I’ve never been the type to drink sports drinks because I’ve always hated all the flavors! But as I have been researching the benefits of these beverages I may change my tune and try and find a flavor that I do like!
History of the Sports Drink:
The first sport drink was created in the mid 1960s by researcher Dr. J Robert Cade at the University of Florida. He noticed that the football players were being treated to 2-a-day practices and getting deprived water by the coaches. Cade knew that this wouldn’t make the players better but make them more susceptible to dehydration, injury, and heat stroke. He came up with a drink that would help increase the football player’s performance by keeping the players hydrated. Cade created a beverage that would replace the electrolytes that players lost during their practices and games. This drink became known as “Gatorade” and today over 7 billion bottles a year are sold.
The Way Sports Drinks Work:
Sports drinks help to replenish the fluids your body loses through perspiration when you exercise. Most people who exercise use water to replenish the fluids their bodies lose when they perspire when exercising. Using sports drinks helps to replenish the fluid plus the sodium and some even replenish the carbohydrates your muscles lose.
The main ingredients that sports drinks contain which enhance athletic performance are electrolytes, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Athletes can gain many benefits from these drinks while they are physically active. Among the most important of these aspects are:
Electrolytes are salts that are naturally part of body fluids. When you sweat, electrolytes are lost through the sweat. If electrolytes are lost too quickly, the body does not have the ability to restore them as rapidly as they were lost. Sports drinks contain electrolytes such as chloride, sodium, and potassium to help replenish what was lost through sweat. Introducing electrolytes back into your body helps keep dehydration from occurring and helps to increase the absorption of fluids into the bloodstream. Dehydration can become a very serious problem if it’s not attended to.
Fatigue can occur quickly when you’re working out and one of the reasons for this is because exercise increases your metabolism and when your metabolism is working overtime, it breaks down carbohydrates quickly. From previous articles we know that carbohydrates are one of the main sources of energy for the body. If you replace the lost carbohydrates, your body can continue to work efficiently and you have more energy to complete their activity.
Your body also draws energy from various vitamins and minerals only found in certain foods, beverages or supplements. Sports drinks contain these vitamins and minerals to help keep your body working efficiently during exercise.
As your body loses fluids, you will become thirsty because you are exerting energy. The ingredients found in sports drinks can quench your thirst as effectively as water and better than pop leaving you feeling more refreshed and energized. Water may quench thirst, but it doesn’t replenish any of the lost electrolytes, carbohydrates, vitamins or minerals that sports drinks can.
The main ingredient in any sports drink is, of course, water, which is important for re-hydration. The additional ingredients in sports drinks make them a better choice than water alone for athletes and others who exert a lot of energy and need to replenish the essential nutrients that have been quickly depleted in their bodies.
So next time you go to workout consider taking a sports drink with you instead of or along with your water! Your body will thank you for it!