Athletes train almost daily, and with their active lifestyle, they need something to supply their body with only the essential nutrients so they can function at their best. Their diet should comprise carefully selected food items based on their requirements. But, what’s crucial for athletes is getting hydrated. They sweat most of the time, and what their body loses through training should be replaced accordingly; otherwise, they could suffer from dehydration.
Regular people lose one to two liters of fluid during exercise, but athletes can lose up to three liters of fluid during an intense training session. This can result in muscle cramping and heat exhaustion. In severe cases, it could lead to PEES or post-extreme endurance syndrome, which could be fatal. There have been incidents of PEES leading to sudden cardiac arrest.
That’s why, if you’re an athlete, you need to keep your hydration in check and drink your fluids. To help you out, here are the best beverages that athletes like you should take:
- Healthy Smoothies
Athletes can benefit greatly from healthy fruit smoothies packed with vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients. There are different types of smoothies available now for athletes. Today, companies that look after athletes’ welfare and needs can customize smoothies to suit their specific needs.
There are smoothies intended to address muscle recovery, promote strong bones, help detoxify the body, and supply one’s body with rich antioxidants to fight oxidative stress, which is the leading cause of illnesses. You may visit the websites of brands that sell these types of smoothies to get more info, particularly on their nutritional content.
Water is still the number one preferred beverage for anyone, athletes included. The importance of water should never be underestimated. Water is crucial in ensuring that nutrients are transported to all parts of your body, your joints are lubricated, your temperature is regulated, and your heart is not having difficulty pumping blood to your entire system.
It’s pretty easy to tell if you’re dehydrated; you can always check the color of your urine. If it’s colorless or light yellow, you’re well-hydrated. But, if it’s dark yellow or amber-colored, it’s a sign of dehydration.
Athletes must drink water before, during, and after an exercise or training session to prepare their bodies and replace the lost fluids. Ideally, an adult female athlete should consume about 2.7 liters of water each day, while a male adult athlete, 3.7 liters a day. It’s important to remember an athlete should drink 16-24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight after an exercise or training session.
- Sports Drinks
There’s a reason why they’re called sports drinks. They’re created to replace glucose, fluids, and electrolytes lost during intense training, particularly people participating in sports. In some cases, they contain B vitamins to help replenish energy.
Not many people know that the flavors of sports drinks are well-researched to ensure that those that need them would be enticed to drink them in abundance and in a speedy manner so that their bodies could quickly absorb all the required electrolytes. Sports drinks contain sugar that stands as carbohydrates to give the body energy.
However, sports drinks aren’t recommended for children as the sugar content could damage their teeth and affect their health.
Milk is a rich source of protein, carbohydrates, and electrolytes, and would be an excellent beverage for athletes. Aside from that, milk is high in potassium and magnesium, which helps avoid muscle cramping by giving the muscles flexibility and less contraction. Milk is also a rich source of calcium, which is essential in building strong bones and improving bone density. This is crucial for athletes who use their muscles and bones to perform the sports they’re into.
- Coconut Water
Lately, coconut water has been gaining popularity as a substitute for sports drinks as it’s high in electrolytes, but has low calories and is fat- and cholesterol-free. Aside from that, it’s rich in micronutrients, like potassium and magnesium, that athletes need.
Many athletes are now considering replacing their sports drinks with coconut water, although the challenge is its availability. The demand for coconut water is getting higher, and many countries that produce it, like Brazil and the Philippines, are looking for ways to support this demand by finding ways to lengthen its shelf life and produce it sustainably.
Athletes need all the help they can get to ensure their bodies are functioning well in preparation for competitions. Their bodies suffer from intense beating during training and workout sessions, and putting them back to their former state is crucial in ensuring that they can handle forthcoming physical activities. Healthy beverages could always help them achieve their bodies’ needs.