Sports Energy Drinks

Sports energy drinks are very popular beverages among those that compete and participate in endurance exercises. But the question is do they provide the athlete with better preformance capabilities?

Sports drinks are very popular beverages among those that compete in sports and participate in endurance exercises. However, sometimes companies put unnecessary ingredients in them and promote untrue claims to sell their products.

When you choose your sports drinks choose based on the exercise or sport, you are participated. Answer the following questions before purchasing your sports drinks:

How long will you be exercising?

Is it very dry in the area?

Is it very hot in the area?

What did you eat before you participate?

If you exercise for longer than an hour, and exercise in excessively hot and dry weather, sports drinks may come in handy. Choose a sports drink with carbohydrates and electrolytes such as potassium and sodium.

The carbohydrate in your sports drinks reduces the chance of fatigue in endurance sports. When you exercise the body uses the glucose stored in the muscle as fuel. When you exercise for an extended length of time, the stores are depleted. The carbohydrates present in the sports drinks replenish the depleted stores. If you are unable to purchase sports drink you may find that if you dilute fruit juice with water half and half it will provide you with an adequate amount of carbohydrates. (Caution: be sure to dilute fruit juice to prevent cramping)

Electrolytes promote the absorption of water into your body during an endurance exercise. This prevents dehydration in those participating. Electrolytes also replace the electrolytes lost in those who sweat excessively. When you sweat you, lose potassium and sodium. When potassium and sodium are seriously depleted, you may notice cramping and excessive thirst. All that is needed is at least two percent of the RDA for sodium in your sports drinks. Anything over that amount isn't harmful but unnecessary. Some companies put more sodium in their drinks to promote thirst thus making you drink more of their drink than necessary.

Carbohydrates and electrolytes are all that is needed in your sports drink. Don't be fooled by claims that any additional items may enhance your performance. The following items may be detrimental to you performance and/or health if you drink them.

Caffeine: Caffeine is a diuretic. Meaning if you drink it your body will begin to lose water. If present in your drink these cause your body to lose water and may promote dehydration.

Excessive carbohydrates: When your sports drink has too much sugar it stays in your stomach for an extended amount of time. This causes your body to cramp up. To prevent this make sure your drink has less than 20 grams of carbohydrate per eight ounces.

Ephedra: It is still unknown about the effects ephedra may have on your body. This may end up making you more dehydrated.

If you exercise under an hour sports drinks are unneeded. Water, fruit juice, etc. are okay to prevent dehydration. Drink water at least fifteen minutes before beginning your workout and after to prevent dehydration.

After exercise, you can drink any beverage you wish. This can be water, fruit juices, etc. Be sure to drink at least eight ounces of fluid.

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