Sports Drinks: An Ideal Beverage for Long-Duration Exercise

Gatorade first came out during the 1960s. It was the brainchild of the medical team for the University of Florida Gators. Though it wasn’t a big hit initially, their “Be Like Mike” campaign led more athletes to enhance their workout by turning to a sports drink for their energy and hydration needs.

Sports drinks have no shortage of vitamins and electrolytes, as is listed on their labels. The drinks also make bold promises that they can keep a person at the top of their game during a workout. Are they better than water in keeping the body hydrated, though?

Water is still Best for Hydration, Mostly

The answer to the question of which drink is better for hydration depends on the level of physical activity that the person is engaging in. While water is still the ideal beverage option in restoring lost fluids, it may only apply for slightly vigorous activities, such as a game of pick-up basketball or an easy jog. Those who engage in intense workout regimes that last more than an hour long, however, might need more than simple H2O to maintain their level of physical exertion.

Replenishing Electrolytes Lost through Sweat

For more strenuous and longer duration workouts, it is essential to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes. Therefore, an ideal sports drink should contain sodium, potassium, and carbohydrates on the label since they provide the muscles with the fuel they need to continue exercising. Elytesport.com, a trusted sports drink retailer, also believes that sports drinks can help restore lost electrolytes in the body to relieve muscle cramps and dizziness.

Sodium and Potassium in Sports Drinks are also Common in Healthy Food

Sports drinks are not the only source of sodium and potassium. Eating a well-balanced meal post-exercise can also replenish the nutrients lost by the body. Milk, for instance, is also a good recovery beverage following exercise since it contains a perfect blend of potassium, carbohydrates, and protein. Bananas and applesauce are also an excellent source of electrolytes and carbs.

When it comes to hydration, water is still the best option out there. When engaging in vigorous physical activities, however, sports drinks are more suitable at bridging the fluid and electrolyte gap that athletes need.