When you’re exercising hard and desperately need a drink, it’s natural to head for the nearest bottle of water. But although it’ll quench your thirst, it isn’t always the best way to rehydrate your body during or after endurance training and prolonged exercise. Here’s why:
- Water doesn’t have adequate sodium and carbohydrates.4,7,9,10-16, 19-20, 26
- Water doesn’t have flavour to drive the desire to drink and shuts down the thirst receptors prematurely, before you’ve replaced the fluid your body has lost through sweat.1-,3,9,12,20,21,25
- Water doesn’t have the performance benefits of a sports drink. 5,6,8,12-16,20-25
Sports drinks contain sodium. Along with carbohydrate, it helps your body absorb fluid more effectively during prolonged exercise or endurance training.
Sports drinks are specially formulated to replenish both fuel and sodium needs to help you sustain your peak physical performance during training and endurance sports and exercise.
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- 23Below RP, Mora-Rodriguez R, Gonzalez-Alonso J, Coyle EF. (1995) Fluid and carbohydrate ingestion independently improve performance during 1h of intense exercise. Med. Sci. SportsExerc. 27: 200-210
- 24Maughan RJ (2001) Sports drinks before, during and after running. In: Tunstall Pedoe D (Ed)Marathon Medicine, Royal Society of Medicine Press, London. pp 147-158
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- 26Vrijens, D.M., and Rehrer, N.J. (1999) Sodium-free fluid ingestion decreases plasma sodium during exercise in the heat. J. Appl. Physiol. 86:1847-851
This information is not medical advice and should not replace consultation with your health care provider or nutritionist before starting a new exercise program or eating plan.