Part 3 of our hydration blog series. Hopefully, you now have an idea of how much and when you should be drinking. The following post focuses on what you should be drinking. I am constantly asked about sports drinks and their benefits when Personal Training in Twickenham, London. Hopefully this will shed some light on the subject!
Water for Hydration
Water should be your primary source of fluid and suitable for most activities. It is most efficient at room temperature, as it can be absorbed into the stomach at a faster rate than if chilled. Quicker absorption means quicker rehydration. Rehydrating the body quickly and efficiently means plasma lost through sweating can be replaced, allowing the muscles to continue working.
Isotonic Sports Drinks
Isotonic sports drinks, have a similar concentration of dissolved solids as the blood. This means they are absorbed faster than water, taking effect faster. They also generally contain 4 – 8 grams of carbohydrates per 100ml of water, this can be used as fuel for the working muscles as well as rehydration. These types of drinks are good before, during and after performance. Because of this, they are the most common drink amongst sports performers. They can be used in all these areas because they hydrate the body quickly as well as providing fuel. All of these factors will keep you working at a higher intensity for longer.
Hypotonic Sports Drinks
Hypotonic sports drinks have a lower concentration of dissolved solids than blood, consisting of a more dilute solution. Due to this, these types of drinks are absorbed quickly by osmosis, at a greater rate than both water and isotonic drinks. This means that they are great at keeping you hydrated during exercise. in contrast, they are a poor source of energy, providing only 2 grams of carbohydrate per 100ml of water. In terms of sports performance, they are good for consuming within a game or a short race. However, any events at a high intensity for a sustained period of time, will require a higher volume of carbohydrates.
Hypertonic Sports Drinks
Hypertonic sports drinks have a higher concentration of dissolved solids than blood. It therefore takes a longer period of time for the fluid to be absorbed. Therefore, these types of drinks are a poor source of instant hydration. However, they do contain 10grams of carbohydrates per 100ml of water. As a result, these types of drinks are good for endurance activities in conjunction with water. They provide high amounts of energy over the extended period of time. Pre and post consumption is fine as they aid in the replacement carbohydrates lost during exercise.