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I am not saying that water is not important, but I am glad that there has been research on those sugary sports drinks , and the fact that listening to your body is important in determining your "needs"...
One thing folks tend to forget about hydration and the "8 cups a day" rule is that,
a) You get water from sources other than your sink or water cooler. I am rarely thirsty because I eat so many veggies, and vegetables are just crunchy nutrient-rich water.
b) The study that formulated the aforementioned "rule" was based on a study done in the 40s to assess how much water an average military solider ingests from their food if they consume 1900 Calories per day. The math showed this is equivalent to 64 oz daily.
c) The conclusion of the original study has spawned out of control through a generational game of "telephone" and is now at the point where folks are forgetting that the body tells you when you need to drink... it's called THIRST!
d) People have forgotten to look at the labels of their sugar-laden Gatorades. Blows my freaking mind when people are shocked that there's corn syrup and preservatives in that shit!
As an endurance runner, I've never drank a sports drink on any race, not even my one (and only) half marathon. Folks found it odd that when we'd be doing an 8 mile training run that I wouldn't be guzzling down water from a camelbak like the rest of my running-mates. I'd have a few gulps at water stations, but nothing crazy... if I did, I'd puke or get cramps... seriously. I could only imagine what sugar-filled gatorade would do!
When i did my runs - 6-10milers I wouldn't actually drink the water i'd swish it in my mouth and spit it out.
What i can't believe is it's the go to for moms with their kids at baseball games and other sporting events. give them water and a piece of fruit. Real and not preservatives!
There was a South African doctor, who extensively studies hydration on athletes, who was on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast. He really goes into detail debunking the sports drink industry. I wish I could remember the guy or the episode....