Water VS Sports Drinks

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  1. #1
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    Water VS Sports Drinks






    Water VS Sports Drinks
    April Thomas LATC
    Head Athletic Trainer Timberlane High School
    Northeast Rehabilitation Health Network

    With all the highly publicized incidents of heat related illnesses over the summer there has been a big concern with keeping our high school and college athletes hydrated in order to prevent heat stroke and heat exhaustion. These concerns raise questions like: Are sports drinks better than water?, and When are sports drinks better than water?.

    Most often games and practices rarely exceed ninety minutes. The exceptions include two a day practices, all day tournaments, triathlons, marathons, and other events that deplete available glycogen stored in the liver. Along with glycogen, electrolytes are also lost; electrolytes are ions like salt that allow proper absorption of water and aid in muscle function. Under normal exercise situations with proper training and diet there are enough nutrients: electrolytes and carbohydrates, available in the body for the entire exercise session. When exercise depletes these nutrient storage’s, they need to be replaced in order for the body to perform at optimum levels. Sports drinks are the best way to replenish lost nutrient storage’s, although some sports drinks are better than others.

    Sports drinks that contain a carbohydrate level greater than 8% or 2 gm/oz hinder the absorption of fluids into the body, thus having a negative effect on the athlete. Gatorade and 10-K are two sports drinks that do not exceed recommended carbohydrate levels. Fruit juices have high levels of carbohydrates varying from 10% to 17%, so if one prefers to use fruit juice than it should be diluted with water.

    During normal practice sessions where weather conditions are reasonable water is all you really need. Water is free, readably available, and is the best source of hydration when it comes to normal practices under normal conditions. Although, athletes will drink larger amounts of fluid if they like the way it tastes. Sports drinks usually taste good, encouraging athletes to drink more.

    Beverages containing caffeine and or alcohol should be avoided because they stimulate urine production and increase the risk of dehydration significantly. This is more important now to athletes than ever before because of the introduction of new “energy boosting” drinks containing large amounts of caffeine. Carbonated drinks including some sports drinks, caffeine free soda and carbonated water should be avoided. Carbonated drinks fill the stomach with air giving the athlete a full feeling, therefore decreasing the overall amount of fluid consumed.

    You can easily find out the percentage carbohydrate in a sport drink by checking the nutritional table on the back of the bottle’s label. Make sure that the suggested serving size is 8 oz since all recommendations are based on gm/8oz.

    It is important to remember that heat related illnesses do not only occur during summer time activities. High humidity together with high temperatures can easily lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke, although these factors do not have to be present. Warning signs of heat related illnesses include muscle cramping, thirst, flushed skin, dizziness, headache and, or vomiting.

    Anything that can potentially dramatically increase core body temperature can lead to a heat related illness.

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    Question

    What are electrolytes? I hear advertisements for sports drinks all the time that claim to have them? Are they necessary for the body?

    Answer

    Electrolyte is a "medical/scientific" term for salts, specifically ions. The term electrolyte means that this ion is electrically-charged and moves to either a negative (cathode) or positive (anode) electrode:
    ions that move to the cathode (cations) are positively charged
    ions that move to the anode (anions) are negatively charged
    For example, your body fluids -- blood, plasma, interstitial fluid (fluid between cells) -- are like seawater and have a high concentration of sodium chloride (table salt, or NaCl). The electrolytes in sodium chloride are:
    sodium ion (Na+) - cation
    chloride ion (Cl-) - anion
    As for your body, the major electrolytes are as follows:
    sodium (Na+)
    potassium (K+)
    chloride (Cl-)
    calcium (Ca2+)
    magnesium (Mg2+)
    bicarbonate (HCO3-)
    phosphate (PO42-)
    sulfate (SO42-)
    Electrolytes are important because they are what your cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells. Your kidneys work to keep the electrolyte concentrations in your blood constant despite changes in your body. For example, when you exercise heavily, you lose electrolytes in your sweat, particularly sodium and potassium. These electrolytes must be replaced to keep the electrolyte concentrations of your body fluids constant. So, many sports drinks have sodium chloride or potassium chloride added to them. They also have sugar and flavorings to provide your body with extra energy and to make the drink taste better.

