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What are good sports drinks?

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Most athletes sweat between 0.5 to 2.0 L / h depending on humidity, temperature, intensity of exercise, and sweat response to exercise. This means that for the athlete to maintain a fluid balance and avoid dehydration, he must ingest 0.5-2 L / h of fluid.

Are you an athlete and wondering what good sports drinks are? There are many of them, the most common being:

Water is life and it is a perfect sports drink for athletes, and the beauty of it is that you can use it before and after exercising.

It comes with many perks that make it the perfect sports drink – it’s refreshing, sugar-free, easy to access, and less likely to cause stomach problems.

Water is also a perfect tracker for athletes who take energy gels or chews during training.

While it has its advantages, it also has its drawbacks. One of the drawbacks is that it has zero calories and is not an ideal choice when your workout goes beyond an hour when glycogen stores are likely to be depleted.

When hydrating with water, be careful not to overhydrate, which hyponatremia. This is a condition in which the body retains too much water, which leads to dilution of sodium in the blood.

Common symptoms of hyponatremia include:

  • confusion
  • nausea
  • headache
  • severe cases of death

Energy drinks

As you can see, these are drinks intended to provide your body with energy while you exercise. Most of these drinks have caffeine as the main ingredient and provide many benefits such as concentration, stimulation, and anti-fatigue. A classic example of an energy drink is https://www.tailwindnutrition.com/endurance-fuel-drink/.

In addition to the drinks that give you energy, they are pleasant and easy to drink. Research studies have also shown that the drinks significantly increase endurance and fight fatigue, largely due to the presence of caffeine.

The downside to the drinks is that they use simple sugars, which provide a short-lived blood glucose spike, so you feel energized within a minute and then when your glucose levels drop your energy levels drop. Drinks have also been shown to cause gastrointestinal upset, often due to high sugar levels.

Like water, you should avoid drinking too many of these beverages due to high levels of sugar and caffeine. As a general rule of thumb, don’t drink more than one 16-ounce energy drink per hour, as doing so will lead to nausea, nervousness, and anxiety. And you don’t want these things to happen to you when you train, do you?

Sports drinks with carbohydrates / electrolytes

These contain salt and carbohydrates in scientifically standardized amounts. The beauty of the drinks is that they keep you hydrated when you exercise while also providing you with the vital carbohydrates you need to keep your glucose and energy levels high. Carbohydrates are also helpful in preventing hyponatremia.

Good quality carbohydrate / electrolyte sports drinks contribute significantly to your endurance when exercising. Unfortunately, there is a lot of poor quality and over the top sugar water with salt and potassium pedaled like electrolyte sports drinks.

While these drinks contain simple sugars that raise blood glucose levels and give you the vital energy you need, they often leave an energy deficit after you drink them. Drinks have also been shown to cause gastrointestinal upset.

To make sure you’re shopping for the right sports drink, take your time and research the best companies to buy. A tell-tale sign that you’re buying a fake carb / electrolyte sports drink is the price. If the drink is priced low, you have reason to be concerned.

Alkalized water

Alkaline is a buzzword, and if you’ve been in health circles, you must have heard it mentioned multiple times.

The concept of alkaline water is that tap water contains different dissolved elements that influence its pH level. On the other hand, pure water has a pH level close to 7 and alkaline water has a pH higher than 7.

The idea behind drinking alkaline water is to achieve a more alkaline balance in the body. While this sounds fantastic on paper, the main drawback is that each organ in the body has a unique pH range, and the body does a great job of keeping the pH of the blood within the correct range.

This means that alkaline water does not help at all.

You may look good drinking the water, but it doesn’t benefit your body. It doesn’t even help improve endurance, so you don’t train better.

You should avoid drinking alkaline water as it is worthless. Save that money and invest it elsewhere.

Coconut water

Coconut water is marketed as a drink to improve hydration and improve electrolyte concentration. The brands that sell the water often guarantee that it will crush the PR and eliminate cramps when you drink the water.

Like alkaline water, coconut water has been among the hottest sports drinks for the past few years. Water is considered a healthier alternative to traditional sugar-filled sports drinks.

But is this true?

Unfortunately, it is not, as studies have shown that water is no more effective than plain water and other sports drinks. In fact, compared to plain water, coconut water was found to cause gastrointestinal upset more often.

Should you buy this sports drink?

Absolutely not, as it is no different from plain water and other sports drinks on the market. Remember, water is overpriced, ineffective, and still under-studied, so there’s no reason to spend your hard-earned money on it.

So what is the best sports drink?

If you are participating in an exercise that lasts less than an hour, opt for plain water, but if your workout lasts longer than an hour, the carbohydrate / electrolyte drink is the way to go. When buying this drink, make sure it is of high quality and is not made up of simple sugars.

You can have an energy drink 30 to 60 minutes before endurance exercise to improve your performance, but it should not be used as your sole source of hydration.

Don’t waste your money on alkalized and coconut waters as they are over the top and don’t bite.

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