst can often be mistaken for hunger so food is eaten instead of drinking water or other fluid (1). A good idea is to first hydrate with a glass of water, a cup of coffee or tea, or any other sugar-free beverage before grabbing a snack.
Staying properly hydrated also plays a role in thermoregulation. A body that is properly hydrated burns more calories than a body that is dehydrated. Some water-containing fluids can help, too. Coffee is also rich in polyphenolic compounds and caffeine, which are linked to increased metabolism that provides the potential for greater calories burned (10).
Thinking outside the water bottle
When determining personal water and fluid intake needed for optimal hydration, one of the best things to remember is to not become thirsty. Achieve this by drinking plenty of plain water, in addition to other healthy fluids like coffee, tea, electrolyte-enhanced beverages and whey-based protein drinks.
Eating plenty of water-dense fruits and vegetables, such as cucumbers, bell peppers, and watermelon, contribute to optimal hydration as well. Also be sure to add plenty of delicious and healthy drinks and water-dense produce to meals and snacks. Optimal hydration doesn’t have to mean chugging down jugs and jugs of water, but can be achieved with a variety of fluids and delicious foods.
- Lafontan M. Visscher TL. Lambert NF et al. Opportunities for intervention strategies for weight management: Global actions on fluid intake patterns. Euro J Obesity. 2014. 10.
- Hydration: Why it’s so important. American Academy of Family Physicians. http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/food-nutrition/nutrients/hydration-why-its-so-important.html. Aug. 12. 2014.
- Sterns RH. Maintenance and replacement fluid therapy in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. 2014.
- Mayo Clinic Hydration Resource. September 5. 2014. Mayo Clinic Web Site.
- Tucker MA. Ganio MS. Adams JD et al. Hydration status over the 24-H is not affected by ingested beverage composition. J A Coll Nutri. 2014.
- Masento N. Golightly M. Field DT. Butler LT. Van Reekum CM. Effects of hydration status on cognitive performance and mood. Brit J of Nutri. 2014. 111 (10) 1841-1852.
- Lucas M. Mirzaei F. Okereke O et al. Coffee, caffeine, and risk of depression among women. Arch Intern Med. 2011. 26 (17): 1571-1578.
- Pegoretti C. Antunes AE. Gobatta F et al. Milk an alternative beverage for hydration. Food and Nutri Sci.2015. 6. 547-554.
- Borys JM. Ruyter JC. Finch H et al. Hydration and obesity prevention. Euro J Obesity. 2014.
- Rustenbeck I. Lier-Glaubitz V. Willenborg M et al. Effect of chronic coffee consumption on weight gain and glycaemia in a mouse model of obesity and type 2 diabetes.Nutr Diabetes. 2014. 4:e123.