What to Drink, When: How to Hydrate for Exercise

Water, Sport Drinks…Coffee? What do you drink to stay hydrated–and does it matter? We break down your best options for keeping hydrated before, during, and after exercise. 

Glass water

Before you jump on that treadmill, tie your running shoes, or reach for that Wii controller, pour yourself a glass of water. (From the tap, of course!) But be sure to start drinking 2-3 hours before you work out! Don't wait till you get to the gym to fill your water bottle!


Don't like the taste of your tap water? You're not alone. In fact, it's the number one reason more exercisers drink flavored water. Be careful, though-some flavored waters can deliver as much sugar as soda while others contain potentially problematic artificial sweeteners. Do yourself a favor and filter your tap water. You'll be surprised just how good your water can taste! 


Looking for a natural alternative to plain water? Coconut water might be your best bet. It's naturally rich in electrolytes, with twice the potassium of a banana. But with a price tag of $2-3 a serving– is it really worth it?



Many of us turn to sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade during longer, more intense workouts. Sports drinks replenish the sodium and potassium your body loses through sweat–but they're relatively pricy and ugh-those plastic bottles.  Try the powdered mixes instead–they work just as well, cost far less than buying sports drinks by the case, and leave your recycling bin lighter.


Most of us are used to that morning cup of joe–but few of us think of coffee as a workout enhancer. But if you can stomach it (pun intended), a cup of coffee or two before or during exercise can give your workout a boost. 


Turns out that most of us don't exercise heavily enough to need a sports recovery drink. Water is just fine for most people. But if you need few more choices for what to guzzle down before you hit the shower, read on.  A dose of juice can ease inflammation and quelch those exercise-induced free radicals. And what's even better than a carb-loaded sports drink? Milk.  It helps with muscle recovery and replenishes glycogen stores–it really does do a body good!


Perhaps the best post-workout beverage option we've heard of, though, comes from a group of Spanish researchers who claim that your best option might just be…


Beer.   Guinness for Strength poster.img_assist_custom-480x355


Yep.  Those Guinness ads were right all along. Beer is good for your health after all! Turns out a
pint of beer works even better than water to replenish lost carbohydrates and rehydrate your body. 


So now we know the secret of Babe Ruth's success…

Community : Water – For Women It’s Personal

Nearly one billion people lack access to clean water. 

Yep, you read that right. 

One billion people lack  clean water for drinking, for hygiene, for basic sanitation.

Water.org, founded by the ever adorable and all around nice guy Matt Damon, wants to do something about that. And so do we.  For all of us at Discount Filter Store, the issue of clean water is personal. 


Clean water is our passion, but honestly we never thought about clean water as a women's issue until we started following Water.org on Twitter. (You can find them at @Water. You can follow @DiscountFilters here).  

It turns out that for women all over the world, the issue of clean water is personal. Really personal. Check out this infographic:

04_Women(courtesy of water.org)

Are you shocked? We are. 

It's Mothers Day this Sunday, so lots of us are thinking about the women in our lives. (Have you bought a card yet? Skip the line at the store and honor your mom with one of these beautiful cards!) 

Better yet, honor women everywhere by getting involved. Donate your voice, start a fundraiser, share this post, make a difference. Because it's not okay that 4000 mothers will lose a child to water-borne illnesses this Mothers Day.

Let's do something about it!

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Get Smart: Drink Water

Ah, May…  The weather's getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and it's almost the end of the school year.  Here at Discount Filter Store, our  kids are counting down the days until summer vacation, while we're counting out the dollars we'll spend on summer camps and childcare.


Summer kids

But before we pull out the beach chairs and put air in the bike tires, lots of us have to get through one more thing…

Yep. That dreaded end-of-year testing.



Whether you've got a third grader or a college sophomore,  you've pretty likely got testing on your mind at this time of year.  You're doing everything you can to help your child get through her exams–making sure she studies hard, sleeps well, eats a healthy breakfast, and (the biggest challenge in my house) gets to school on time. 

But when test day comes, are you sending her to school with a bottle of water? (the refillable kind, of course!)

 It turns out–quite simply–that students who drink water during their exams do better than those
who don't.

