Here are some interesting facts about sports drinks. Read on to learn more about the nutritional benefits of sports drinks.
Sports Drink Nutrition
Sports drinks are gaining popularity among people, especially youngsters, as it gives a boost to a person’s endurance levels. Recommendation of sports drinks is based on a number of factors like type of sport the person is engaged in, its intensity, duration, athlete's nutritional status, age and so on. Commercial sports drinks that are hitting the market primarily consist of water, carbohydrates and electrolytes (sodium, chloride and potassium). The need for sports drinks as a source of nutrition depends on the athlete's body requirements and the energy levels required for the sport. There are sports that cause heavy loss of fluids and in these cases, sports drinks plays a pivotal role in preventing the body from losing necessary salts and minerals. It can also help in the prevention of dehydration thereby, keeping the body cells hydrated at all times. An athlete's performance levels tend to get adversely affected owing to the depletion of the body's carbohydrate stores and dehydration during sporting activities. This is where the importance of sports drinks comes into picture. Read further to explore sports drink performance facts, tips and types.
Sports Drink Performance Facts
- When sweating takes place during sports, it tends to cause loss of fluids and electrolytes (minerals such as chloride, calcium, phosphate, magnesium, sodium and potassium), thus making the body dehydrated.
- Dehydration, if not taken care of, can take an ugly shape and cause circulatory collapse and heat stroke. This is where the benefits of sports drink can be very well understood.
- When the fluid loss takes place in the body, it leads to impaired performance and the capacity of performing muscular work also declines. In such a case, these sports drinks aid in improving the performance level of an athlete, by acting as an energy booster.
Tips On Sports Drinks
- Since commercial sports drinks contain caffeine and energy boosters, it is advisable to have these in moderate amounts or avoid them all together. If nothing seems to work as an option, the best sort of fluid you can have is plenty of water an hour or two before the sports activity.
- You can also make a harmless carbohydrate drink of your own by mixing water, lime juice, salt and sugar. This will automatically 'up' your confidence and double the energy in your body for any sort of high endurance sport or exercise.
- In order to get the same sort of nutritional value from a fresh drink, you can opt for your own homemade fruit drink. It can act as an excellent replacement for sports drinks and also provide the same energy boosting effects. You can use fruits that are high in Vitamin C to replenish your bodily fluids and potassium requirements.
- Grapes, Oranges, bananas and even apples are a great base for your homemade sports drinks. You can add one tablespoon of salt to this mixture and voila, you have a fresh bottle of your very own sports drink. These are high in nutrition and are a lot tastier than commercial sports drinks.
Types Of Sports Drinks
Commercial Sports Drinks
There is an abundance of local, commercial sports drinks in the market today. They are high in proteins, carbohydrates and electrolytes. These can be extremely useful in terms of 'recovery' before, during and after training, leaving you fit for the rest of the day.
These drinks have an excess of carbohydrates in the form of sugars such as glucose and fructose, with a large quantity of electrolytes. They are extremely useful in enhancing capacity and endurance in a person's body, keeping the person hydrated and energetic throughout the sport or the workout process.
After some high-endurance sport and strenuous exercise, protein shakes are perfect to increase the muscle protein synthesis. At the time of building muscle in the body, the proteins in these shakes helps promote and repair tired or torn muscles, making them stronger. Protein shakes are also known to increase weight in a systematic manner along with building and toning the muscles in the body.
These thick shakes or drinks come with high quantities of sodium, magnesium and potassium that help in restoring bodily fluids, especially after sweating. These shakes also help in smoothening and facilitating a better rehydration process after a strenuous sports or gym sessions. They help retain the necessary fluids in the body.
With a flood of nutritional, energy boosting drinks in the market, sports buffs can breathe a sigh of relief. It is easy to pick up a drink from a counter at the local supermarket and have it in large quantities with the impression that it is going to help you win that important game or race. The trick here does not lie in how many drinks you have before that important event, the trick is to understand your body requirements and accordingly buy or make a particular drink and have it in moderate amounts, because too much of anything can be too bad.
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