70% of our bodies are made up of water. As they are continuously removed, they need to be continuously replenished. The body does not have a mechanism to store the water like it stores carbs and other substances. After a hard workout session, we tend to sweat, where most of the water content is lost by the body. As the workout session elongates, water along with electrolytes start to flush out too. One of the best ways to replenish is to have sports drinks. Here, we have discussed the 20 best sports drinks.
Why hydration is the important factor?
Hydration, when we think about it the first thought that comes to mind is water. This is usually feasible when the workout is under 90 minutes. For longer workouts, trying to rehydrate with water might end up diluting the leftover electrolytes in the blood. This leads to a condition called hyponatremia which is the low sodium content in the blood and can be fatal.
Electrolytes are what balances the cells of your body and prevent them from cell death. They allow the free flow of substances in and out of the cells. Hence, they are very important and drink up for sports and fitness. Before looking at the best sports drinks let’s talk about ingredients!
How the intensity of a workout is set?
While we tend to ignore the ingredients and only read by the cover, it’s essential to change this habit. Flip back and always read the contents of what’s in your intake. Carbs can be deceiving when it comes to ingredients. You might think they aren’t necessary but they are!.
As electrolytes are important, intake of carbs at their lowest forms like glucose, fructose, and sucrose can help you book energy that is required for workouts. What is important to know is that the intensity of a workout determines the levels of carb intake. If your workout lasts for more than two hours, 50 to 100 calories are advised. While for lesser intensities, it’s okay to take in less than 50 and have electrolytes instead. More than 8% of carbs can be hard to digest hence they are avoided.
Among the electrolytes, sodium and potassium are the main. While some others may contain calcium and magnesium. It helps to fight dehydration and glycogen storage. Avoid the ingredients like herbs, vitamins, and amino acids that are only added for marketing. Intake of the proper percentage of ingredients is dependent on the kind of workout one follows.
There are a lot of available energy bars, oatmeals, and biscuits for energy and electrolytes. But many choose fluids as substitutes as it is an easier consumption and convenient way to get the needed nutrition. Alternate to fluids there are hydration powders. They are mixed with water to make a drink. There are homemade water-based recipes for making sports drinks and detoxing your body.
While working out, take in up to 300 ml of drink between 10-15 minutes for a workout duration of fewer than 90 minutes. For more than 90 minutes take about 300 ml between 10-15 minutes with at least 8% carbohydrates. Find the best drink to replace electrolytes for your workout.
Let’s look at some best sports drinks and mixes:
1. Gatorade: One of the best sports drinks.
The first one that comes to mind is this. They have been quite well known from the very beginning. They come as a liquid or as a powder to mix with water. They contain permitted food colors, cabs, potassium, and sodium. If you prefer having low calories then Gatorade has a G2 low calorie as an option too.
Calories in Gatorade: 50 (8 fl. oz)
Price: 50 per 100 ml
2. Prolyte energy drink:
Packed with electrolytes like potassium, sodium, vitamin C, and chlorides. They are a good source of energy too. They come in flavors like orange. Drink when you are experiencing fatigue and low energy or post-workout. It is safe to be consumed by all age groups.
Vitamin C: 24mg
Price: 35 per 200ml pack
3. Fast and Up Reload:
These are lemon-flavored tablets used by mixing with water. They contain a balanced amount of vitamins, electrolytes, and proteins.
Vitamin C: 37.5mg
Price: 199 per pack.
4. Ultima Replenisher:
An electrolyte powder packed with citric acid and other electrolytes
Vitamin C: 100mg
Price: 26.98 per gram
5. Hydrade electrolyte drink powder:
Sufficient hydration is provided and helps to control temperature, lubricate joints, prevent infections, nutrients delivery to cells, and proper functioning of the organs. Improves sleep quality, and cognitive abilities.
Vitamin C: 375mg
Price: 499 for 360g
Pros of having sports drinks:
- Replenish the electrolytes and hydrate the body.
- A nice break from drinking water.
- They also provide carbohydrates along with electrolytes.
- Not to worry about sugars, they also have sugar-free options to cut down sugar intake.
- They can be affordable, widely available and effects are seen quickly.
- Easier to digest.
Cons of having sports drinks:
- Should not be misused. They are only used after a workout and not a lifestyle choice.
- They might contain citric acid which can be harmful to enamel and gums.
- They sometimes contain added colors, high levels of sugar, and sometimes caffeine.
- Most of the time, water can be used for hydration, and electrolyte substitutes can be a proper diet.
Best sports drinks can give you their best only when chosen wisely and used intelligently. The ones who have very hectic workout schedules and professional athletes are the best ones to consume these drinks. If you are a beginner, don’t forget to look at the ingredients before choosing your fitness buddy, and as you develop your workout schedules shift to better options among the available ones. Try to switch with water whenever possible. Know yourself and your habits and choose a better lifestyle!