When Walking Avoid Sports Drinks, Stick with Water
You should always keep properly hydrated when exercising, even when walking. Walking just 1 mile requires at least 10 ounces of water. What are the benefits of drinking more water? Why do we say water instead of some energy drink like Vitamin water or Gatorade? Those sports drinks and others often pack on more calories than you burn during your walking workout.
Benefits of Drinking More Water
A lot of sports drinks which are touted as healthy are packed full of sugar. Sugar is the agreed-upon major cause of the overweight and obese epidemic in modernized nations. You are walking to improve your health, not wreck it, so avoid sports drinks and stick with water.
Sports drinks can also include tons of artificial flavoring and other unnatural ingredients. They are added to appeal to your taste buds and hopefully create an unhealthy addiction. These man-made ingredients are unnecessary and unneeded by the human body and should be avoided.
Water is a simple, natural chemical compound. Sports drinks can have any number of natural and unnatural sugars, artificial compounds and other ingredients which are detrimental to your health. In truth, electrolyte-filled and vitamin-rich energy drinks are really only needed when you work out strenuously for at least an hour.
This means the safest and smartest way to stay hydrated when you walk is to drink water. Your body is comprised of about 60% water, not Gatorade. Drink plenty of water while you walk or enjoy any other form of exercise, and you enjoy the natural form of human hydration that your body craves.
How Much Water Should I Drink While Walking?
Walking is often underrated as a form of exercise. People know that it delivers health benefits, but they don’t think about hydrating when they walk as they would for more intense workouts. That is a shame because your body requires plenty of water during any form of physical exertion. (Source)
One rule of thumb agreed on by multiple health organizations is to drink about 10 ounces of water for every 10 to 15 minutes you walk. Use this as a guide, tweaking according to your personal needs. When walking in hot, humid conditions, you will need more water. Short distances obviously require that you drink less water.
If you are walking briskly for more than 2 or 3 miles at a time, your body will be thirstier that if you simply take a casual 15-minute stroll. Your water requirements may be different from someone else the same weight, age, and gender. Listen to your body, and drink when thirsty. (Source)
For long walks and day hikes, consider purchasing a hydration pack. For short walks, a water bottle works fine as long as there is somewhere along your walking route to refill. Can you drink too much water when walking? Nope. Drink too much water and you will not negatively affect your body, but you may find yourself having to stop frequently along the way to answer the call of nature.
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