What are sports drinks?
Sports drinks are designed for athletes, which help them effectively supplement fluids, minerals and energy. They can therefore contribute to maintaining performance and delaying fatigue, especially during sports performance.
Sports drinks and their ingredients profile
- Carbohydrates: These most often include easily digestible carbohydrates in the form of glucose, fructose isomaltulose or maltodextrin. They are a quick source of energy and help prevent the depletion of the reserve carbohydrate called glycogen, which is the primary source of energy for any sports activity.
- Electrolytes: The most common ingredient found in sports drinks is sodium, which, together with potassium, takes care of water management in the body. They also typically include magnesium and calcium, which contribute to optimal muscle function. In addition, magnesium also helps reduce fatigue and exhaustion.
- Other substances: Some sports drinks also contain vitamins. Most often, it is the vitamin C, which contributes to the proper functioning of immunity during intense physical exertion. Sports drinks sometimes also contain vitamin B1 and/or B12, which promote proper mental and nervous system functions. That said, they also sometimes contain the stimulant caffeine, fat burner L-carnitine or BCAAs, which may help with maintaining and regenerating muscle mass.
What types of sports drinks are there?
Sports drinks are divided according to the concentration of dissolved substances into either hypotonic, isotonic or hypertonic.
- Hypotonic drink: It has a lower content of carbohydrates (less than 6 % volume) and usually also ions. Fluids are absorbed from a drink like this the quickest. This makes it suitable for intensive activities that last up to 60 minutes.
- Isotonic drink: It is the ideal solution for an effective replenishment of fluids, carbohydrates (6-8% volume) and ions. It is especially suitable for activities that last longer than 60 minutes.
- Hypertonic drink: It contains the largest amount of carbohydrates (more than 8 % volume) and usually also ions. Fluids are absorbed from a drink like this slower. It is therefore ideal before or after physical activity.
Who are sports drinks suitable for?
Sports drinks are especially suitable for endurance athletes. They are perfect for runners, cyclists, mountain climbers or swimmers. However, team sport athletes, such as football, hockey or basketball players will also find them handy, as a sports drink can help them effectively replenish fluids and energy during a break. Last but not least, they are suitable for strength athletes and CrossFitters, who train for more than an hour.
Come and choose a sports drink that will help you achieve your sports goals.
If you want to learn more about sports drinks, read our article: Sports Drinks: When to Drink an Ion Supply Drink or Water?