Athletes need to replenish their fluids after practices and matches. Water is always a great way to hydrate, but it can be boring and isn’t very flavorful. Most athletes turn to a sports drink like Gatorade to hydrate and replenish their electrolytes. If this sounds like you, you may want to reconsider this choice because sports drinks are just okay and you can do better. The best sports drink you are not drinking is Pedialyte. Yes, the drink for babies.
You don’t see doctors prescribing sports drinks, but you do see them backing Pedialyte. After a game or practice you need to have a drink that most closely resembles the makeup of the cells in your body in order to hydrate properly. Your drink needs to have the correct balance of additives such of electrolytes. More is not always better especially in dealing with hydration.
Drinking more electrolytes actually causes dehydration because your body only needs so many electrolytes at one time. When your body has an excess of something it gets rid of it. So by drinking a sports drink with excess amounts of electrolytes, you may cause your body to lose more water than you actually take in. Most conventional sports drinks have too many electrolytes and other additives such as loads of sugar. Pedialyte, on the other hand, has the correct balance of electrolytes. It also has more sodium, which helps with water retention when you are losing so much by sweating during intense exercise.
We aren’t the first to come up with this idea. Many professionals in the NFL and NBA are known to consume Pedialyte and its use among athletes actually dates all the way back to endurance runners in the 1980s.
Even though Pedialyte is the best sports drink you are not drinking, you might still prefer the taste of Gatorade. You can still drink your Gaterade on one condition: dilute it with water.