Taking onboard extra fluids after strenuous exercise is vital to fully rehydrate and support the recovery process. But what are the best drinks to support this rehydration process? Is water OK, or are the better alternatives? A new study has investigated the effects of deep mineral water (DMW), which is extracted from 700 m below sea level and naturally rich in calcium and magnesium, on muscular recovery after dehydrating exercise.
Nine physically active women completed a dehydrated bout of exercise and then consumed either DMW or plain water at a volume of 1.5 times the amount of sweat produced during exercise. Aerobic performance and lower-body muscle power were then assessed at 4h, 24h and 48h into the recovery period.
Rehydrating with DMW better supported aerobic performance (4h into recovery) and leg muscle power (48h into recovery) when compared with plain water.
DMW may provide some benefits over plain water, for supporting aerobic and muscle performance during recovery from a dehydrating bout of exercise. It is likely that the mineral content of DMW is responsible for these effects, however future studies are needed to confirm this. It should also be noted that DMW has limited availability in the UK and therefore individuals may wish to rehydrate with commercially available carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drinks or low-fat milk, which have also been shown to improve rehydration rates from exercise in comparison to plain water. However if these options are not available then plain water is just fine!