How do I choose the right sports drink?

In samenwerking met The Athlete's FoodCoach
Vrijdag, 2 oktober 2015
How do I choose the right sports drink?

Because you sweat during running, you lose not only moisture but also minerals. These are nutrients that your body needs to be able to function. In addition, you use energy while running. The right sports drink supplies carbohydrates for energy and replenishes your fluids and minerals.

There are three types of sports drinks: hypotonic, isotonic and hypertonic. How do you know which one to choose? We’ll explain it for you.

Hypotonic sports drink

The best known example of a hypotonic sports drink is water. A hypotonic drink contains less dissolved substances than the concentration of substances in your blood. This means they are easily absorbed and good for hydration. A hypotonic sports drink contains a maximum of 4 grams of carbohydrates per 100 ml.

Hypotonic sports drinks are often the safest and wisest choice of drink to use while running. Jumbo Foodcoach advises you to use hypotonic sports drinks when training for less than an hour. If your carbohydrate stores are well replenished before you start running, you will not need the carbohydrates from the isotonic sports drink during exercise to sustain your effort.

Because training for less than an hour involves a relatively short burst of effort and drinking while running is difficult, you can choose to drink before you run instead.

Isotonic sports drink

The isotonic sports drink is also known as the thirst quencher. It contains the ideal ratio of fluid, minerals and carbohydrates to match the quantity of substances dissolved in your blood. As a result, this drink is absorbed quickly.

Isotonic sports drinks contain between 4 and 8 grams of carbohydrates per 100 ml. The carbohydrates in the drink ensure you get enough energy during your run to maintain your performance level and the salt helps your body retain moisture longer. Jumbo Foodcoach recommends using an isotonic sports drink if you are going to run for more than an hour.

If you’re not sure whether your drink is an isotonic sports drink, check the label. It is often stated on the product.

Hypertonic sports drink

Hypertonic sports drinks contain a higher concentration of substances than you have in your blood. The drink contains more than 8 grams of carbohydrates per 100 ml. Because your body always aims to stay in balance, it must effectively dilute the hypertonic drink. As a result, the drink is absorbed less quickly into the blood.

Jumbo Foodcoach recommends not consuming a hypertonic drink while running. It works less well as a thirst-quencher because it takes longer for your body to absorb the higher concentration of substances. Consuming a hypertonic sports drink after your run only helps when you must perform at your peak again within a short period of time (24 hours).

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