In athletics we see a lot of ads for sports drinks like Gatoraid and Poweraid. However as many people have learned, the high salt and sugar content makes them a less than desirable drink for anyone competition in a sport with weight classes. Sure maybe at a competition they might be useful, but in general most BJJ players have learned to avoid them. We do have plenty of other alternatives that can provide some great benefits to us, without as much salt or sugar. Here are just a few of the common drinks that can help you stay hydrated while training.
- Water- Water will always be the best solution because it serves one function and that is pure rehydration and it does this the best. Because water has been a staple of our survival since the dawn of man our body naturally processes it better and without any consequences. Many studies have found that athletes should drink upwards of 1 gallon a day in order to stay hydrated and promote healthy weight.
- Coconut water- This has become more popular in recent years and for good reason. It provides natural sugars along with minerals and electrolytes, but in a more rational way than sports drinks “Coconut water is composed of many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA-polymerases etc. In effect, these enzymes help in the digestion and metabolism; Its liquid is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that the human body requires them from external sources to replenish.”( nutrition-and-you.com)
- Tea- There are many kinds of tea and all are very good choices as long as they don’t come packed with added sugars. The proven befits of tea are numerous but the main ones I enjoy are the natural caffeine which helps promote energy and its thermogenic effect of fat metabolism, which can promote weight loss.
Obviously we have many more choices to choose from for hydration, but I prefer the natural remedies, because in most cases they are just simply healthier for us. Other sports/juice/energy drinks can be good tasting, but come packed with many other effects which may be undesirable in the long run. As athletes it is our responsibility to keep hydrated. How do you stay hydrated ?