Sports Hydration Drinks: What You Need to Know

Hydration is essential to your performance as an athlete in any sport or fitness regimen. Without properly hydrating, you are putting yourself at risk for cramps, dizziness, nausea, and other more severe symptoms. There are countless drinks on the market, but that leaves room for just as many questions when it comes to choosing the best one. We will break down precisely what sports drinks are, why you need them, and what to look for when choosing one.

What Are Hydration Drinks?

Hydration drinks include any beverage that works on maintaining or increasing hydration in the human body. From plain water to mainstream sports drinks, there are various hydrating drinks available for consumption. 

Water is the most straightforward beverage available, but it isn’t always enough. Hydrating drinks on the market vary in quality and ingredients, but Tailwind Endurance Fuel Drink uses high-quality ingredients to meet your hydrating needs in addition to your caloric and electrolyte needs as well.

What Is Hydration In Sports?

As we all know, hydrating in athletics and exercise is an essential key for performance, health, and safety. When participating in an exercise of any intensity or duration, you lose fluid, vitamins, and minerals through increased sweat loss. This perspiration is happening much faster than usual and requires more attention to ensure that you do not become significantly dehydrated. 

While competing in sports or intense exercise, you are producing sweat, depleting yourself of fluid, nutrients, and energy to keep you moving and functioning at a healthy level. Hydrating correctly replenishes your body’s electrolytes, improves your hydration status, offers adequate fluid replacement, and increases the chances of maximized performance. Experts say athletes who are adequately hydrated will almost always perform better than an athlete who is not hydrated. 

Hydrating in sports is not just about health and wellness; hydrating is also about performance. Properly hydrating with drinks keeps you functioning properly, both physically and mentally. Physical and mental functions are essential to success, no matter the sport or physical activity you are participating in. In sports medicine, for example, hydration is one of the most important factors to peak performance, overall health, and healing from any possible injuries.

Why Do Athletes Need Water?

Of course, everyone needs water to survive, but athletes especially need to monitor their fluid intake. Water is essential for controlling an athlete’s overall function. On its own, water is necessary to keep your body running the way it is supposed to. The effects you feel when you lack fluid in your system can be both physical and mental. This includes lethargy, fatigue, and at times, depression.

Your overall body mass dictates just how much hydration is necessary, but ultimately, it needs water to survive. Additionally, it is necessary in order to perform at your highest and most optimal level. Without water, you are putting yourself in a dangerous situation, but sometimes water isn’t enough. When you reach a more significant dehydration point, water may not suffice to get you back to an appropriate hydration status. For instance, it lacks sodium which can be a key component to rehydration. When you break down exactly what your body fluid losses are during sweat loss and aerobic exercise, it becomes clear that there are times when drinks are needed to replenish everything your body mass is losing.

sports hydration drink - Tailwind Nutrition

Is Water Enough?

When you are participating in high-intensity endurance activities, you need to be fueled for peak performance. Water will help regulate body temperature and maintain proper blood volume, but when water isn’t enough sports drinks come into play. 

Sports drinks fill in the gaps for athletes between water and a full meal or snack. They contain electrolytes, carbohydrates, and other necessary vitamins and minerals. When you are working out intensely or for long periods, the ideal sports drink will help athletes maintain energy levels, high enough to keep their body healthy. 

When participating in high-intensity or long-duration exercise, incorporating hydrating drinks that are full of carbohydrates and electrolytes can make all the difference in both performance and how you feel. Research shows that dehydrated athletes have an increased level of cortisol in their body, the stress hormone, and reduced levels of testosterone, the hormone that contributes to muscle growth. This is detrimental to the health of athletes and is something all athletes need to remain mindful of when considering fluid consumed.

All About Hydration

When do you need to drink before prolonged exercise? There are three phases of hydrating that you need to be aware of, starting with pre-hydrating. Keeping your body hydrated before your workout is proactively combating any chance of dehydration, and a significant step in the process for all athletes. About two to four hours before you exercise, drink fluid or enjoy a sports drink to avoid fluid losses and boost athletic performance. It's incredibly important to replenish your fluids before you even begin your workout.

