Everyone knows it’s important to stay hydrated when exercising or working in the heat. But do you know why? Dehydration can lead to fatigue, dizziness, confusion, irritability, vomiting and diarrhea. None of these are things we’re taking into 2019 with us!
Experts suggest consuming up to a liter of liquid per hour when it’s hot and you’re exerting yourself. So why is drinking Gatorade better for you than drinking water?
Water does not contain any nutrients; it’s just water. In addition to water, Gatorade contains two extra ingredients that help your body function properly during times of exertion:
Yes, some carbs are good. Gatorade provides you with easily digested carbohydrates, to add fuel to your fire whether you’re working out or changing tires. Gatorade also contains minerals such as potassium and sodium, called electrolytes, that help your cells replenish themselves after exertion in the heat.
Electrolytes are crucial to regulating your body’s intake of liquid. The minerals dissolve in your body and collect in your cells to help you process liquids faster. Quicker liquid uptake helps your avoid cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Heatstroke can result in unconsciousness and even death.
Simply put, Gatorade is better for you than water because it helps your body recover faster from extreme exertion.
Replenish Carbs and Electrolytes by Drinking Gatorade Instead of Water
The levels of carbohydrates and electrolytes in your body shrink as you exert yourself. When your body runs low on potassium, your muscles cramp. The first sign of low sodium in your body is a white film that gathers on your skin. If you feel dizzy or get a headache, you’re likely low on fluids and electrolytes.
Avoid heat illness by consuming liquids at regular intervals while exercising or working in the heat. Don’t wait until you feel sick or cramp up – that’s too late. Don’t depend on the arrival of thirst or the appearance of sweat before you hydrate. Replenishing your liquids while you exert yourself is the best way toavoid heat illness and discomfort.
The presence of electrolytes and carbohydrates helps your body function properly during times of heat stress. Here are a few tips on regulating your hydration during periods of extreme heat:
- At Work. When temps rise about 90 degrees, watch out for heat stress. Wearing heavy work clothes can increase your risk. Don’t rush. Give your body time to adjust to the outside heat before you begin exerting yourself. Click here for tips on how to recognize and respond to heat illness at work.
- At Play. If your game or work out lasts more than an hour, you should drink Gatorade to extend your time to fatigue and to help prevent dehydration. Try to drink a few cups of water or Gatorade a couple hours before exercising. For more tips on staying hydrated during athletics, click here.
You’ll feel better, and last longer, by drinking Gatorade instead of water when you exercise or work in the heat. The added minerals in Gatorade help increase the intake of liquids into your cells, and the carbs in Gatorade give energy to your pursuits. For replenishing your body with fluid during times of heat stress, Gatorade works better than water.