Drink up – it’s serious business, guys. Human bodies are composed of between 50 and 60 percent of water; drinking enough to replenish whatever water our body loses during a yoga session improves temperature regulation (looking at you Bikram yogis!), increases joint lubrication, and contributes to more physical efficiency as water helps your body transport oxygen to your muscles.
But last time I scanned the studio, very few people were drinking plain ol’ H20. Which poses the question – where do these hydration agents rank in comparison to water and to each other?
Not only is it relatively trendy, a study recently published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that coconut water replenishes body fluids as well as a sports drink and better than water, but the athletes preferred the taste of the sports drinks. So if you enjoy the taste, which is definitely an acquired one for some, this thirst-quencher ranks as a drink up!
Sports drinks provide three things your body needs during exercise – hydration, fuel from carbohydrates and sugars, and electrolytes or minerals like sodium, potassium and chloride to replace what athletes lose while sweating. Keep an eye on the sugar and calorie content, but once again, this thirst-quencher ranks as another drink up!
A Bikram instructor of mine told me a story—a woman came to class straight from work, on an empty stomach and armed with two energy drinks. The 105 degree heat intensified the jitters and nausea many experience with a jolt of caffeine, and she passed out during class. Granted, that is an extreme case, and studies have shown that caffeine is a non-harmful stimulant that provides performance-enhancing benefits, which can include improved endurance, stamina, and reaction time. So, when it comes to energy drinks, sip with care.
Plain Ol’ Water
Crisp, pure, simple. Fresh water really is all that! As mentioned above, proper rehydration makes us feel and perform better. But water for some can be a little plain, so don’t be afraid to mix it up, and soak lemons, oranges, mint or berries in your water for a flavored, low-calorie, thirst-quencher!