Types of Sports Drinks – Which is best for you?

Types of Sports Drinks – Which is best for you?

Sports drinks are undoubtedly very popular among sportspeople and fitness fanatics and they use them very often. These drinks can actually be called a boon for the sports and fitness population. Though they are aware of the benefits these drinks offer, rarely do they know about different types of sports. Even if they know they know types, then which type will satisfy their purpose is still doubtful. This article will be a complete guide that will help you to pick the correct sports drink.


What are sports drinks?

Sports drinks, in simple words, are carbohydrate solutions. They come in various flavors for palatability. The purpose of sports drinks is to give instant and prevent fatigue. They mainly have fast absorbing carbohydrates and carbohydrates that can be absorbed through multiple pathways in the body. 


Why do you need a sports drink?

While playing sports or indulging in any rigorous or long hours activity, it is obvious to feel low on energy .The sole purpose of these drinks is to provide energy. They are convenient and instant sources of fueling up the body. They help in keeping up with depleting blood glucose during exercise and sports. While maintaining blood glucose level it can also contribute to replenishing body fuel stores or glycogen stores. Additionally it also delays the exhaustion of glycogen stores and therefore they delay fatigue so that you can perform at your best. Moreover, they also take care of the hydration part. Sports drinks also contain minerals like calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium that are lost during sweat. Sometimes sports may also have caffeine, which makes it extremely important to read labels before picking any sports drink. It can benefit if you are a good metabolizer of caffeine but can also worsen performance if you are a poor metabolizer. DNA tests are the best way to find if you are a good or bad caffeine metabolizer.


Types of sports drinks

There are various types and brands of sports drinks available in the market. Not all the sports drinks on the shelf are the same. Sports drinks differ in concentration of carbohydrates. These different concentrations are extremely important as they can support different purposes. Are you choosing your drink correctly? Will it really solve your purpose? We will find the answer further in this article. 


There are 3 types of Sports drinks


Hypotonic : These types of sports drinks have lower concentration than that in blood.


Isotonic : Such drinks have the same concentration as blood.


Hypertonic : Concentration of carbohydrates in hypertonic sports drinks are higher than blood.


Which is best for you?

Identifying sports drinks according to your purpose can be the key to unlocking your highest and true potential.

Events or activities that are less than an hour, where you are prioritizing hydration, the bid will be to go with a hypotonic sports drink. Hypotonic sports drinks come in various flavors and this can increase palatability and fluid intake as well.

If you are looking for a drink for fueling especially when it is going to last for long hours or multiple days. Then a hypertonic drink will be the best option for you. It is packed with carbs to support your energy levels and can delay the exhaustion of stored energy.  An important point to keep in mind is to always pair hypertonic drinks with plain water or an isotonic drink to optimize hydration as well.

If you want the best of both worlds, energy and hydration, then an isotonic sports drink will be a good pick.

Nupur Sharma

Nupur Sharma is a Sports Nutritionist. She has a scientific approach towards nutrition. She passionately unfolds latent aspects linking nutritional science and sports performance so that athletes and fitness enthusiasts can achieve their highest potential. She holds a Master’s degree in Sports Nutrition and Bachelor’s degree in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics.


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