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Hydrating for Health and Performance

It was a warmer summer than what we’re used to at AIO and we all contributed to the flood of sweat on the floors of the gym. Even during the winter months though, our workouts still lead us to produce some pretty wet sweat angels. So it’s important that we properly replace everything we’re losing during our workouts.

The water part is easy, but sweat isn’t just made up of water. We also lose a fair amount of minerals (or electrolytes) that are vital to our ability to maintain water balance. With this loss, performance, health, and mental capacity can all be affected. Only a 2% loss of water and electrolytes is needed for performance to decrease. In fact, if we lose enough of them we can experience some very serious consequences. Cramping, fatigue and dizziness can occur. However, it can get as serious as seizures and loss of motor control.

Minerals act to keep the water inside of us. When combined with water in a drink, they also act to increase water’s rate of absorption. This is quite convenient when we’ve lost quite a bit of sweat and need to get it back quick.

This is where hydration drinks can be useful. They include not only water, but also these vital electrolytes. So not only are we getting essential electrolytes with them, but the water from them will be absorbed at a faster rate. Where one has to be careful is in looking at what else is in the ingredients list. Many of these drinks contain high amounts of sugar as well as artificial flavours, sweeteners and colours. If it tastes like candy and glows in the dark, chances are that you shouldn’t be drinking it. So you want to make sure you find drinks that are as free of artificial additives as possible. Meaning, they don’t have any!

Hydration drinks can either come as liquid or powders to be mixed. There are many different choices out there. It’s important to remember that processed drinks aren’t your only option though. One natural option would be coconut water. It has naturally occurring sugars to help you replenish your energy stores following a workout, but also electrolytes to help you restore your water balance. Either way, whatever option you choose, find one and use it.

If you have any questions regarding hydration or you’re looking for hydration products, visit our front desk, where we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have and offer you several healthy options to choose from.

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