December 5, 2008, Newsletter Issue #355: Sports Drinks - the healthy way

Tip of the Week

Gatorade is thirst-aid! Many people prefer sports drinks to water because they taste better and it´s easier to drink them more often in a sports nutrition diet.

If the sports drink contains a small amount of carbohydrate, sodium, and potassium, the drink will effectively hydrate the person. The following facts are important to consider when using a sports drink for sports nutrition:

- Sports drinks should contain between 14 and 19 grams of
carbohydrate per eight-ounce serving (six to eight percent). A drink with more than ten percent carbohydrate may cause slow absorption, nausea, cramps, or diarrhea. A drink with five percent or less sugar solution may not provide enough additional sports nutrition energy to increase exercise length.
- Carbonation causes stomach bloating. Dilute carbonated drinks to half-strength.
- The correct sodium level for sports nutrition supplement drinks is 100-110 milligrams per eight ounces. Sodium content in sports drinks can range from eight to 116 milligrams.
- Fruit juices have 10-15 percent carbohydrate and need to be diluted. Mix one part juice to seven parts water.
- You do not sweat out vitamins; there´s no need to buy sports nutrition drinks that include vitamins.
- Water is adequate for exercise under one hour. However, if the exercise is intense or lasts more than an hour, a sports drink will be beneficial.
- If you´re participating in a sports event lasting four hours or more, you need a sports nutrition drink that contains from 110 to 120 milligrams of sodium.

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