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  • Writer's pictureStefanie Rock

What's the difference between a sports drink and a rehydration drink?

We know that water is essential. I mean, considering our bodies are nearly 60% water, it's kind of a big deal. Even a mere 1-2% dehydration factor can negatively affect focus and energy.

Aside from critical life functionality, water has a dramatic impact on

  • recovery

  • strength

  • immunity

  • digestion

  • muscle contraction

  • endurance

  • energy

  • quality sleep

  • stress management

  • focus

But, there comes a time when water isn't enough to rehydrate, a time when our body not only needs to replace water... it also needs to replenish electrolytes: sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chlorine.

{remember: to find your general minimum daily hydration, divide your weight (lbs) by 2. Ex: 150 lbs = 75 oz of water}

The time to replenish electrolytes, though, typically results from

  • 60+ minutes of intense activity

  • Extreme sweating

  • Activity in high heat and/or humidity

  • After bouts of vomiting and/or diarrhea

How do you know if you need a rehydration drink (like BioSteel) or a sports drink (like Body Armor)? Rehydration drinks are designed to replace lost electrolytes (mainly potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium). But, they typically don't have the necessary carbohydrates (sugar) to replenish spent glycogen during the 30-45 minute post-workout "glycogen window." However, athletes can typically tolerate rehydration drinks over sports drinks during activity. Sports drinks, on the other hand, can be an effective way to replenish spent glycogen post-workout... especially for athletes reluctant to eat during the short "glycogen window" timeframe. But, during workouts, unless diluted, the sugars in sports drinks may cause cramping and/or nausea. Regardless if you're choosing a sports drink or rehydration drink, look for options without artificial colors and synthetic sugars (sucralose and acesulfame potassium are both common) if possible. Or try making your own with this quick DIY Agua Fresca:

  • Blend equal parts pineapple (watermelon, mango, or a blend of fruits) with water (I used 4 cups of each), a squeeze of lime, and a small pinch of Himalayan salt.

  • Store in fridge up to 3 days (or freeze leftovers into popsicles)

Considering hydration is one of the four foundation pillars: fuel, hydration, sleep, mental game... how you practice, play, grow, and recover is dependent on hydration and the strength of your overall foundation.

(Athletes requestion Prime drinks? Check out my product review on IG)

Which pillar do you need to focus on today?

Concerned your athlete isn't meeting their nutritional needs for the game & growth? Trying to balance meals and everyone's hectic schedule? Spring teams, camps, or clinics coming up?

Let's take a closer look together so we can eliminate the stress of fueling!

Click here with questions to see if Rock Performance is right for your athlete or family.


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