Staying hydrated is critical for everyone, especially athletes. Water plays an essential role in several aspects of body function and performance, including digestion, vitamin and mineral transport and vital organ function. (See Hydration Facts Athletes Need to Know.)
Athletes, especially those with high sweat rates, need to consume adequate fluid throughout the day and during exercise. Otherwise, they run the risk of performance-sabotaging dehydration.
Water is typically the go-to option; however, this flavorless fluid can get boring if it's the only thing you drink. To add some flavor to your hydration routine, try these water alternatives.
Naturally Flavored Water
Fill a pitcher with cold water and add slices of lemon, lime and orange to give it a natural flavor. Another good combination is cucumber and mint slices.
Cold Brewed Tea
Lipton makes tea bags that are meant to put in cold water and that provide a natural flavor to water. (Check out our Superfood Series A-Z: Iced Green Tea.)
Unlike many flavored water options, seltzer water tends to have natural flavors in it. Seltzer is basically carbonated water with some natural flavor, and it's a nice change-up to plain water.
Especially after a workout, coconut water is a great alternative to water, since it is high in sodium and potassium. It's also much lower in sugar than most sports drinks. Learn more about the benefits of coconut water.
Homemade Sports Drink
Speaking of sports drinks, making your own can be a nice way to give your water a boost. Check out this recipe.