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Fitness Fix: Water vs Sports Drinks

by Christy Taylor

We all know keeping yourself hydrated is important, whether you're putting in time at the gym, or just at the office.

The hard part is knowing WHAT to drink and WHEN.

Here's an easy guideline from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

The Do's and Don'ts of Sports Drinks

Go for WATER while:
watching TV
studying or working at a desk
engaging in a 3 mile run or bike ride

Sports Drinks are OK when:
you're participating in intense activity for 1 hour or longer
high intensity/volume training
exercising in environmental extremes (high heat/humidity/dryness), high altitude exercise, etc.

Sports drinks can fuel the active muscles of endurance athletes. The carbohydrates in sports drinks provide fuel in the form of added sugars. But with over 68% of Americans currently overweight, our diet is clearly adequate in calories to fuel a 45-minute brisk walk daily. We don't need a sweetened beverage to help us make it around the block.