Seeking a quick energy beverage before you hit the weight room or head off to practice? Well, here's some good news. The safest, most efficient beverage—guaranteed to promote the energy you need on the field and in the classroom—is free! Yes, I'm talking about water, that boring, colorless, bland-tasting, most excellent drink.
Wait! Before you write this off just another "you-need-eight-glasses-a-day" article, consider these facts:
1. Water is fundamental for hydration. Unreplaced water loss leads to lower mental and physical energy. Not good when you're preparing to do some heavy weight training, or if you want to do well in practice or a game—or pass a math exam.
2. Muscles are made up of 75 percent water. Sufficient hydration keeps your muscles looking fuller, enhances metabolism and recovery, and helps build muscles between workouts.
3. Water speeds nutrients to the muscles before and after workouts. So after you eat your pre-workout snack, immediately drink water to promote digestion and fuel your workout. Be sure to have water during your workout, too. It will help you maintain energy and replenish the water you lose through perspiration. The same goes for your post-workout meal. To boost recovery and optimize muscle growth, eat a small high carbohydrate/moderate protein meal and drink a glass of water.
4. Water is important for blood circulation and heart health. If you are dehydrated, your blood thickens, which can raise blood pressure and compromise circulation to and from the heart. That's the last thing you want when you need extra endurance and energy late in a game.
So keep that water bottle handy at all times as a continuing source of energy in class, and before, during and after exercise and sports.
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