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    Sports drink -- or just plain water?
    By Jane K. Frobose, Colorado State University
    Cooperative Extension, Denver County
    April 10, 1997


    Sports drinks? Electrolyte beverage? Sugar water? Glucose polymer? or just plain water? If you exercise, you need to replenish the fluids your body loses in sweating. For the real go-getters, that could be a problem. If you weigh about 150 pounds and sweat away more than two percent of body weight or three pounds, you are putting your heart under stress.

    When the body is under stress, your temperature increases and performance declines. During continuous, high-intensity exercise in hot weather, you can sweat away a two to four pounds (one to two quarts) in an hour.

    If you are an athlete or someone who takes exercise seriously, fluid replacement is critical. Dehydration severely limits athletic performance. Heat stroke, organ damage and possible death may result if fluids are not consumed at regular intervals during exercise.

    The best way to avoid dehydration is to drink enough fluids to offset fluid loss. Drink before, during and after a workout. The serious exerciser can weigh before and after a typical workout to figure out how much fluid is needed. Consume two cups of water for each pound lost during exercise.

    Thirst is not an adequate indicator of dehydration. By the time you feel thirsty you may already be dehydrated. And you can quench your thirst before the body's fluid replacement requirements are met. Sports physiologists recommend that you start drinking before you feel thirsty and keep drinking even after your thirst is quenched.

    Plain water, which is easily absorbed by the body, not only is perfectly adequate but is the best beverage to drink. Leading sports physiologists have found that the difference between sports drinks and plain water is meaningful only to people who push themselves to the activity level of elitist, dedicated athletes.

    Those who train or participate in events for four hours or more, may benefit from drinking a diluted sports drink.

    Replenishing the body's electrolytes, which is a major selling point of sports drinks, is less important than the ads would have you believe. It is true that sodium, which helps regulate the body's fluid balance and plays a role in muscle contraction, is lost in sweat. Except, however, for athletes who compete in endurance events, exercisers needn't worry about running short on sodium or potassium. Both of these nutrients are plentiful in the American diet.

    Here are some tips to keep from "running dry".

    Drink water before exercise. Drink water, diluted fruit juice or diluted sports drink during exercise, practice and competition.
    During exercise, drink about eight ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes. Cold drinks are absorbed most rapidly.
    If you exercise vigorously for less than one hour, or moderately for less than two hours, water is all you need. Add a squeeze of lime or a splash of juice for variety.
    If you exercise strenuously for more than one hour, or moderately for more than two hours, you can benefit from an energy drink. Be sure the carbohydrate content doesn't exceed eight percent by weight. More than that will slow absorption and may cause stomach cramps.
    Refuel your muscles within two hours after exercise.
    Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol which are thought to have a dehydrating effect. Carbonated drinks tend to make you feel full, making it difficult to drink enough.
    Never restrict fluids during exercise.
    Always make fluids a part of your exercise routine.
    For more information, contact Jane Frobose in Denver County, Colorado at (303) 640-5276 or e-mail: denver@coop.ext.colostate.edu or contact your local Colorado State University Cooperative Extension office.

    Sports drink -- or just plain water?

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    Good info w8liffter, that answered a lot of question I had about sports drink. All I know is they do work some how, after football practice I drink a 20 oz Gatorade and a feel the different almost immediately, that’s what keeps me up until I get home for my meal. My coach takes hydration seriously we have a water brake like every 20 min so that’s good to know. I try not to drink water sometime, I feel kind of weaker after drinking water, so I keep it to a minimum. Last time a drank too much water I threw it right back out from all the running.

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    I know were you come from Kata during two a days i cant keep any water down. It also makes me feel way heavier.

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