Sports drinks or Ionic Drinks are designed to quickly replenish liquids, minerals and ions that the body needs. During demanding training, sweat from the body does not only exclude harmful substances and water, but also important minerals such as sodium, potassium and magnesium. In this way, the body loses a number of ions, and therefore the organism gets into an imbalance. In this case, the ionic or sports drinks suitably cover the losses.
Why you should choose an ionic drink?
- addition of lost fluid
- helps to prevent muscle spasms and dizziness
- complements minerals, ions and electrolytes
- adds the necessary energy to sport
- maintains a constant power level
- prevents possible body collapse
How to choose an ionic drink?
Ionic or sports drinks mainly differ in the composition and amount of active substances they contain. This is called tonicity. These beverage concentrations are compared with the blood plasma tonicity, and based on this, we distinguish:
- Hypotonic beverages - have a lower tonicity than blood plasma.
- Isotonic drinks - have the same tonicity, i.e. the content of osmotic substances as plasma
- Hypertonic beverages - have a higher tonicity than blood plasma
1. Hypotonic drinks
Hypotonic beverages are most commonly used in a physical exercise lasting up to an hour and contain a lower ion ratio than blood plasma. They are used to hydrate the body and are suitable for a longer lasting load, with a large amount of sweat leaving the body, such as running or cycling. This is because hypotonic beverages provide rapid hydration of the body during exercise, supplement minerals, while their carbohydrate content is very low. They are characterized by the fact that they are rapidly absorbed and bring the fastest fluid access to the body, so they are suitable during training. In addition, they also contain minerals and vitamins in minimal amounts, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, chlorine, vitamin B6, C and others.
- suitable for loads up to 1 hour
- ideal for easier workouts
- it is recommended to consume them before, during and after exercise
- provide quick hydration
- are rapidly absorbed
- add minerals and vitamins
- contain few carbohydrates.
2. Isotonic drinks
Isotonic drinks contain the same ion ratio as blood plasma and are used to ionize the body. They find their use wherever excessive sweating occurs and the load does not exceed 1 hour, such as playing squash or tennis. With such a load, which is endurance but requires a lot of muscle strength, the sweat is much more concentrated and there is no loss of fluids, only ion losses. Therefore, more ions, especially sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, should be added. Isotonic drinks are a source of fluids, important electrolytes, i.e. minerals and also carbohydrates, at about 6 to 8%. Therefore, they are suitable for more demanding collective sports as they provide a fast energy source.
- under 1 hour of excessive sweating
- ideal for intense workouts, endurance and strength sports
- it is recommended to consume them before or after exercise
- perfectly complement lost ions and minerals
- do not hydrate enough
- have a higher carbohydrate content and provide a fast energy source.
3. Hypertonic drinks
Hypertonic beverages have very high ion concentrations, even higher than blood plasma. Inadvertent ingestion can disrupt the athlete's internal environment and disrupt the physical performance or training process. Although they are used for therapeutic purposes, where they are usually not given orally but intravenously, in some cases they can also be used when doing sports. This is especially true when it is necessary to supplement glycogen reserves in addition to minerals after exercise. They have a dose of carbohydrates and are therefore particularly beneficial in the regeneration phase.
- they are rarely used in sports, they are used for medical purposes
- have a higher carbohydrate content and complement glycogen
- beneficial mainly for regeneration
Focus of the ionic drink
When deciding to buy an ionic beverage, one must certainly consider the focus of the ionic beverage, considering also time of drinking it in order to take advantage of what the beverage can give you. There are 3 basic types of focus:
1. Hydration of the body that is closely related to fluid intake during the day. Hypotonic ionic beverages, but also water and non-sweetened beverages are suitable for this purpose.
2. Ionization of the body that is closely related to the physical load and loss of minerals and vitamins through sweat. In this case, it is important to place emphasis on receiving isotonic drinks just before, during and in extreme cases even after physical exercise.
3. Regeneration of the body, which is a very important part of the whole training process. In this case, we are talking about drinks that give the body important substances to protect muscle mass and promote cell regeneration. Drink them only after physical exercise, these are mainly hypertonic beverages.
What else would interest us in buying ionic drinks?
Drink consistency - that is, whether it is a liquid form, most often a syrup concentrate for hypotonic beverages, or a powder form for isotonic beverages. Syrup concentrate has the advantage over powder form as it is not necessary to cut it and therefore its application is easier. Cutting the powdered beverages lasts longer, and once the powder has soaked in moisture, it is not even possible to break the ionic beverage perfectly.
Ease of storage - Syrup ionic drinks can be stored in a dry place or in a refrigerator after opening. This is more complicated in powder form because it is important to ensure that it does not get wet after opening, which can happen very easily.
The taste of the drink - this factor is important in decision making, but also very individual. Each of us has different tastes, and therefore it depends on your preferences.