Everyone who exercises knows drinking plenty of fluids after a workout is essential for staying healthy and fit. Proper hydration is necessary to maintain body temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints, as well as keep your energy high. For years, athletes have turned to a variety of sports drinks to replenish nutrients lost following a workout. However, a new study conducted at the University of Kansas found replacing lost nutrients can be as simple as drinking a glass of 100% orange juice. The study found consuming 100% orange juice is just as effective as popular sports drinks or water for hydration.
Published in the Journal of Nutrition and Health Sciences, the results were based on a five-day study of 26 healthy young adults who spent 80 minutes each day cycling on a stationary bike. After the workout, the subjects were asked to consume about eight ounces of commercially available 100% orange juice, orange-flavored water, or an orange-flavored sports drink. Researchers then measured hydration immediately after exercise and then after a one-hour rest period. They also rated taste and gastrointestinal distress.
What they found was that post-exercise people consuming orange juice hydrated just as well as those drinking sports drinks or water. In addition, the study concluded 100% orange juice satisfied thirst without causing gastrointestinal distress.
Although people sometimes mistakenly avoid orange juice due to its carbohydrate content and acidity level, this study did not find either of those factors to be an issue. In fact, the carbohydrates as well as the vitamins and minerals in juice may even be helpful for those who are physically active.
The natural sugars found in orange juice replenish energy and vitamins, minerals and bioactives, not only replace lost nutrients, but can help aid in recovery. For example, orange juice is a good source of potassium, an electrolyte that has been known to provide rehydration and recovery benefits. Vitamin C an antioxidant can also help. Convenient, quick and easy, the next time you reach for a drink after working out, think about having a glass of 100% orange juice.