Continuous Hydration

Intra-work out hydrating is a pivotal component of a successful exercise, too. Be sure to offer your body an adequate amount of fluid replacement, in regular intervals and throughout your exercise, to ensure peak performing. Replacing fluids is essential! A sports drink can be used intra-work out to make sure that you’re able to perform both physically and mentally. Drinks like Tailwind Endurance Fuel contain important ingredients, like sodium and several others, that support optimal performance through hydrating, necessary caloric intake, and nutrient replenishment.

sports hydration - Tailwind Nutrition


This takes place in the hours following an intense exercise or sport activity. Once your exercise session ends, it is not time to stop hydrating. Drinking sports drinks in the hours post-exercise out ensures that your body's muscular and nervous systems are able to properly recover with the hydration they need. Being proactive in post-exercise hydration can prevent painful and uncomfortable muscle cramping. Post-hydration is also essential for keeping your body cool and preventing overheating. 

Your post-hydration period can also be known as the recovery period. Tailwind Recovery Drink utilizes a patent-pending, perfectly complete protein and sodium combo to rehydrate your body weight,  restore glycogen levels, and improve electrolyte balance. Additionally, the organic, vegan protein in this recovery drink makes it more suitable for post-exercise recovery and rehydration. 

To get the most out of your fitness efforts, rely on the help of the Tailwind Recovery Drink. The unique and high-quality mix of key ingredients rehydrates, in addition to using a complete protein, and ensures that you are building the muscle you’ve worked so hard for. 

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration 

When you exercise with any kind of drink, it is important to be aware of the signs that you’re dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration can range from mild to severe, but all will impact your physical and mental performance, and possibly your lasting health. 

If you are dehydrated, you may experience lightheadedness, nausea, fatigue, muscle cramps, confusion, darkened urine color, lower urine volume, and possibly hallucinations. One of the most overlooked symptoms of dehydration is heat stress. Sweat loss is one way you naturally cool down during exercise. Staying well hydrated allows you to continue to sweat and regulate temperature while not risking the possibility of damaging dehydration. Unaddressed, heat stress can lead to issues in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Pre-hydrating, hydrating, and rehydrating are all pivotal in the efforts to prevent these symptoms and increase healthy fluid levels. Many individuals typically lose more during a workout and are not as cognizant of drinking fluids. It's important to drink fluids regularly and often as too much fluid loss is dangerous.

Take caution to prevent dehydration! If you use sports drinks to hydrate, check the ingredients thoroughly. Some sports drinks contain caffeine, which is a diuretic that can have dehydrating effects when not ingested at proper amounts. It can also increase sweat loss and even lead to unhealthy decreased body weight when taken over a long span of time. While caffeine at the proper amounts can actually be beneficial, avoid consuming drinks that maintain high and unregulated levels of caffeine.

What’s On The Market?

It can be difficult navigating all the different sports drinks on the market. Many brand-name drinks have an ingredient list with long, unpronounceable additives that several athletes overlook when they shop. When you have a list of complex ingredients, it can be difficult to know what you are actually ingesting. 

Simple hydration drinks or drink mixes are available to eliminate the chance of ingesting unnecessary chemicals or additives. Tailwind Endurance Fuel is a light, simple, and highly-effective drink with all-natural ingredients, better than any competing sports drink. Drinks like this fuel you so you can put your energy where it really counts.

Maintaining Fluid Balance 

So, you’ve determined you need to hydrate, but how much fluid replacement do you need? As someone who participates in vigorous exercise, you need to know how much fluid replenishment is required. Of course, fluid intake will vary slightly from person to person, but there are some general guidelines for athletes you can follow. 

You should aim to drink 7-12 ounces of hydrating fluid about 30 minutes to one hour before you exercise. If your exercise lasts longer than an hour, make sure you have a drink that also contains carbohydrates. Make sure you continue to hydrate during the workout in 15-20 minute intervals with a few ounces of your drink.

Hydration Drinks: Taking You To The Finish Line

The way you hydrate is just as important as exercise itself. You work hard and deserve a drink that is going to maximize that effort.

Tailwind’s Endurance Fuel and Recovery Drink attack everything you need to both get hydrated and rehydrate as you go. It manages to do it all while still being light, effective, and easy on your digestive system. Drinks like this can be an essential part of a powerful hydrating strategy for peak athletic performance.

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