The Effectiveness of Sport Drinks

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The major reason anyone drinks fluid before, during and after physical activity is to replace the water that is lost through sweat. If the water isn't replaced dehydration will occur and performance will be hampered. The purpose of sports drinks is to help rehydrate your body quickly and help improve performance and productivity. This is accomplished through a well-balanced mix of water, sugar (carbohydrates) and salts (electrolytes), the major ingredients in most sports drinks. These ingredients, combined with a variety of fruit flavours, create pleasant tasting drinks that, according to the companies, are suppose to help your athletic performance. Results prove that commercial sport drinks generally accomplish what they set out to do. That is, they make fluids available for the body, and increase endurance, but at the same time they can create unwanted gastroesophageal reflux. Sport drinks make fluids available to the body and are consequently very effective in preventing dehydration. One tactic sport drinks use in order to accomplish this is by adding sodium and glucose to the drink. These ingredients stimulate fluid consumption by the body, causing the athlete to drink even more, and become rehydrated (Rehrer 45). Another way that sport drinks maintain hydration in the body is by having less than or equal to 10% Carbohydrates (CHO) and small amounts of electrolytes in the beverage. This composition makes fluids available for dilution of body fluids at similar rates, thus hydrating the body (Davis 1056). Rapid fluid absorption is important during strenuous athletic activity in order to avoid dehydration. A CHO level of approximately 6% and the presence of salt are important in order to achieve optimal fluid absorption (Davis 1057). Also, it should be noted that Sodium in the sport drinks helps to maintain body fluids, unlike other beverages such as water that can promote fluid loss through urination. As well, sport drinks have the ability to provide a subject...
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