But they have plenty of options to choose from, so what drink is the best for recovery and hydration?
Water is always an excellent way to hydrate, but it can be boring and isn’t very flavorful.
Most athletes turn to a sports drink like Gatorade to hydrate as well as 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.
What’s the Best Drink for Soccer Recovery?
The best sports drink you are not drinking is Pedialyte. Yes, we’re talking about the drink for babies.
You don’t see doctors prescribing sports drinks, but you do see them backing Pedialyte.
Gatorade vs. Pedialyte for Sports Hydration
Your sports drink needs to have the correct balance of additives such of electrolytes. More is not always better especially when you are dealing with hydration.
In fact, drinking more electrolytes can actually cause dehydration because your body only needs so many electrolytes at a single time. Not something you’d likely think is possible when you reach for that standard sports drink.
But this makes sense once we look into the details. When your body has an excess of something it tends to get rid of it. So by drinking a sports drink with an excessive amount 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 certainly aren’t the first to come up with this idea. Many professional athletes in the NFL and NBA have been known to consume Pedialyte during or after games.
The drink’s use among athletes actually dates all the way back to the 1980s when it became a favorite among endurance runners. (We think endurance runners are a pretty good group to try to emulate if you want to become a successful soccer player at a high level of fitness!)
Even though Pedialyte is the best sports drink you are not drinking, you may find that you still prefer the taste of Gatorade or a similar drink like Powerade.
In our book at least, you can still drink your Gaterade on one condition: make sure to dilute it with water so you can avoid the worst of the excess electrolytes and sugar.
But if you give Pedialyte a try, you may find that it’s worth getting used to and making it your regular post-game sports drink instead of Gatorade.
What drink is your favorite for refueling after a game or hard practice? Let us know in the comment section below.