Drink during a workout? Of course, but what?

Food and nutrition

Published on 13 July 2015
by Isabelle Huot

We all know that keeping hydrated while working out is really important. In fact, one should drink from 150 to 350 ml of fluids every 15 to 20 minutes, and this, from the very start of any physical activity, even if you don’t feel thirsty.


But what should we drink?

If the activity lasts less than an hour, water would be enough. However, rinsing your mouth with a sports drink and spitting it out could increase your stamina by transmitting messages to your brain through your mouth’s receptors. Something interesting to try when doing outdoors activities!

If the activity lasts for more than an hour, a sports drink will allow you to increase your performance. It will quickly supply the necessary energy to your muscles and will help compensate for lost fluids and electrolytes.


Choosing the appropriate sports drink

Nope, not all sports drink are not made equal! For optimal absorption, look for a drink that contains:

  • 4 to 8 g of carbs per 100 ml
  • 50 to 70 mg of sodium per 100 ml

Avoid sports drink that contains sweeteners that do not satisfy your muscles needs. On the other hand, sports drinks that are too sugary (>8% of carbohydrates) will be more difficult to assimilate.


Carbs (mg/100 ml)

Sodium (mg/100 ml)

Gatorade Performer






Powerade XION 4






Grape juice



Making a homemade version can be just as effective, and will save you some money. Just mix together equal parts of fruit juice and water and add a pinch of salt! 

Isabelle Huot
Doctor in nutrition