Updated: Mar 20, 2020
Since its beginning the sports drink industry and its products were developed to assist professional athletes on achieving a better and higher level of performance. Brands were developed around the idea of bringing athletic professional performance to the next level and to differentiate pro athletes from the everyday normal person. But times have changed.
Today, if we go to any supermarket or small convenience store we are able to get hands on a sports performance isotonic drink or gel and despite the good intention behind that idea, I believe it comes with a great fear and call for awareness. In this article I am going to discuss a little more about the benefits sports drink can bring us and a little more about the things we should be careful in looking at while purchasing these products.
BUT WHAT ARE SPORTS DRINKS?
Sports drinks were originally formulated to help football players’ endurance to last longer during practices and games. These drinks are usually formulated to assist people rehydrate during or after physical exercise. Majority of these drinks consist of simply electrolytes and simple carbohydrates. The carbs offer a fast and efficient source of energy while the electrolytes usually consist of minerals such as sodium, potassium, chloride and calcium, which we tend to lose while we sweat through exercise.
BENEFITS OF SPORTS DRINKS
As I wrote earlier, the biggest advantage of drinking a sports drink over water is its electrolyte replacement content. When we sweat, we tend to lose electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, phosphate, calcium, magnesium and chlorine. If like me, you are someone that is constantly sweating for no reason (I do live in a tropical country so that helps too) and end up sweating a lot more during your exercise session, your electrolyte levels are very likely to drop and become too low, potentially causing muscle cramps (my worst enemy), dizziness and confusion. Replacing lost fluids with just plain water doesn't usually help as much most of the time so replacing with electrolytes is the best option.
Another massive advantage of sports drinks is the help to replace lost fluids, which is particularly important for endurance athletes. Also, some people (like myself) don't prefer to drink plain water during a workout and may find it easier to meet their increased fluid needs during exercise if they drink flavored beverages such as sports drinks. Depending on the intensity of the exercise and on how much you sweat you might need more than one bottle to be honest. For example, I know that during a normal swim workout that lasts me about two hours of intense work, I can put down at least 2 full conventional 16 fl.oz. bottles of liquid sports drinks.
This is a tricky one. Depending on the type of exercise, intensity, and nutrition goals you have, you actually might need a good sugar boost to help you finish an intense workout. The truth is, there’s no set formula for specific detailed body needs versus the workout variables.
That’s why when in doubt, I choose to consume less sugar and I am sure that is what majority of sports drinks consumers should be aiming to when looking for a product. As cited in this article, a 32-ounce sports drink usually contains between 56 and 76 grams of sugar – equal to about 14 to 19 teaspoons – and four to six times the recommended daily amount for kids and teenagers. In general, doctors do not recommend big brand sports drinks to the average person or teenager because of the risks of weight gain and diabetes. Like I said, it’s always good to make sure we are aware of our nutrition goals before purchasing the ‘cheapest’ option in the shelves because most of the time those are the drinks full of artificial sugar and artificial food dye.
Finally, sports drinks are much easier to carry around with you. If you’re an on-the-go individual like me, it’s always good to have a sports drink bottle available and ready to drink right after or even during intense physical activity. You can always buy them at the store, gas station, or even online (some companies such as Hydra-Guard Sports Drink always have special deals on their newsletters, releasing codes for special offers in their online store).
Whatever your goal might be, and regardless of what activity you play, I challenge you to become more aware of the products you are consuming, in terms of its nutritional facts. As a professional swimmer and fitness enthusiast I always like to make sure everything I put into my body comes from a healthy background and that will only benefit me bringing me longevity in whatever I do.
Hydra-Guard Premium Sports Drink is my favorite way of replenishing and giving my body exactly what it needs. It is strategically formulated with the 5 major electrolytes to replace the fluids that we lose through sweat at optimum levels. My favorite thing about the product is that it's also low-Calorie, low-Sugar, and VERY tasteful even though there is no artificial coloring, flavoring and ingredients. Hydra-Guard is also releasing NEW FLAVORS this month, and a new electrolyte powder mix in January of 2020, which makes it even more awesome and I cant wait to try them out. If you're more interested in knowing about the new flavors like me, you should sign up for the NEWSLETTER and just use the code PM10 on checkout for 10% OFF! Hydra-Guard is always releasing new promos through their newsletter and the social media pages, so you should also check those pages out for very insightful content and exclusive offers.