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DO SPORTS DRINKS IMPROVE YOUR PERFORMANCE?



I'm sure we've all asked asked ourselves, athlete or not what that blue sports drink does to us, whether it improves our performance or is just a tasty drink? See them all from the olympics, to your local footy pitch.



WHAT ARE IN SPORTS DRINKS?


Sports drinks are formulated to help maintain hydration and provide energy, during or after exercise. Further, they are formulated to replenish fluids, electrolytes, and carbohydrates to those who engage in a lengthy, intense workout.


Your regular sports drink is a creation of water, sugars and sodium to make it easy for your body to absorb, and small amounts of minerals like potassium and sodium, and potentially others to hydrate you.



WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SPORTS DRINKS?


If you're an athlete who performs high endurance type workouts, sports drinks might be for you. Some of the benefits sports drinks include are:


Hydration


Sports drinks containing electrolytes aid in maintaining hydration, during prolonged exercise. Studies showing that sports drinks can effectively reduce the risk of dehydration compared to those who just drink water alone.


Recovery


Some sports drinks contain protein, providing amino acids for muscle repair and glycogen replenishment. Consuming protein contained sports drinks may help with recovery, to those during or on completion of an endurance workout.


Electrolyte Replenishment


To those performing endurance based exercise, sports drinks will help improve performance. Intense exercise can result in sweat, leading to the loss of electrolyte. Sports drinks, can help replenish that loss, to help maintain proper electrolyte balance, which is crucial for nerve function and muscle contractions during exercise.



WHAT ARE THE NEGATIVES OF SPORTS DRINKS?


Whilst, sports drinks can offer improved performance and a range of benefits, what are the negatives that can incur with consuming these?



High Sugar Content



Many sports drinks contain excess amounts of sugar, which can contribute to excessive calorie intake and potentially lead to weight gain. It's important to factor the calories into your diet, especially if consuming them often.


Expensive


Whilst, they can be a good for rehydration, sports drinks can be quite expensive for the return they give. Regular consumption can add up and be quite costly, so maybe look into some alternatives.


Unnecessary for Shorter/ Less Intense Workouts


Sports drinks offer a range of benefits for those prolonged, intense workouts, but can be unnecessary for shorter, less intense workouts. Plain water is usually sufficient for these types of workouts, as sports drinks can lead to higher calorie intake.



Whilst sports drinks do improve performance of those who complete intense or endurance based training, it's important to remember that those who do not perform high intensity workouts may not require a sports drink, as water may be sufficient enough. It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional or a sports nutritionist to determine if sports drinks are appropriate for your specific needs and exercise routine.





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