Why You Should Hydrate in the A.M.

Get better at the sports you play and the life you lead at STACK. Improve your training, nutrition and lifestyle with daily

Think a good night's sleep is all you need to be ready for an early-morning practice? Think again.

According to Jeff Zachwieja, Ph.D., principal scientist for the Gatorade Sports Science Institute [GSSI], you also need to reload your hydration and energy levels to optimize your performance. When you sleep, he says, you're restricting fluids; you can lose up to a quart of water from inherent sweat loss and humidification of your breath; and your brain uses carb stores to fuel its overnight activity.

To help you refuel at sunrise, the folks at Gatorade designed Gatorade A.M.(TM)—a new formula specifically for morning activity. It contains the same scientifically proven formula as regular Gatorade, including 110 milligrams of sodium and 14 grams of carbs per eight-ounce serving—to replace what you lose in sweat and to fuel your muscles for activity. But, the formula takes the quality of the product a step further with new flavors that are better suited for morning, such as Tropical Mango, Orange-Strawberry and Cran-Raspberry.

"A lot of athletes don't really think about fuel in the morning, and don't recognize how much better their morning workouts could be," says Heidi Skolnik, MS, CDN, FACSM, a nutrition consultant to the New York Giants. "Fueling up will help make your workout more efficient and effective."

Jeff Zachwieja, Ph.D., is a principal scientist for the GSSI, specializing in sports nutrition with an emphasis on the physiological effects of carbohydrate and protein ingestion before, during and after exercise. He is also a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine [ACSM]. Heidi Skolnik, MS, CDN, FACSM, is a New York State Certified Nutritionist who currently serves as a sports nutrition consultant to the School of American Ballet. She is also the president of Nutrition Conditioning, Inc., a nutrition consulting practice based in New Jersey.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock