Replenish your body with the right fluids after working up a sweat.
By Amanda Pinney
Drink this: coconut water
Not that: artificially sweetened sports drinks
Says who: Kim Eagle, personal trainer and nutrition coach at Earn That Body, earnthatbody.com
Why: While many people turn to brightly colored sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade to quench thirst and replace lost electrolytes after a workout, coconut water is a more natural way to hydrate. Although sports drinks often contain a higher amount of the electrolytes needed to replenish the body, they can also be loaded with extra calories and artificial dyes and sweeteners.
“The best natural electrolyte water is actually coconut water,” Eagle says. “It’s super high in potassium and magnesium, which is fantastic to replenish those electrolytes. It doesn’t have added sugar, artificial sweetener or dye, so it is…a great natural sports drink.”
What are electrolytes? Electrolytes are minerals in the blood and body fluids that carry an electric charge.
“They’re important to maintain our health because they actually play a role in the amount of water in the body, muscle action and the blood’s pH level,” Eagle says. “It’s really important that the electrolytes in our body are balanced appropriately since they affect all those different aspects and functions in the body.”
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“The best method is always going to be drinking plain water. The fancy waters you’ll see out there sometimes have a lot of ingredients in them, like artificial colors, and some have caffeine and a lot of unnecessary calories. If you’re just trying to hydrate, plain water is all you need.”
Sports DrinksWith Natural Ingredients
“If you’re working out for over an hour or you’ve been ill, then you likely need fluids with more electrolytes to help replenish everything that was lost while you were sweating. Depending on which sports drink you buy, some of them don’t have the artificial sweeteners or dye. It’s something the consumer has to be really responsible about and check the labels.”
Kim Eagle’s favorite sports drinks:
• Infinit Nutrition
• Gatorade Endurance Formula
“Lemon water helps you hydrate more. The flavor and the natural essence of lemon—or another fruit, such as an orange or watermelon—encourages you to drink more water without adding anything artificial.”