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Sport DRinks

 

Sports drinks are divided into three main categories

1. HYPERTONIC

2. ISOTONIC

3. HYPOTONIC

 

These categories are based on the amount of glucose and mineral salts per 100ml each drink contains (osmolality). A drink with a high concentration of glucose/mineral salts (hypertonic) contains more particles per 100ml than a drink containing a low concentration of glucose/mineral salts (hypotonic). If a high concentration drink is consumed then water has to move into the gut to dilute it before it can be absorbed, resulting in slower rehydration. Whereas, a low concentration drink speeds up emptying of water from the gut, resulting in quicker rehydration.

Hypertonic Isotonic Hypotonic
Classification Contain more than 8g of glucose per 100ml Contain 4-8g of glucose per 100ml Contain less than 4g of glucose per 100mll
Properties Contain more glucose than bodily fluids
Absorption from the gut is slower than plain water
Useful supply of glucose to fuel continued exercise (energy replacement rather than as a rehydration fluid)
Many hypertonic drinks contain glucose polymers (artificially manufactured sugars) such as maltodextin
Contain approximately the same amount of glucose as body fluids
Absorption from the gut is faster than plain water, resulting in faster rehydration
Supply of glucose to help fuel continued exercise
Contain less glucose than bodily fluids
Absorption from the gut is faster than plain water, resulting in faster rehydration
Useful glucose is provided for continued exercise, but at a lesser amount than isotonic
Sources Most fruit juices, fizzy drinks i.e. cola, lemonade, Red Bull, Relentless, Monster, carbonated Lucozade Powerade, Lucozade Sport, Gatorade Powerade Zero, Lucozade Lite

Sports drinks can support hydration and restoring glucose and electrolyte levels. However, over consumption of these may lead to general health issues such as tooth decay and commercial drinks can be costly.

It is possible to make your own equivalent of a sports drink, below are two options:

 

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