Have you ever asked yourself, "what hydration mix should I use for this workout"?
With every brand offering something to rival another, where do we begin?
First, here is a shortcut.
I checked out my pantry, and this is what I'm using at home right now and why.
- LMNT Watermelon –for short morning workouts
- Gnarly Ruby Red Grapefruit – my daily, tastes so good
- SIS Go Electrolyte – for all workout types, go-to base hydration
- Precision PF30–for longer workouts (over 90 mins)
- Quintessential Salt Water Packets – emergency rehydration
Here is the complete guide. Pick your workout type/duration and then the recommended hydration choices.
under 1 hour & low to moderate Intensity
This is where you want something that tastes good and has electrolytes, but you don't need the extra sugar of the other drink options. My go-to in this category are the following:
- SIS Hydrotabs (great value and taste)
- LMNT (salty, no sugar)
- Precision 1000 packets (500mg of sodium)
- SOS Hydration (great flavors, only 2g of sugar)
under 1 hour & moderate to high intensity
Here you want a bit more sugar in your hydration. It will also increase the flavor, so you are inclined to drink more often. The sugar isn't so much for energy but to accelerate the absorption of electrolytes, so you rehydrate faster.
over 1 hour – without going high carb
You'll want to kick up the sugar for your workouts over one hour. As mentioned above, this will help you absorb electrolytes faster and provide more sugar/energy without getting into the high-carb category.
- SIS Go Electrolyte (7g of sugar, 36g of Carbs)
- First Endurance EFS (16g of sugar, 26g of Carbs)
- Tailwind Endurance Fuel (25g of sugar and carbs)
over 1 hour – high carb options
If you want to optimize your performance, you will want to increase your hourly intake of carbs to 80 to 100g per hour. You can do this through gels, chews, bars, and hydration. Hydration is often the easiest way when you are going hard and/or it's tough to open and swallow a gel or chew.
Recovery Hydration & Daily Hydration
This is often your best opportunity to rehydrate from a challenging workout and stay hydrated during your workday. The key here is low sugar. You don't want the extra calories – anything below 8g of sugar is good.
- Gu Drink Tabs (1g of sugar)
- Precision 1000 (3g of sugar)
- Skratch Clear (4g of sugar)
- Nuun Instant (5g of sugar)
🚨 Emergency Rehdyration 🚨
If you destroyed yourself in the heat, heavy sweating indoors, have altitude sickness, or are desperate to rehydrate after a long flight or night of hard partying, here are the options for you:
- Quintessential Salt Water Packets (bring you back from the dead)
- Skratch Hyper Hydration (1720mg of Sodium)
- The Right Stuff (1780mg of Sodium)
I would consider pre-workout more of a functional beverage. Sure, you are trying to prehydrate, but you are typically looking for a quick boost of energy and mental acuity. Here are your top choices: