I’ve signed up for the 2017 Honolulu Marathon! I am officially going to start running again (or at least I hope to). Hawaii is blessed with year-round, gloriously warm weather, so any exercise calls for proper hydration.
(little note for mommas: I am still breastfeeding, so we need to be extra cautions with hydration. Since breast milk is 90% water, we need to drink at least four extra glasses of water per day. So make sure to hydrated well before the workouts to nourish baby upon return)
Water is my clear first choice as the most fundamental aspect of rehydration. Water regulates our temperature, lubricate joints, and transports nutrients throughout the body. However, when we run, especially in hot weather, we know that important electrolytes are lost through sweat.
So it’s vital to replenish the minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium and chloride to allow our bodies to perform optimally. A wide variety of electrolyte beverages are available. The most popular choices, such as Gatorade and Powerade, often contain unwanted ingredients:
- High fructose corn syrup, a “fake” sugar, is difficult for the body to metabolize.
- Artificial colors and flavors may be harmful to our brains.
Although these pick-me-ups can be cheaper, in the long run they do more harm than good. Therefore, I tried to find healthier options.
Here are my three top picks:
Nothing beats cold, sweet water from a real coconut. I dream of owning a farm with abundant coconut trees, so I can open a refreshing fruit every day. But, for now, I am content with the coconut coming from a bottle. I prefer brands that don’t sneak in any unneeded sugar. Coconut water has a unique natural composition of sugars, vitamins, minerals (specifically potassium) and amino acids.
As a child, I thought of effervescent vitamin C tablets as a delicious soda. I loved the sweet and bubbly mixture and often asked, “Mom, can I have one more, please?”
Nuun brings back that memory. But, more importantly, it contains clean ingredients: plant-based sweeteners, natural flavors, vitamin C, sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. This tablet comes in a variety of delicious flavors and is easy to carry around. Sometimes I bring Nuun to the movies or restaurants and add it to my water for a guilt-free thirst-quencher.
As the name suggests, this powder can truly be a lifesaver. It supplies a lot more electrolytes than the average sports drink and consequently has a saltier taste. I hydrate with SOS before or after a long run. The day before a race, I prepare a bottle of SOS and sip it throughout the day to guarantee that I am well hydrated, with a good balance of electrolytes and glucose. SOS ingredients are: cane sugar, sodium, potassium, magnesium, citrate, chloride and natural flavors. Their new coconut flavor is my favorite!
I hope to see you on the road soon, well hydrated! What is your go-to hydration drink?