In this hot weather, I saw a few ads more than normal that advertise sports drinks that claim to hydrate you more than water.
These claims have always felt a bit cheeky – especially since the drinks in question are usually packed with sugar, corn syrup with a high level of fructose and synthetic flavors, among other unhealthy ingredients!
How do sports drinks work?
Many sports or energy drinks are also known as "isotonic" drinks – and claim to have similar amounts of salt, electrolytes and minerals as the human body.
Their manufacturers say that they provide the essential minerals and energy that are lost during training and that cannot replace water alone.
Last year, the BBC Panorama examined the claims of a leading sports drink and found that there was no evidence for the average person that it improved exercise or performance.
Although they are good for hydration, the enormous amounts of additives and sugar they also contain increase the effects of exercise on unless you train at a professional level.
Not to mention the aging and negative effects that this sugar content will have on your skin!
What is the alternative?
Since most of us are not up there with Mo Farah in the fitness sessions, plain old water is not moisturizing enough.
I met with nutritionist Madeleine Shaw to find out whether a healthy drink can actually moisturize you more effectively than water:
“Water should always be your main source of hydration – try to drink 2 liters a day.
Nothing can hydrate you as effectively as water, despite the claims they could make!
But there are a few things you can do to increase and prolong your hydration, especially after your workout.
Coconut water is a natural, tasty sport drink from nature and an excellent source of hydration.
It contains naturally occurring potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium and thus fills up the electrolytes that we lose when we sweat.
One of my favorite hydration methods is using chia seeds – these tiny seeds can hold 10-12 times their own weight in water!
They are also hydrophilic – which means that they prolong hydration and retain the electrolytes in our liquids. I love putting them in a bottle of water or even almond milk and drinking them all day.
If you have difficulty drinking the recommended 2 liters of water a day mix it with an herbal tea or warm lemon water, which is great for digestion and wonderfully alkaline the body. ”