Chicago Chiropractic

A Unique, Multidisciplinary Approach to Pain Management

Water vs. Sports Drinks


At Chicago Chiropractic we take sports injuries seriously, especially having treated patients such as Mike Lieberthal (former catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies).  No matter what your sport or activity, it is important that you keep your body adequately hydrated. You only have to lose about 2 percent of your body weight through sweating before you begin noticing the effects of dehydration, which reduces performance and can be dangerous for your health. Sports Injuries can come in many shapes and forms, but does it make any difference if you hydrate with water or a sports drink? The answer depends to some extent on the duration and intensity of your exercise.

Chicago Chiropractic suggests are exercising lightly for less than 60 minutes, water should be sufficient for hydration, assuming you drink some before, during and after your exercise routine. The body absorbs water more quickly than any other type of fluid, in addition to its low cost and lack of calories. You need to drink about 4 to 6 ounces of water for every 15 to 20 minutes of exercise to avoid becoming dehydrated. The amount can vary depending on the ambient temperature (you need more fluids in warmer climates) and the amount that you sweat.

For those doing more intense exercise, sports drinks offer some benefits over water. They can provide needed fuel for your workout and help replace the sodium you lose through sweating. They also provide some other minerals such as chloride and potassium, which are lost when you sweat. There are three kinds of sports drinks on the market, isotonic, hypotonic and hypertonic.

Isotonic drinks (such as Gatorade) replace fluids quickly and also provide carbohydrates to provide your body with energy. It also helps with


You should be sure you are well hydrated before you begin exercising, as your body is not efficient at absorbing carbohydrates if there is insufficient fluid in the body. So you could be drinking plenty of sports drinks during your workout but not reaping the benefits if you were dehydrated to begin with. A recommended amount to drink is 15-20 oz. of water 2 to 3 hours before you exercise, with another 8-10 oz. taken 15 minutes before your training begins. Another 8-10 oz. of either water or a sports drink every 15 minutes or so during exercise should keep you from becoming dehydrated.

You can get an idea of how well hydrated you are by monitoring your urine. If it is clear or pale, then you are likely well hydrated. You can also weigh yourself both pre- and post-workout. If you weigh less then it’s probably due to water loss, so be sure to replenish those fluids. If you weigh more, you may be drinking more than is necessary for your workout.  Contact Chicago Chiropractic today to schedule an appointment!



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