Will you feel ill effects without it? And what about that Saturday soccer game? Well, whether you would benefit from consuming a sports drink depends on the events you are taking part in and your goals, says Professor Louise Burke of the Australian Institute of Sport.
What should we be drinking to rehydrate ourselves during workouts and competitions? Athlete or not, all of us operate best when our body temperature stays within a fairly narrow range.
But exercise throws a wrench into the works. As muscles contract during exercise, they generate internal heat, and this can quickly increase the core temperature of the body. Fortunately, the body has a well-designed system for keeping its core temperature in check. Critical components of this coolant system include water and dissolved minerals, called electrolytes, found within and between cells and tissues.
As internal heat is generated, the flow of blood carries it away from muscles and to the skin, where it can be released. Sweating also occurs, and as the sweat evaporates from the skin, the body cools.
The catch is that sweat is primarily composed of water and the electrolyte sodium — the very same key constituents that help keep the body hydrated and cool. Fluid balance is maintained by receptors in the brain and circulatory system.
They monitor blood pressure and the concentration of dissolved particles in the bloodstream. But all bets are off during those acute periods when you are training or competing, especially in hot or humid conditions.
In these conditions, you can lose 1 to 3 liters of sweat, or more, per hour. If you lose 2 percent, the performance-robbing consequences you may experience include a higher heart rate, slower reaction time, decreased coordination, impaired concentration, and a greater perceived sense of the difficulty of the exercise they are doing.
Considering the options With the basics of hydration in hand, it now becomes clearer what to hydrate with and when. As a general rule of thumb, the harder and longer the exercise, and the more extreme the conditions, the more you sweat, and the more important it will be to replace what you are losing in the form of sweat.
However, absent any significant amounts of the electrolyte sodium, the sudden influx of water dilutes the sodium concentration in the bloodstream. The receptors in the brain erroneously interpret this dilution effect as a sign that the body is fully rehydrated.
As a result, the brain sends out a message to suppress thirst, so you stop drinking.
But in reality, they have not actually met their fluid or electrolyte needs, so athletic performance is likely to suffer as a consequence. Contrast that with the response to either a sports drink containing sodium and carbs, or a low-carb electrolyte drink.
Both of these drinks contain water and sodium, so as you drink, you get fluids paired with sodium. They do a better job of maintaining a proper balance of fluids and electrolytes within the body because they are better at replacing what you are losing in the form of sweat.
By avoiding the dilution effect in the bloodstream that occurs with plain water, you continue to feel thirsty and to drink fluids as you exercise, so you end up doing a better job of meeting your fluid needs. In short, consuming a sports drink or electrolyte drink that contains sodium during exercise helps you better gauge and fulfill their true fluid needs.
A word to the wise about electrolytes Sweat actually contains a variety of electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. So why does sodium get all the attention?
The reason is that sodium is present in such a high concentration in sweat; therefore, it needs to be replaced during exercise when you are losing large volumes of fluids.Introducing Blue Frost Special Edition YUMINO.
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Bottled water has catapulted to the top of the beverage industry, with sales of $ billion in One of the fastest-growing segments of that market is designer waters. "If you're in the gym pedalling to lose weight while you read a magazine, then you don't need a sports drink, just drink water," says Burke, who runs the nutrition program for the elite athletes.
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