They say that you should drink eight glasses of water per day. It’s supposed to keep you hydrated, eliminate fatigue and keep you from mistaking thirst for hunger.
I wish I could tell you that I drink that much water in an average day. I don’t. And honestly, I don’t know anyone who does.
It’s obvious that hydration is vital, regardless of whether or not you’re striving to reach a fitness goal.
There are so many choices for drinks. You might be on your way to class when you decide to grab a Red Bull (you were up really late … procrastinating). You might need a blast of sugar with your bland lunch from Grab N Go, so you choose Mountain Dew.
Sometimes we forget that drinks are filled with calories too, and we sip away. But in order to get to where we physically want to be, we need to make the right choices. What should and shouldn’t we be drinking when we’re trying to reach a goal?
Let’s wash down the facts.
The Gatorade debate
Professional athletes may endlessly advocate sports drinks, but there have been a lot of questions surrounding the sugary beverages. Why should we be drinking a Gatorade or Powerade after an extensive cardio workout?
Apparently, sports drinks are designed to renew three things after your vigorous workout: They provide electrolytes, hydration and fuel. These are all factors of which your body has been deprived during the exercise.
Minerals like potassium, sodium and chloride that are commonly lost through sweat are replaced by electrolytes found in sports drinks. That seems like a pretty good deal.
Are energy drinks OK?
Initially, I wouldn’t have believed that these drinks carried any advantages. Red Bull and Amp are obviously packed with sugar and calories, but it seems that the caffeine boost can have a few positive effects.
Stamina, endurance and reaction time may be increased with a shot of caffeine in your bloodstream. If you want the benefits, take your Red Bull sugar-free.
Little changes to your diet can go a long way!
The case with alcohol
With fest season in full swing, alcohol could be the one thing standing in your way of looking and feeling good come summer.
Consider this: Alcohol has no nutritional value, but it has at least seven calories per gram. Because of this, excess consumption leads to weight gain. So we’ll be fine if we just work out, right?
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. There are no physical benefits when you binge drink.
When you drink a significant amount after a heavy workout, the alcohol significantly hinders your recovery. Your body wants to process the alcohol first, instead of burning fat and carbs. Because of this, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol packs on the fat.
After a workout, we obviously need to constantly keep drinking water. But dehydration inevitably occurs during and after we drink, and it’s not like that PBR will help with the rehydration.
In short, your workout’s advantages are short-lived. If you want it to have more of an effect, try working out earlier in the day, or several hours before you go out drinking.
Water is the winner
Water will always be universal, unconditional. It’s the best choice.
It has no sugar or calories, and no matter what mood you’re in, you can always stomach it. It almost makes everything better.
Even if you’re not trying to reach a certain goal, cutting down on drinking pop, alcohol or energy drinks will help decrease your calorie intake and contribute to a healthier and better-looking you, even if you’re not drinking eight glasses of water per day.
So, choose water, live healthier.
Kaitlyn Richert is a sophomore studying journalism and informational graphics and columnist for The Post. Email her your health and hydration tips at email@example.com.