Whether you play sports competitively or recreationally, your health and fitness are essential to your performance. You’re likely paying closer attention to keeping your body in tip-top shape, eating the right foods, and staying hydrated.
When you’re watching professional sports, you’ll notice that most athletes drink water during their events. This isn’t just to replace what they lose from sweat. It’s to help keep their body stay hydrated, strong, and focused.
Did you know that sparkling water is good for athletes and can even help boost your performance? Today, we will share how sparkling water can be part of your healthy, active lifestyle.
Sparkling water to boost athletic performance
Athletes know that their performance is linked to their health. Hydration is a big part of that, and if you are dehydrated, it can affect your stamina, endurance, and overall performance.
Strength: Did you know your muscles are 79% water? When you are dehydrated, your muscles can weaken, and this impairs your athletic strength.
Muscle growth and recovery: Athletes are no strangers to sore muscles. Dehydration impairs muscle protein synthesis and raises protein breakdown, making it more difficult for your muscles to repair and recover from injury or strain.
Body temperature regulation: Someone with a mildly dehydrated body may struggle to regulate their body temperature, and in turn, struggle to perform to the best of their abilities.
Mental focus and motivation: More severe dehydration can cause headaches and affect your ability to focus on a task, like aiming a ball or timing your high jump. Athletes with mild hydration still report lowered cognition, attention, and movement control.
Some athletes may get tired of drinking still water all the time to stay hydrated. Switching to hydration or electrolyte beverages like Gatorade that contains artificial sugar and preservatives are ok occasionally but aren’t recommended for extended use. However, home-carbonated sparkling water can provide the extra hydration benefits they need to help boost their athletic performance.
Sparkling water for hydration
Sparkling water can be just as hydrating as still water. In one randomized controlled trial, researchers looked at the hydrating effects of 13 different beverages, including sparkling water. The researchers compared these beverages on the beverage hydration index (BHI), which measures the urine output after a set time.
The researchers discovered that sparkling water showed little to no difference in the hydrational effects of sparkling water and still water. This is excellent news for those who want to replace some of their daily water consumption with a sparkling beverage.
Sparkling water for weight management
Are you in a sport where your weight is essential, such as wrestling? If you’re trying to manage your weight for your sport, sparkling water can help with your weight management goals.
You can start by drinking a glass of sparkling water 30 minutes before your meal. This will make you feel fuller and consume fewer calories at mealtime. Some nutritionists may recommend drinking still water before a meal to get the same effect, and while that can be beneficial, drinking an equal amount of sparkling water can be better. This is likely because the bubbles help satisfy food cravings.
Many studies show that those who regularly consume more water overall weigh less and consume fewer calories than those who have less water. So, if you’re trying to curb your sweet tooth so you can maintain your weight for a big match, sparkling water is an excellent idea for your nutritional toolkit.
Sparkling water to improve digestion
It’s no fun to be on the basketball court and dealing with digestion issues. Sparkling water is widely known to help improve digestive problems, including dyspepsia (indigestion), constipation, and gallbladder emptying. It can even be more beneficial than drinking still water.
In one study, researchers told 21 patients with indigestion and constipation to drink either sparkling water or still water for 15 days. The researchers found that regular water didn’t ease the patients’ indigestion, but sparkling water had a significant impact.
When is sparking water not a good choice for athletes?
Generally, home-carbonated sparkling water is the healthiest choice for athletes. The health benefits start to diminish when you buy commercially prepared carbonated beverages with added, unhealthy ingredients such as:
- Artificial colouring: This makes the beverage look attractive or act as a preservative. They also add empty calories to your drink.
- Magnesium: Store-bought carbonated beverages are also high in magnesium, and too much magnesium can lead to trouble regulating your blood sugar and blood pressure. This is not something you want to worry about as an athlete.
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners: These add empty calories to your beverage and lead to type 2 diabetes. If you need to “sweeten” your sparkling drink, consider adding your own natural flavours and ingredients instead.
How to choose the healthiest sparkling water
You could buy commercially prepared sparkling water from a can or bottle. However, they’re often filled with additives that are less than healthy.
The best way to ensure that you’re drinking the healthiest sparkling water is to carbonate it yourself with a home carbonation system like SeltzaTap. With home carbonation, you can carbonate your filtered water fresh when you need it.
If you don’t like the taste of plain sparkling water, you can add your own flavourings to it. We like fresh, organic fruits like lemon, lime, and citrus. Avoid using commercially prepared or concentrated flavourings and choose fresh ingredients.
You can also carbonate your water at home and store it in an airtight bottle to bring to your workout. Remember to open it slowly as the carbonation can explosively escape if shaken.
Order your SeltzaTap today to get fresh, carbonated water directly from your kitchen tap.