To keep your body fueled during workouts, for the most part, it's pretty simple... stick with water.
During games and practices sip water throughout to keep hydration levels up. Aim for 8 - 16 fluid ounces (175 - 237 mL) for water* every 15- 20 minutes during exercise.
How much to drink during workouts varies based on duration of activity, body size, muscle mass, sweat rates, and temperature.
The overall goal is to minimize weight lost during workouts to one-pound of less of body weight. Generally, always drink before you are thirsty because by the time you are thirsty, you are already under-hydrated by about 1-percent. Sipping fluids throughout workout, games, and practices is the best bet to staying hydrated.
When to switch to a sports drink: If you are exercising longer than one-hour continuously or in extreme heat, then swapping to a sports drink and adding in some additional fuel makes sense.
When exercise is longer than one-hour, plan to have about 30 - 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour coming from food and fluids.
Quick easy-to-pack foods for during exercise:
- Raisins (34 grams carbohydrates per small box)
- Honey stinger organic energy chews (about 38 grams carbohydrates)
- Gatorade (21 grams carbohydrates per 12 oz)
- GU energy Gel (22 grams carbohydrates per pack)
- Pretzel sticks (20 grams carbohydrates for 9 pretzels)
- Banana (23 grams carbohydrates for a small banana)
- Coconut water (11 grams carbohydrates for 8 fl ounces)
Check the Nutrition Facts of the products that you are using to adjust the portion sizes and/or quantities to meet the 30 - 60 grams goal, as the nutrition content of products varies.
If you are training for an event, like a 1/2 marathon or triathlon, always first check what foods and fluids will be available during the event and try those products during pre-event training sessions and workouts to ensure that you can tolerate the products! Never try something new in a game or during a race.
Check out the recent blog post, Before Workouts: What and When to Eat and Drink. Stay tuned for refueling tips!