Fortified to Thrive

Hydration Catalysts

Jul 1, 2003
Outside Magazine

THE CLAIM: Ever since Gatorade turned University of Florida football into the comeback brigade in 1967, athletes have reaped the benefits of water with a little something extra. Now, pretty much every sports drink claims it will improve your performance by replacing essential electrolytes. The latest versions—enhanced waters like Propel—are marketed with claims that they hydrate with fewer calories.
THE TRUTH: It's well-known that sweaty exercise flushes both water and sodium from your system, so to rehydrate, you require more than just H20. "You need to replace your lost minerals with something that contains minerals," says Wollschlaeger. "They help your cells work efficiently to keep your body going." Sodium and potassium also help you retain water, slowing down the dehydration process. Finally, to ensure that you get your fill of fluids, especially during workout sessions that end before your thirst kicks in, these liquids rely on their sweet taste to keep you drinking. But do yourself a favor and skip any product containing more than 9 percent carbohydrates. Levels that high actually hinder digestion and hydration before and during exercise.

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