Busby SEO Test Golf

Are Sports Drinks Appropriate

It is undisputed that fluid and carbohydrate replacement is critical for optimal sports performance. Sports drinks manufacturers promote that the consumption of their products is necessary way to achieve this aim. However, long term dependence on sports drinks for fluid and carbohydrate replacement may not be the most suitable approach for many athletes.

There is an ever-increasing supply of research that implies that appropriate fluid intake is needed for optimal sporting performance. It is often suggested that a sportsperson may experience thirst only after a 2% weight loss ascribed to water but this amount of dehydration can diminish sporting performance by up to 30%.

For this reason, the sports drinks containing both carbohydrates and minerals have become ubiquitous. Studies show that water is most swiftly absorbed from the stomach when it contains around the same level of components as that of blood when it is referred to as isotonic. Normally sports drinks consist of around 5-8% of carbohydrate, which is considered to be around the optimal level for fastest rate for replacement of fluids. Drinking an isotonic sports drink will replace the lost fluid more rapidly than plain water but will also provide carbohydrate energy and necessary minerals (depending on the make up of the sports drink).

Drinks that with a concentration of more than 8% carbohydrate are often claimed to be more likely to result in upset stomachs.

Regardless that sports drinks have been around for quite a few years there is still some disagreement about how beneficial the use of the drinks is. Some of those who are against the regular use of them observe that some of the more favourable research is supported by those making and selling the sports drinks. However, it is probably valid to conclude that following the normal guidelines for consumption of the drinks may lessen the likelihood of underperforming. Yet during long distance sporting events (or training) in warm or humid weather simply drinking sports drinks with no consideration of the amount of carbohydrates consumed may actually lead to problems.

Some researchers have argued that consumption of sports drinks may decrease the secretion of the human growth hormone response related to activity as higher levels of blood sugar can reduce the secretion of the human growth hormone. Studies show that human growth hormone may favour the use of fat as an energy source and also the hormone may facilitate protein/muscle synthesis.

The scientists argue that the carbohydrate drinks raise blood sugar, which suppresses the growth hormone, which is required for optimising adaptation to training. Thus regular consumption may not produce the maximal adaptation of the muscles and body to training.

For someone who is exercising for more than 10 minutes an increase in the secretion of the growth hormone can be measured if the exercise intensity is greater than the lactate threshold.

Hence if an athletes aim is to optimise adaptation to training then only water (with or without suitable electrolytes) should be consumed during and immediately after training at or greater than the threshold for lactate production.

If the objective for using these drinks to only to maximise performance during a particular sporting event (which can be before, during or after competition) then carbohydrate rich drinks may well be suitable.

When choosing a particular brand of sports drink then it is important to be aware of the electrolytes added. For example most of the most popular drinks do not contain magnesium which many experts consider to be a significant supplement particularly for sports people. A suitable drink should contain around 6g of carbohydrate per 100 mls, sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. The type of carbohydrate is also considered to be significant and simple sugars such as glucose, sucrose and fructose are less desirable than long chain sugars such as glucose polymers.