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Why Water, Not a Sports Drink, is Your Best Summer Thirst Quencher

March 31, 2017

A May, 2011 report in The American Association of Pediatrics stated: “Rigorous review and analysis of the literature reveal that caffeine and other stimulant substances contained in energy drinks have no place in the diet of children and adolescents. Furthermore, frequent or excessive intake of caloric sports drinks can substantially increase the risk for overweight or obesity in children and adolescents.”

The report, entitled “Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks for Children and Adolescents: Are They Appropriate?” went on to say: “given the current epidemic of childhood overweight and obesity, we recommend the elimination of calorie containing beverages from a well balanced diet, with the exception of low-fat or fat-free milk, because it contains calcium and vitamin D, which are particularly important for young people.”

Save calories and money – add flavor to water with True Citrus!
Americans have been spending as much as $870 million every year for drinks with carbohydrates, electrolytes and minerals that supposedly help us perform better and recover faster from exercise. But nutritionists say a quart of water for every hour we exercise works just the same.

Water hydrates better than any other liquid, both before and during exercise. You can enhance water’s taste with True Lemon, True Lime, or True Orange, or combine them to your preference. True Citrus adds no calories, carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives.

Your sweat rate tells you how much water you need.
In general, adults should drink 4-6 ounces of water for every 15-20 minutes of exercise. However, individual needs vary, and your thirst is a good indicator of how much water your body needs. You can also find your own ‘sweat rate’ to determine how much you need to drink when exercising.

Your Sweat Rate is (A + B) ÷ C.
Here’s how to calculate (you can also find Sweat Rate calculators online):

A = Before exercise body weight MINUS after-exercise body weight, in ounces. (1 lb. = 16 oz.)
B = Amount of fluids drank during exercise, in ounces. (1 cup = 8 oz)
C = Exercise duration, recorded in hours. (40 min = .66 hr)

For example, Tom weighs 165 lbs.  He went on a 90-minute hike, during which he drank 22 ounces of water. After the hike his weight was 164.5 lbs.

A = Weight Change During Exercise = 125.0 lb – 124.5 lb = 0.5 lb = 8 ounces
B = Fluid Consumed During Exercise = 22 ounces
C = Exercise Duration = 90 min = 1.5 hours
Sweat Rate = (8 oz + 22 oz) ÷ 1.5 hr = 20 oz/hr

Sports drinks may sometimes be appropriate if you’re intensely exercising for more than 60 minutes. However, if you’ve eaten a decent, high-carbohydrate meal in the three-four hours before your workout, you probably don’t need a sports drink even with rigorous, lengthy exercise. Muscles store 60 to 90 minutes worth of carbohydrates. And a balanced diet provides plenty of the electrolyte sodium.

What about other drinks?
Let’s address them individually. As well as being high in calories, the fruit sugar in juice actually reduces the rate that your cells can absorb water. The carbohydrates and sugars in soda will also slow water absorption, and we all know about the dangers of too much sugar. Caffeinated coffee and teas are dieuretics, and make your kidneys pull water out of your bloodstream even as the digestive system is pulling water into your body. There are other benefits to choosing these hot beverages, but not when they include added sweeteners, or if you drink far too much.

The pediatrician’s organization may have been warning against sports and energy drinks for children, but adults would be wise to heed their words as well and stay hydrated with plain water, without sugar, carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners or caffeine. Water with True Citrus products are the way to go!

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Tags: hydration, health tips, wellness, beverages, true citrus