According to a new study published by the University of East London (See? British people don't just sound smart-they are smart!):

  • Drinking water might have a physiological effect on the brain's cognitive functions. It turns out that even mild dehydration reduces your thinking ability.
  • It's also possible that, much like taking a deep breath, taking a drink of water calms your nerves and reduces your anxiety. (This applies to you too, moms and dads!)

So, come test day, don't forget to send some water with your budding Einstein!

The Klean Kanteen, availabe at Discount Filter Store


Now that's what we call Smart Water!


Your Guide to Good Ice–No Zamboni Necessary

If your ice cubes are starting to smell like the Flyers' locker room, don't despair!  Before you drop your gloves, try these simple steps to better tasting, clearer ice:

Ice cube

  • Use a water filter! Whether it's a pitcher filter, under-sink filter, or refrigerator filter, a fresh filter will reduce taste and odor problems. 

Young player

  • Empty your ice bin! Ice cubes can pick up odors from the inside of the freezer and
    refrigerator–especially from open food containers. So dump that funky ice like a puck from the blue line!


  • For the clearest cubes, boil your filtered water before freezing it.


  • Don't have an ice maker? Try using a stainless steel ice cube tray like this one we found on Amazon.com. Your water will freeze faster and you won't get that weird plastic taste. 



So don't be a hoser! Light the lamp with top shelf ice to serve your family and guests. 

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Community : Water – Ryan’s Well Foundation

Welcome to the first installation of "Community: Water," where each month we'll highlight a non-profit organization funding clean water projects for people all over the world.

Many of us here at Discount Filter Store have small children, so this story really touched us.

Ryan Hreljac was a first grader when he learned that people in Africa were sick–and even dying–because they didn't have clean water to drink.

 Hefigured that $70 would be enough money to drill a well in a place like Uganda and started doing extra chores to raise the money to pay for it.

It turned out the well would cost more like $2,000 to drill — but Ryan was undaunted, and he raised close to $3,000 that year. *image courtesy of Gaiam Life

From Ryan's Story: About_us_2

Ryan is now a 6'6" 20-year-old student at the University of King’s College in Halifax on the east coast of Canada, where he studies international development and political science. Ryan also travels the world speaking about water issues and “the importance of making a difference no matter whom you are or how old you are.”

Any kid can follow his lead, says Ryan. “Kids can begin with anything from helping out around the house to starting their own project,” he adds. They’re real words of wisdom, coming from a man who considered himself, at age 6, just as responsible as anyone else for solving a problem affecting people a world away. 

To date, the Ryan’s Well Foundation has built more than 700 wells that provide clean drinking water to more than 745,000 people in Africa as well as Haiti. The organization has also built more than 900 latrines to improve hygiene and sanitation in these communities.

*Image courtesy of Ryan's Well Foundation

All we can say is wow! Ryan is proof that any of us can make a change in the world.

You can make a difference too!





FAQ: Is Bottled Water Safer than Tap Water?

Not at all!

 According to a report commissioned by Switzerland-based World Wildlife Fund International, "bottled water may be no safer or healthier than tap water, while selling for up to 1,000 times the price." 

Glass water



The Government Accounting Office says that bottled water isn't any safer than tap water and could actually be more dangerous.  The Consumerist notes that "tap water is covered by the Safe Water Drinking Act, administered by the aggressive and powerful Environmental Protection Agency, while bottled water falls under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act overseen by the powerless anything-goes industry-lovers over at the Food and Drug Administration."



National Geographic notes that bottled water is a drain on the environment:  Bottled water money

  • The U.S. public goes through about 50 billion water bottles a year, and most of those plastic containers are not recycled.
  • Transporting the bottles and keeping them cold also burns fossil fuels, which give off greenhouse gases.

The plastic in water bottles may pose a health risk. According to the NRDC, "chemicals called phthalates, which are know to disrupt testosterone and other hormones, can leach into bottled water over time."

The Pacific Institute estimates that producing the plastic in water bottles requires more than 17 million barres of oil and produces more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide. 

Tap water



So why do some people still insist on choosing bottled water? The number one answer is simply "taste" according to surveys conducted by the IBWA. Yet a simple water filter installed in your refrigerator, faucet, water line, or water pitcher drastically reduces the chorine and impurities that can give tap water an unpleasant taste.




Aren't you ready to give up the bottled water habit? 

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