The Feed is your one stop shop for all things hydration! Whether you need just electrolytes, or both electrolytes and fuel, we carry all of the top hydration brands to keep you hydrated and at the top of the podium.
Why is Hydration Important?
When you lose just 2% of your body weight due to dehydration, you can see a decrease in performance. When you feel thirsty you're already at 1%, so it's important to drink early and drink often, especially during exercise. Water alone won't always be enough, so it's important to include electrolytes to help you retain the water you're drinking and hydrate you more effectively.
What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are charged minerals that help with hydration by pulling water into cells, which helps maintain fluid balance inside and outside of the cells. The electrolytes lost in sweat include:
- Sodium (most important)
Why do we need electrolytes?
Electrolytes play an important role in muscle contraction, conducting nerve impulses, and maintaining the acid-base balance of the body - all of which are super important for athletes! These electrolytes are lost in your sweat, and sports drinks help you replenish those electrolytes to combat dehydration.
What happens if I become dehydrated?
We know that dehydration can negatively impact performance, but how exactly does this happen? Dehydration:
- Makes it harder to deliver oxygen to working muscles
- Can reduce your ability to sweat, which makes it harder to maintain your core temperature and leads to overheating
- Causes you to burn through your energy stores more quickly, leading to earlier fatigue
- Impairs your muscles' ability to contract properly, which can decrease power output
Most sports drinks are high in sugar, why is that?
Sugar breaks down into glucose in the blood stream, and like electrolytes, glucose can help move water into cells which increases hydration. It also provides quick burning fuel directly to your working muscles. You don't need a sports drink with sugar everyday, opt for a lower sugar option on lighter training days or when you aren't working out.
What types of sports drinks are there?
There are 3 main types of sports drinks out there:
- Electrolytes only - Lower in sugar and calories, great for daily hydration needs or for lighter training days/off days (example: Nuun)
- Electrolytes + fuel - Provide both carbs and electrolytes to keep you fueled and hydrated. Great for more intense efforts or long events (example: Maurten)
- High Sodium - Contain 2-3 times the typical amount of sodium found in sports drinks. Meant for ultra-events, extremely hot/humid weather, and those who are heavy sweaters to help prevent dehydration and cramping (example: Skratch Hyper Hydration)
How much should I be drinking?
This will depend on:
- The athlete: size, gender, sport, sweat rate, makeup of sweat, medications, and other individual differences can all impact fluid needs
- The environment: you need more fluids and electrolytes in hot, humid climates as well as at altitude
- Duration of exercise: the longer you're out there, the more fluid you need
Generally, it's a good idea to aim for around one 500mL water bottle every 60-90 minutes, but you may need more or less depending on your individual needs. Depending on the factors above, you can alternate between plain water and sports drink during activity.
What form of hydration is best?
Sports drinks come in powders, tablets, sachets, bags with scoops, etc. Choosing a form mostly depends on convenience. The single serve sachets are easy to take with you on long rides or runs, while the tubes of tablets fit easily into a gym bag or desk drawer to pop in your water bottle without making a mess. There isn't really one form that will hydrate you better than another.
What are your most popular hydration products and why?
- Maurten Drink Mix: with both electrolytes and carbs for fuel and hydration, this revolutionary drink mix contains a hydrogel technology that slows down the absorption of carbs and perfectly times the delivery of electrolytes and fuel to muscles.
- SOS Hydration: newer to our inventory, this wildly popular drink mix created by a medical doctor was formulated to hydrate you 3x as fast as water alone. With almost no sugar and the ideal concentration of all electrolytes, you'll be able to stay hydrated anywhere!
- Skratch Labs: Skratch has a variety of hydration products that are made with natural cane sugar and real fruit ingredients so you don't have to worry about artificial colors, flavors, or sugars in their drink mixes.
Why buy hydration at the The Feed?
We have the biggest selection of sports hydration products anywhere. Plus, you can purchase single servings of almost every hydration product. This lets you try any flavor and mix and match from different brands without having to buy a 20 serving bag of hydration. You can’t do that when you are looking for Hydration at Amazon or Walmart, only at The Feed.