Hydration is key, whether you’re training for an endurance event or hitting the gym regularly; dehydration can weaken muscles, interfere with temperature regulation and hinder muscle protein synthesis. You can stay hydrated without giving in to sugary sodas by opting for carbonated water–provided it’s all-natural!
Sparkling water may have an unfortunate reputation of making you gassy, but that doesn’t change its hydrating abilities any less than regular H2O. Carbonated waters expand when consumed to fill the stomach and encourage more drinking; if managed appropriately though, sparkling water can help with digestion, reduce stomach discomfort and promote healthy gut bacteria populations.
According to one study, seltzer can actually aid digestion by stimulating the release of enzymes that break down food, increasing absorption rates of nutrients such as fats. Given how essential digestion is for muscular performance and overall health, drinking seltzer prior to or following workouts if your diet includes fatty foods may be beneficial.
A bubbly beverage may help prevent sore muscles post-workout by decreasing lactic acid buildup and replenishing mineral salts lost through exercise, as well as by stimulating circulation, lubricating joints, and stimulating lymph drainage. Furthermore, its benefits extend further by helping absorb other fluids quickly thereby speeding recovery time.
To get the most out of sparkling water, look for products with carbonation as their only added ingredient and pre-flavored drinks containing natural flavors instead of artificial sweeteners such as sugar. For an extra zest of flavor try carbonated water blended with cucumbers, mint leaves or berries; alternatively try Farrell’s HydroPLENISH X for extra hydration benefits.
When training for an athletic event such as a marathon or triathlon, sparkling water may not be your best bet. Seltzer may make you feel full and discourage you from drinking enough fluids during workouts to fuel them properly, ultimately hindering performance.
In case of heavy sweating, it’s advisable to consume a sports drink that contains carbohydrates – typically two to 19 grams per eight ounces–in order to replenish electrolytes lost from sweat.