Are You Drinking The Right Liquids?

sports drinks!

Jesus H Christ, is that plain water in your water bottle?

You’re a high-performance athlete. Your body is a high-performance machine. As soon as you get back to the trailhead, you’re going to put high-performance fuel in it: a cheeseburger and two beers. Won’t you also need high-performance fuel while you’re on the trail?

It’s a fact that every time you work out, run, ride your bike or go climbing, you should drink something that is a different color than water and costs at least $2 per serving. For maximum performance, it should contain lots of sugar or high fructose corn syrup, glow, and the flavor name should include words like “Rush,” “Rain” or “Blast.”

Biking to work today? Gatorade has a three-part system for you. First, before you get on your bike, you should suck down Gatorade G1 Prime energy gel to kick-start your activity. On the bike, drink Gatorade G2 Thirst Quencher to rehydrate and replace electrolytes. When you get to work, lock up your bike and drink Gatorade Recover G3.

Wait a minute, you ask: Can’t I just drink a bottle of Log Cabin pancake syrup, or a can of Coca-Cola, and take a multivitamin? Great question. Of course you can. But wouldn’t you rather consume G Series Pro, the competitive fuel previously reserved exclusively for professional athletes? What do you think pro athletes like Usain Bolt, Serena Williams and Peyton Manning drink? If it’s good enough for their daily routine of physically demanding training and practices, it’s probably good enough for your 8-hour day of typing e-mails, looking at spreadsheets and sitting through staff meetings, don’t you think?

Are you properly hydrated? Well, first, what color is your urine? If it’s brown, your problem cannot be solved by sports drinks. If it is some shade of yellow or clear, you are either dehydrated or properly hydrated, and either case calls for more sports drinks.

When you drink colored liquids, are you drinking from a screw-top plastic water bottle, a squeeze bottle, a stainless steel bottle, a Ball jar, or a hydration bladder? Wrong answer. You should be drinking from all of them daily, if not simultaneously.

What should I drink, you ask? Well, there are several options. Look in the beverage aisle of your local grocery store or 7-Eleven, and find bottles with labels that use words like “sports” on the label — this means the beverage is optimized for not only elite athletes playing sports, but people who watch sports, too. So whatever you do this weekend, make sure you have a sports drink in your hand at all times.

You climb 5.10ds at the gym. You’re in 5th place on your backyard hill climb on Strava. You’re cracking sub-4-hours on your marathon pace. Sure, you train hard and eat right, but imagine where you could be if you drank several quarts of blue, green or purple liquids every day. Of course you’re busy drinking things like coffee, mate, coconut water, Red Bull, and the occasionally frequent beer and red wine, but does coffee have a 3-stage system for before, during and after your day hike? Were any star NFL quarterbacks involved in the development of coffee? Pffff. I didn’t think so.

But can’t you just drink water? Sure, if you want less-than-optimal performance on that day hike or after-work ride, sucker. If you do drink water, make sure it’s Vytautas.

-Brendan

Semi-Rad is brought to you by Outdoor Research.

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11 Comments

  1. March 28, 2013

    Three stage hydration strategy:
    > Beer
    > Spirit & Mixer
    > Whisky
    … hangover :(

    Reply
  2. March 28, 2013

    I find fitness and nutrition snark to be the best kind of snark.

    Reply
  3. March 28, 2013

    It’s got electrolytes!!! http://www.brawndo.com/

    Reply
  4. Lenny
    March 28, 2013

    Log Cabin and Coca-cola, NO WAY!! Try this instead.
    http://www.wiredwaffles.com/caffeinated-maple-syrup

    Reply
  5. Mark Limage
    March 28, 2013

    You fuckin crack me up Brendan. I was laughing so hard by the 6th paragraph my eyes were watering! I’m still laughing…

    Reply
  6. Ian
    March 29, 2013
  7. songsta
    March 29, 2013

    insightful post. although i must admit i do enjoy my gatorade.

    Reply
  8. March 31, 2013

    Have been wondering myself just how much is hype lately, I have been in Costa Rica for the last couple weeks and my middle name now seems to be ‘sweat’. Dam hot here, just the act of pushing oneself back upright in the hammock induces a liter of moisture from places I didn’t know I had sweat glands. My inner wannabe athlete tells me I should be replacing some of them electrolytes right?
    While gatoraid is readily available here I’ve never been a big fan- too sweet for my palate. But other than that I don’t see any other sport/fitness drinks or supplements available, at least not in the stores I am visiting. I also don’t see anyone else here concerned about replacing these vital nutrients and they are all sweating too, what gives?
    Back home I am a big fan of the Shot Blocks which also contain caffeine so they will still be part of the regiment, but really how much of that other crap is necessary?
    Nice write-

    Reply
  9. Ryan
    March 31, 2013

    Isn’t it always a good idea to ingest things with colors only found in anime movies and Nike labs? If not, I’ve been lied to by all of the TV and print ads…

    Reply

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