Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Are Sports Drinks a Waste of Money?

Sports drinks are extremely popular right now and with so many appearing on the market all claiming different things, before you buy, you should know what's in those bottles and how to use them properly.

Sports drinks are made to replenish the body's fluid losses during intense physical exercise, and the "classic" sports drinks (Gatorade, Powerade) aim to accomplish three things:
Sodium and potassium are usually added to replace losses during sweating as well as sugar (carbohydrates) to make the drink more palatable.

Some tips to remember:
  • Drink plenty of water up to four hours before you exercise to minimize the chance of dehydration
  • Eat a lightly salted snack to keep your electrolytes balanced
  • Sports drinks are only needed during heavy exercise, e.g. an hour or more (less if you sweat excessively)
  • You can use sports drinks if you are exercising in hot and humid conditions or have protective equipment on
  • For the average child playing around outside, sports drinks in place of water is generally unnecessary
  • Read the label before you buy 
It's important to remember that sports drinks have their place, when used correctly they can help improve your performance, help your recovery time, and help you increase lean muscle.  When used incorrectly, they have a similar nutritional value to soft drinks and just add empty calories. 

If you have a good balance between nutrition and exercise, it will provide all the energy and nutrients required for a healthy active lifestyle.  An important part of this balance comes from food, including water, rather than supplements and sports drinks.

References from the SIRC Collection

1. Fernandez J, Da Silva-Grigoletto M, Perez-Jimenez F, et al. A dose of fructose induces oxidative stress during endurance and strength exercise. Journal Of Sports Sciences. October 2009;27(12):1323-1334. 
2. Kumar N, Agrahari R. Effect of pre-exercise sports drink on cardio-respiratory fitness. Sports Medicine Journal / Medicina Sportivâ.  June 2012;8(2):1846-1850.
 3. Lee J, Nio A, Ang W, Law L, Lim C. Effects of ingesting a sports drink during exercise and recovery on subsequent endurance capacity. European Journal Of Sport Science. March 2011;11(2):77-86.
4. Mayo J, Kravitz L. Sports & Energy Drinks: Answers for Fitness Professionals. IDEA Fitness Journal. October 2008;5(9):17-20.
5. Roussell M. Sports Drinks: How to Use them to Maximum Performance. Volleyball. February 2011;22(2):20-21. 
6. Sare C. Honey buzz: antioxidant boost, sports energy source or glorified sugar?. Muscle & Fitness. February 2004;65(2):192;204. 7. 
7. Singh A, Chaudhary S, Sandhu J. EFFICACY OF PRE EXERCISE CARBOHYDRATE DRINK (GATORADE) ON THE RECOVERY HEART RATE, BLOOD LACTATE AND GLUCOSE LEVELS IN SHORT TERM INTENSIVE EXERCISE. Serbian Journal Of Sports Science. March 2011;5(1):29-34.

3 comments:

jeremy said...

Applying such will help me improve more.

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Stephanie Butler said...

Athletes have their own sports drink and sometimes they sponsor one.

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