Sports Drinks….who needs them?

water vs sports drinkWho needs to drink sports drinks? Who are they intended for? Have we been influenced by the media to think we need them when they really aren’t necessary?

Staying well hydrated during exercise allows each of us to perform at our best. Water is the best drink for replacing fluid lost during exercise lasting less than one hour. However, during intense exercise lasting longer than one hour, you need to replace the sodium lost in sweat and carbohydrates you burn for energy. Commercial sports drinks supply water, sugar, and electrolytes, including sodium. They provide fluid retention and tend to encourage drinking because of their taste. On the other hand, these beverages are high in sugar, can cause nausea and dehydration.

Consuming sports drinks is not necessary for most people participating in physical activity lasting for one hour or less in moderate temperature conditions. Instead choose plan water for it is rapidly absorbed. Be aware of how the media has influenced our belief that even a non-distance runner or those who exercise for shorter periods of time need to consume sports drinks.

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