Do you exercise a lot? Are you a sports performer? You may take the popular sports drinks for a healthy choice. Meanwhile, are sugary sports drinks the best for hydration? Is it true? Do you believe it? The best cycling hydration pack still comes with plain water. It is poured into the bladder and consumed when you need it. So, which drink is the best? Let’s find it out.
Sports Drinks Invention
The beverages are becoming popular nowadays. Why are they rated among the best hydrating drinks? They are known to be invented by Dr. Robert Cade, in the 1960s. The kidney disease specialist cooperated with the football team of the University of Florida. The athletes were losing a lot of electrolytes during the games and training sessions. Therefore, the inventor introduced the drink aimed to solve the task.
Quite naturally, the concoction was based on water. It also contained:
- lemon juice.
The juice made the beverage more palatable. Due to the hydration factor of beverages, 2 problems were solved: weight loss and heat exhaustion.
The number of players hospitalized significantly decreased. Are modern sports drinks as healthy as the first ones? Who should take them?
What Are Sports Drinks?
Quite naturally, the beverages are designed for athletes. They are intended to help people that exercise intensively. If the workouts take more than an hour, they could help you to rehydrate the body. They are made for vigorous and prolonged sporting activities. If your recovery time is limited, they could help you. So, are the popular sports drinks healthy? Let’s check the composition of the most common beverages for athletes.
Quite naturally, sports drinks are different. Can they provide the best rehydration for you? How do they work?
The basic types of sports drinks are:
Isotonic ones are considered to be the best sports drink for hydration. Why? They contain the same concentration of sugar and salt. It’s similar to the fluid that is in the healthy human body.
Hypertonic beverages stand out by a higher concentration of minerals and carbohydrates.
Hypotonic ones contain fewer minerals and sugar than it is in the body.
Benefits of Sports Drinks
But for carbohydrates (sugar) the beverages contain also:
- vitamins C and K;
- amino acids.
The properties of Gatorade were studied by the University of Florida since 1965. According to the scientists, it’s the best glucose sports drink that:
- boosts energy;
- maintains hydration;
- regulates blood pressure;
- prevents muscle cramping;
- tastes good.
That’s right. We already know about the taste. It’s supported by the lemon juice. However, shall we consume the hydrating drinks with electrolytes just for taste? Aren’t there a health hazard? If you abuse the drinks, they can affect you.
What are the Risks of Sports Drinks Consumption?
The beverages are great in extreme situations. They help you after the intense workout. They can affect:
- weight loss;
- tooth enamel erosion;
- heart diseases.
According to the recent study, the drinks can even increase the risk of early death.
According to scientists from Harvard’s School of Public Health, you should not take more than 2 sports drinks per day.
So, What Is the Best Source of Electrolytes?
But for the cases of long and exhausting workouts, prefer plain water. It’s beneficial if they:
- last for less than 60 minutes;
- are not intense;
- don’t imply professional team sport.
Water is definitely the best fluid for the human body. It regulates its temperature and hydrates. In summer, when you sweat a lot, you are to consume more water. However, winter activities require electrolytes replenishing, as well. You wear warm clothes and breath intensively.
How Does Water Hydrate You?
Mineral-rich or plain water regulates the proper PH level within your body (blood). According to MedlinePlus, the ideal value is 7.4. Additionally, it:
- boosts metabolism;
- flushes out toxins;
- fuels the brain;
- cures and prevents diseases.
So, if you consume a lot of water and healthy food, it’s ok. Don’t you get distilled water? The plain water is still rich in salts and minerals. Water refreshes us in the morning. It’s beneficial after work, workouts or walks.
Water vs Sports Drinks: Pros and Cons
Thus, it’s better to go with water: when it’s hot; if we are thirsty; during a routine exercise.
You should never neglect water, as it:
- has no calories;
- is rapidly absorbed;
- helps us lose weight in the healthiest way.
It’s definitely recommended after the workouts that last for 30-45 minutes. This duration is typical for ordinary people. Do you have your fitness classes twice a week? It’s your option!
However, if you exercise for about 90 minutes, consuming a sports drink is acceptable. Sports drinks vs water are designed for intensive workouts. The would be helpful if you are hungry. That is if you have no food in your pack, just drink the beverage. Your ski trip lasts for several hours, at least. You would need a lot of energy. Additionally, sports drinks are beneficial for professional athletes. If you train regularly and for long hours, consume your drink. I mean, the beverage that is designed for your activity. It can fall into a protein or a carbohydrate-replenishing category.
What Is the Best Drink for Dehydration Besides Water?
The other healthy beverages commonly recommended include:
- Coconut water.
- Fruit juice.
- Low-fat yogurt.
- Lemon water.
- Herbal tea.
These beverages keep you hydrated. Some of them provide nutrition, as well. For example, cherry juice is known to be beneficial for quick muscle recovery. Bananas provide an anti-inflammatory effect. They are rich in glucose. So they can improve your performance during the competition.
General Verdict: Are Sugary Sports Drinks the Best for Hydration?
Now you know what drinks hydrate you best. Quite naturally, you can select them according to your preferences. The trip or workout duration also matter. You can take into account the climate and the activity. So, just enjoy your training session or recreation trip and feel good.