Healthier Me: Sports Drinks vs. Water During Exercise

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Most athletes regularly use drinks like Gatorade or Powerade to recover from intense training or competition.

Valley News Teams, Danielle Barber, explains how your activity level determines what you should actually be drinking.

If you're feeling fatigued, sore or worn out during or after exercise, what you're drinking may be to blame.

"We're losing sweat, so we're losing some electrolytes out of that sweat,"said registered dietitian, Kelsey Herrick. "So, we need to replenish those just so we can stay on top of our game."

When your workout lasts less than an hour, Herrick said water will suffice.

"It helps to prevent dehydration," Herrick said. "So, it can keep you focused on your event or your workout.

Staying hydrated is key to helping your body recover properly.

"A good indicator of hydration status to make sure that you're well hydrated is that your urine is more that pale lemonade color rather than apple juice," added Herrick.

But, sometimes water just won't cut it.

"I would encourage people to have a sports drink for anything that is intense or anything lasting over an hour for your exercise," said Herrick.

After your workout is finished, replenishing your body doesn't stop there.

"With the protein bar, it's giving you some protein, but we still want to make sure that you're still giving enough carbs, too, that the sports drink can provide," Herrick said.

And, if you're still feeling sluggish, Herrick suggests changing your eating patterns leading up to your workout.