How do sport and energy drinks compare to water?
|Sport Drink||Sugar, Salt, Potassium, Color, Water|
|Energy Drink||Caffeine, Sugar, Taurine, Water + Others|
When to use
- anytime during the day, as well as before, during or after exercise to hydrate & re-hydrate.
- specifically formulated for re-hydration and re-fueling after intense exercise lasting more than 1 hour.
- salt stimulates the desire to drink which assists in re-hydration.
- sugar helps replenish glycogen stores, which are the energy stores used during exercise & also helps in replenishing some electrolytes.
- useful during multi-events (tournaments, championship weekends).
- meant for sport situations NOT for regular daily consumption.
- color can be detrimental for athletes suffering from ADD or ADHD.
- NOT recommended
- burst of energy is very temporary due to the combination of caffeine and sugar.
- acts as a stimulant increasing both heart rate and blood pressure.
- caffeine has a dehydrating effect on the body.
- other potential side effects: stomach problems, panic attacks, anxiety
What if I don’t like sports drinks? Do I absolutely need them?
Absolutely not! You must however ensure that you re-hydrate and re-fuel after exercise.
1. Make your own sport drink
- 500 ml of water
- 500 ml of 100% juice
- 1/8 tsp of salt (pinch)
2. Food Alternatives
- water + banana (but force yourself to drink beyond thirst because exercise dulls the thirst mechanism)
- water + baked sweet potato
- watch for the re-fueling tips coming soon. (Check your Game Winning Nutrition book for more information)
Pros and cons of sports drinks; water may be just as beneficial
Dr. Gordon Sleivert: Why sports drinks are better than water