Which Water Hydration is Best for your Workout?


In this crazy world, nothing can be simple--- not even water.  You wouldn't think to mosey down a supermarket's water aisle and leave overwhelmed. There's vitamin water, flavored water, fitness water, sports drinks and I think I once saw diet water. There's too much H2O indecisiveness; what happened to plain old water?

Water has acquired some stiff competition over the years, but how do you know which competitors are best for your workout and overall health? Thankfully for Self Magazine, I got the 411.

Sports Drinks

What are they? Sports drinks refuel the sodium and potassium, electrolytes that are sweat out during exercise, to help muscles work efficiently.

Do you need one? Only when enduring a serious sweat session (heavy lifting or spinning); they're designed for people exercising more than an hour at high intensity. If you're not hoofin' it, then one of these drinks could negate the calories you just burned. Many sports drinks also include unnecessary sugars so make sure to check labels.

How to buy: Look for a drink with 50-70 calories, up to 19 grams of carbs and at least 100 milligrams per 8 ounces. Keep an eye out for Gatorade G-Series 02 Perform and Powerade Ion 4! (source)

Fitness Waters


What are they? Fitness waters represent the lighter version of sports drinks. They have little to few calories and some replenish electrolytes; however, don't rely on them to aid in muscle recovery.

Do you need one? These drinks are perfect for a moderately-intense 45 minute workout (running or biking). Keep adding water to enjoy the flavor longer but remember plain old water works just as well!

How to buy: Look for calorie-free options that have 80- 100 mg sodium per 8 oz. Propel Zero is a great pick and will keep you hydrated without canceling out the calories you just burned! (source)

Vitamin Waters

What are they? Vitamin waters provide added vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B, C, and E. Some brands advertise extra perks such as a boost in energy, immunity or concentration.

Do you need on? Probably not unless you really love the taste and feel the perks prove true. According to sports dietitian, Jenna Bell, R.D., vitamin waters won't dramatically change your health. The body absorbs vitamins better for food so reach for an orange when you need a boost in vitamin C. (source)

How to buy: Snatch a no-calorie options like Vitaminwater Zero or Skinny Water Total-V. To stray clear of a vitamin overload, skip brands with nutrients that you already get in your diet.

Flavored Waters

What are they? Just as the title states, it's water with a little pizzazz. They're infused with natural ingredients such as citrus, berries, mint and fruit.  They provide the benefits of water with a hint of flavor without adding calories or unnecessary artificials.

Do you need on? They're great alternative to plain old water but can often be pricey. To save money and the environment: use a refillable BPA-free bottle, tap water and a little lemon juice. It's just as tasty and less expensive!
How to buy: Make sure the ingredients list is short and sweet (and you can pronounce the ingredients). It should only include: water and natural ingredients. Choose calorie-free options like Hint Water and Mentromint.

And remember, there is nothing wrong with plain old water! It's the nectar of the fitness gods!

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