Sports drinks can help hydrate and fuel you during your workouts—but what is in them that provides this help? In this video Susan Bowerman MS, RD, CSSD, FAND, discusses the key ingredients in most sports drinks that help your performance.
The majority of sports drinks are water based. Water is one of the primary elements that can help keep you hydrated.
The second main ingredient in sports drinks is carbohydrate, usually in the form of a specialized sugar. Now, that sugar is there for a number of reasons. One, the carbohydrate helps to keep you muscles fueled as you exercise. Two, it helps you to maintain your blood sugar during workouts. And lastly, it gives the sports drink a sweet taste, which encourages you to drink more.
There’s another important ingredient in most sports drinks: electrolytes. Electrolytes consist of minerals like sodium and potassium. These guys are there to help support your working muscles and to replenish the minerals you lose as you sweat.
Many sports drinks also include vitamins, like vitamin C and E which act as antioxidants. These are there because you body goes through some oxidant stress when you’re breathing and exercising hard. Some sports drinks also contain vitamin B which helps you metabolize the carbs that are fueling your muscles.
The bottom line is that these sports drinks are designed to help you stay hydrated during your workout and performance at your best.
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