Water Vs Sports Drinks

August 3, 2014
Sport Drinks or Water: Expert Take

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If you enjoy a quick outdoor exercise, even in the summer season, or are a regular gym-goer, you just can’t run away the sweltering temperature levels and humidity. And all the summer season sweating leaves you thirsty and dehydrated. You might even be addicted to sweet and sugar-laden sports drinks without understanding it. It’s fine as long as you put in a power-packed exercise – you factor with yourself. However do you believe that sports drinks are healthy for you? Which is better for the average individual working out – a sports drink or excellent old water? We asked Senior Dietitian, Sunita Roy Chowdhary of Rockland Hospital, New Delhi and here’s exactly what she’s to say about whether water is better than sports beverages or not:

‘Water is the most popular beverage throughout workout, but sports drinks do a much better task of hydration’. How true is this statement?
It’s best to state that sports drinks do a better job of hydration than water. Dehydration throughout workout is triggered due to sweating in which water and body’s electrolytes are lost. During exercise sweating takes place so as to maintain the core temperature level of the body. Carb stores of the body are also exhausted throughout exercise as the muscles make use of the glycogen stored in them in addition to that of the liver.
Sports beverages are made up of water, salt, electrolytes, sugar or glucose polymers and fructose. Sugar and salt increase the absorbability or uptake of water in the body. The absorption of plain water as compared with the sports drinks is less and therefore, sports beverages enhance hydration.

There are two primary aspects which affect the uptake of a beverage or fluid in the body

  • The speed at which it’s emptied from the stomach
  • The rate at which it’s taken in with the walls of the small gut.

Glucose in the drink will avoid blood sugar levels to fall too low as well as help to maintain body’s glycogen shops. Salt and potassium are the primary electrolytes which assist keep the hydration and reduce pee output.
What beverage is the very best for getting and keeping hydrated during exercise?

  1. Water: Water triggers bloating which will certainly suppress thirst and therefore drinking, water includes no carb or electrolytes and it also increases pee output.
  2. Sports drinks: These boost efficiency during exercise, have a great absorbability as they’re isotonic (meaning that they’ve a similar composition to that of body fluids). Isotonic fluids, because of their excellent absorbability swiftly replace fluids lost by sweating and provide a boost of carbohydrates.
  3. Juice: Juices are hypertonic, that indicates they’ve more carbohydrate or glucose molecules per ml. They could be healthy but aren’t a great choice for hydration. The fructose or the fruit sugar in the juices reduces the rate of water absorption so the cells don’t get hydrated quickly. Hypertonic fluids need to be taken along with Isotonic solutions or in watered down form. They need to usually be taken after exercise.
  4. Carbonated beverages: Carbonated drinks trigger dehydration. They’ve caffeine and thus have a diuretic effect which means that they increase pee output. Also they’ve a bloating effect and provide a feeling of fullness. This hinders the natural thirst system.

Are there various suggestions for sports drinks and water for routine health club goers, body builders and athletes?
Yes, there are various suggestions for the regular gym goers, body contractors and athletes. It’s tough to generalize the amount and the type of fluids to take as it all depends on the length and strength of the exercise. It likewise depends upon the height, weight and physique of the person. Outdoor exercisers require even more fluids and electrolytes as as compared to individuals exercising in an AC environment.

Consuming sports drinks is beneficial for keeping hydration, electrolyte and glucose levels. This enhances performance and renews the glycogen shops. Water can be taken on a routine basis for flushing the system and approximately about 3 to 3.5 liters of fluids each day need to be eaten.

Isotonic sports drinks quickly change fluids and electrolytes lost by sweating and supply a boost of carbohydrate. These beverages work well for longer workout sessions, replenishing fluids, electrolytes and carbohydrates. Examples of natural isotonic drinks are coconut water, sweet salted lemon water.

Hypotonic sports drinks change only fluids and electrolyte lost by sweating, and has minimal or no carb material in it. These drinks are best used for fast hydration and aren’t optimal for exclusive use during long sessions of workout. Examples of natural hypotonic beverages are salted lemon water

Hypertonic sports beverages have high carb content to top up muscle glycogen stores throughout or after the heavy exercise sessions. These are better post-exercise drinks that offer a higher dosage of energy with the fluid. If utilized throughout exercise it’s suggested to use it with isotonic beverages. Examples of natural hypertonic beverages are packaged juices.

Your final decision – sports drink or water?
During workout or sports activities a great deal of sweating occurs to keep the body’s core temperature. This leads to loss of body’s fluid and electrolytes and if not controlled can result in dehydration. Likewise the body’s carbohydrate shops are diminished throughout workout. Plain water can replenish the fluid lost throughout workout but not the electrolytes and the carbs. It also provides a sensation of fullness and boosts pee output. Sports drinks don’t hydrate better than water, however provide carbohydrates and electrolytes which are lost throughout the exercise session. They can be eaten in larger quantities as as compared to water because of their sweet taste.

It’s advisable to take sports drinks (natural or packaged) quickly in the past, during and after the exercise session or the sports events, if you’re associated with high intensity training. But otherwise water is a better source of hydration handled a regular basis for the typical gym-goer.