Carb and Protein Sports Drinks Don’t Help Performance: What Are They?
Sports drinks are beverages designed to provide energy during exercise. There are many types of sports drinks available today. Some contain sugar or other sweeteners, while others do not. Most sports drinks contain water, carbohydrate (usually maltodextrin), electrolytes (such as sodium chloride or potassium chloride) and sometimes vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and manganese.
The main purpose of sports drinks is to provide energy during physical activity. They may also reduce fatigue after intense exercise, increase performance, prevent cramping and improve recovery from strenuous exercise.
Some studies show that athletes who consume sports drinks perform better in certain activities than those who don’t use them. However, there isn’t enough evidence to support their effectiveness in preventing injuries or improving athletic performance.
Why Do People Drink Sports Drinks?
There are several reasons why people choose to drink sports drinks. These include:
To prevent dehydration. Many sports drinks contain added electrolytes that help prevent muscle cramps and dehydration.
Drinking these products can also help you avoid feeling thirsty when exercising. You will feel fuller longer and have more energy throughout your workout.
To prevent muscle fatigue. The carbohydrates in sports drinks can help your body quickly replenish energy stores, which helps maintain blood sugar levels so you have more energy during and after exercise.
This is especially helpful if you are an endurance athlete who trains for long periods of time or someone who participates in frequent training sessions.
To enhance performance. During exercise, your muscles can begin to break down glycogen stored in the liver and muscles to create energy.
Replacing these glycogen levels can help improve exercise performance. The primary ingredients in sports drinks also contain carbohydrates, which can be used to replenish the body’s energy stores.
To prevent cramping. Certain electrolytes, such as potassium, are known to help reduce cramping and muscle spasms.
Replenishing these electrolytes can help you avoid this problem.
Do All Types Of Drinks Carry The Same Benefits?
Yes and no. A lot of companies have developed their own sports drinks, and some of them may even be more beneficial than the rest. The carbohydrate in some drinks may break down more quickly than others, which means they can be absorbed by the body quicker. The faster they are absorbed, the sooner you start to feel the effects of the drink.
Can I Make My Own Sports Drink At Home?
You bet! There are many recipes online that show you how to mix your own sports drink. Some options include mixing water, a sugar source and some sort of flavoring. Some drink recipes even call for additional ingredients, such as salt or a vitamin supplement. The best part about making your own drink is that you can create something that tastes good without all the artificial flavors and preservatives that most commercial drinks contain.
What Are Some Good Alternatives To Sports Drinks?
There are many drinks that can serve as a suitable alternative to traditional sports drinks. These include:
Fruit juice. Not all fruit juices are equal.
Fresh squeezed orange juice, for example, contains more potassium than some sports drinks. However, the amount of sugars and calories found in fruit juices makes them less than ideal as a sports drink substitute. Diet soda. If you’re looking for a no-calorie drink that may help prevent cramping, some diet sodas can work in a pinch. The carbonation may even help improve performance by helping relieve excess stomach gasses. Water. You should always strive to stay hydrated while exercising. Staying hydrated not only improves endurance and performance but also helps your body release fat stores for energy instead of glycogen. While water is great for hydration, it won’t provide the additional energy your body needs to keep going.
Sources & references used in this article:
Nutrition knowledge of collegiate athletes in a Division I National Collegiate Athletic Association institution by CA Rosenbloom, SS Jonnalagadda… – Journal of the …, 2002 – search.proquest.com
Dietary supplement use by varsity athletes at a Canadian university by M Kristiansen, R Levy-Milne… – … Journal of Sport …, 2005 – journals.humankinetics.com
Nutritional supplement habits of athletes with an impairment and their sources of information by TS Graham-Paulson, C Perret… – … journal of sport …, 2015 – journals.humankinetics.com
Sport nutrition for health and performance by MM Manore, NL Meyer, J Thompson – 2009 – books.google.com
Consumption of nutritional supplements among adolescents: usage and perceived benefits by JA O’Dea – Health education research, 2003 – academic.oup.com
The truth about sports drinks by D Cohen – Bmj, 2012 – bmj.com
Sports nutrition by N Anderson – 2002 – Safe Goods Publishing/ATNPu