sports drinks

Types Of Sports Drinks – It’s Benefits During Workouts

There is a common belief that “sports drinks” must be included in sports nutrition when preparing for a workout or athletic event. Some people think the sports nutrients included must contain some special ingredients that will enhance performance. However, sports drinks only contain electrolytes that help in controlling osmosis in the body and a simple sugar for added energy.
These are the three most popular types of sports drinks:

Isotonic (same concentration of salt and sugar as the human body): helps replace lost fluids while exercising in the form of sweat and boost the level of carbohydrates in the body. It is suitable for the average athlete.

Hypotonic (lower carbohydrate concentration but higher salt and sugar than the human body): the fastest way to replace lost fluids and is best suited for the low-perspiration athletes that include gymnasts and jockeys.

Hypertonic (higher concentration of carbohydrates): is a supplement for daily carbohydrate consumption after workouts to top up glycogen stores. This has been used by athletes especially  long-distance runners who require extra electrolytes and carbohydrates.

The body releases excess heat from the body in the form of sweat and during this process the body loses electrolytes. Sweat production in the body is controlled to ensure that only a small amount of electrolytes are lost. The kidneys preserve electrolytes and fluid by cutting down on urine production during  dehydration. Many experts say that an hour of strenuous exercise that includes running will require electrolytes to be replaced.

sports drinksTo stay hydrated, you can include lots of fluids while exercising as well as after your workout. It is very important for proper bodily function while exercising. Recent studies show that a loos of around 2% of total body weight from perspiration, will cause a decrease in performance. After 4% is lost, the working capacity of muscles starts declining. After 5% is lost, the heat in the body causes exhaustion and after 7%, hallucinations develop. A loss of 10% can cause heat stroke and circulatory collapse. It is true that sports drinks are not the only way to fulfill the need for electrolytes in the body. A normal diet can also provide a sufficient amount of electrolytes required for physical activity but sports drinks are faster and more efficient.

One of main reasons for the popularity of sports drinks is fact that they have a good taste. Many sports drink consist of flavouring, sugar and colour to get the consumer to buy them even when the electrolytes remain absent in them. The flavouring and sugar creates a sugar craving in individuals which causes them to want to consume more.

If you enjoy drinking sports drinks then you can prepare them at home for a fraction of the cost. To make a hypotonic drink, mix around 100 ml of orange juice in one litre of water along with a pinch of salt. To make an isotonic drink, you can use similar ingredients but use 200 ml of frozen orange juice and for hypertonic drinks, increase the amount of frozen orange juice up to 400 ml. You can also use a variety of other juices for different flavours.

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