Sports drinks are beverages that are specially formulated to help people rehydrate during or after exercise. They are usually rich in carbohydrates (the most efficient source of energy).
As well as carbohydrates, sports drinks usually contain sweeteners and preservatives.
Sports drinks also contain electrolytes (minerals such as chloride, calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium), which diminish as you exercise and sweat. Repleneshing electrolytes lost promotes proper rehydration, which is important in delaying the onset of fatigue during exercise. Keeping rehydrated is particularly important for people with diabetes who run an increased risk of dehydration due to high levels of blood glucose.
Types of sports drinks
Science distinguishes three main types of sports drinks based on their fluid, electrolyte, and carbohydrate content.
Isotonic drinks contain similar concentrations of salt and sugar as in the human body.
They quickly replace fluids lost through sweating and supplies a boost of carbohydrate.
Hypertonic drinks contain a higher concentration of salt and sugar than the human body.
They are recommended to be consumed after the workout to supplement daily carbohydrate intake and fill up muscle glycogen stores. They can be taken during ultra distance events to meet the high energy demands, but must be used in conjunction with Isotonic drinks to replace lost fluids.
Hypotonic drinks contain a smaller concentration of salt and sugar than the human body.
They are to replenish fluid lost by sweating. They are recommended for those athletes who require fluid replenishment without a carbohydrate boost.
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