Understanding Sports Drinks

While experts say that water is great for rehydration during shorter or low-intensity activities, for intensive exercise, it’s not only a must to replenish lost water, but to replenish glucose and electrolytes through sports drinks.

There are three main kinds of sports drinks: Isotonic, hypertonic, and hypotonic.

Isotonic sports drinks: These include similar combinations of salt and sugar found in the human body, usually a five to seven percent sugar solution.

Hypertonic sports drinks: These include a higher combination of salt and sugar than the body, usually more than ten percent sugar or solute in solution.

Hypotonic sports drinks: These include a reduced combination of salt and sugar than the body – below five percent sugars and solutes in solution.

Remember: Most sports drinks are fairly isotonic, having between 13 grams and 19 grams of sugar per 250 milliliters serving. Overall, it’s ideal to use

isotonic solutions and hypotonic if hydration is more important than carbohydrate refueling. Therefore, avoid the hypertonic drinks with protein and carbohydrates until post exercise.

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