It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day but it’s especially important to replenish your body with
fluids after exercise, particularly after periods of intense physical activity or exercise performed in high temperatures. But what’s the best way to hydrate?
Water might seem like the obvious rehydration choice but there are other options.
Patrick Birmingham, MD, Sports Medicine at NorthShore, discusses the pros and cons of some after-exercise rehydration options:
Water. Every system of the human body requires water to function, so when you exercise and lose water by perspiring, you need to replenish what you lost. On average, every individual needs to consume approximately 1.9 liters of water a day
but this amount increases when you factor in exercise, especially high-intensity exercise.
Pros: Unlike some sports drinks and coconut water, there are no calories in water so you won’t undo any of the good accomplished during your workout. After short, moderate workouts, water should be sufficient for rehydration.
Cons: After intense workouts lasting more than an hour, your body loses not just water but important electrolytes like sodium and potassium, and these electrolytes will need to be replenished too. In this situation, water might not cut it.
Coconut water. Coconut water is all the rage but is this “natural” source any better than a bottle of water or a sports drink when it comes to rehydration after a workout?
Pros: Depending on the brand, coconut water has fewer calories, less sodium and more potassium than the typical sports drink. Generally, it also has no added colors and only natural flavors (from other juices, for instance).
Cons: After an intense workout, the most important electrolyte you need to replenish is sodium. Coconut water has less sodium than most sports drinks, which means it might not be able to do the heavy lifting after a particularly intense
workout. Some coconut waters are enhanced with extra sodium but that can alter the flavor and make consumption less pleasant.
Sports drinks. Most popular sports drinks provide approximately 13-19 grams of carbohydrates and between 80-120 milligrams of sodium.
Pros: Sports drinks are made especially to replace the electrolytes you lose during long, arduous workouts, so they should be your go-to source on high-intensity days. The tasty flavors mean you’re likely to consume enough when you need
it most. Pediatric rehydration mixtures like Pedialyte are also a great option. They have just the right combination of electrolytes and carbohydrates with less sugar.
Cons: Many sports drinks have added artificial flavors, colors and unnecessary sugars. Make sure to check for lower-calorie versions so you aren’t undoing all your hard work at the end of your workout.
All summer long, NorthShore will be at athletic events in the community to help you find out how you can
Unleash Your Inner Athlete. Come to the NorthShore tent and enter to win free entry into upcoming summer races and/or a grand price of a personal activity monitor. For a schedule of events where
you can find NorthShore, click
We weren’t made to sit around all day; yet, research shows that the average American spends roughly 13 hours sitting each day. For some, their desk job might deserve part of the blame. Don’t let your job impact your health. Prolonged sitting can increase
your risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and more.
The experts at NorthShore University HealthSystem have put together an infographic that is full of simple, fun ways to get up and move throughout the day, even while at work. Stop sitting and get moving! Click on the image below to view our
full infographic and discover easy ways to get some extra exercise at work.
Over the last 40 years, food portion sizes have grown substantially in the U.S. And since larger portions mean higher calorie counts, Americans have been steadily increasing in size as well. With obesity rates at an all time high, portion control should
become a primary consideration when attempting to lose weight in a healthy way.
The experts at NorthShore University HealthSystem have created an infographic that puts food portion sizes into perspective. How much have portion sizes increased over the years? What does a real serving size look like? How can you avoid overeating at mealtimes?
Let our latest infographic with portion control tips help you avoid weight gain and maintain a properly portioned diet! Click on the image below for the full
To embed this infographic on your website, find the embed code
It’s hard to avoid the temptation of having something sweet—whether it’s an after- dinner treat, a mid-afternoon snack or something you indulge in to reward yourself for a hard day’s work. Like most things, in moderation, sugar shouldn’t lead to any long-term
health concerns. However, when consumed in excess—both in its natural form and processed form—sugar can lead to some very serious health conditions.
Mary Bennett, RD, LDN, CDE, a diabetes educator at NorthShore, identifies some of the health concerns that excess sugar can lead to:
The American Heart Association has set a limit for consumer consumption of sugar, which includes:
How do you control your cravings for something sweet? What is your favorite alternative snack?