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What is the best sports drink?

You can find hundreds of sports drinks on store shelves, marketed by companies with commonly known names and also not so well know — but which really boost your performance, and which are just overpriced sugar water?

The best choice is ordinary water. But with all the marketing and advertising, many people believe that they must have one of the sports drinks or energy drinks because of the flavors and fortification with different minerals. A sports coach would probably say it depends on what taste best to you while another might tell you it depends on the type of exercise that you do and for how long.

It depends on what type of sportsman you are. Do you play a stop and go sport occasionally? Are you an endurance athlete? This question really can’t be answered without knowing who the sports drink is for. I mean, Tiger Woods in a golf tournament, has different needs than a person who is running a marathon. A child’s needs for water while playing outside, is different from an older adult; a female’s needs are different than a male’s.

Everyone will ususally drink more if their drink has a flavor and this probably better for you because you will better maintain you hydration when exercising. Which ever will keep you hydrated is probably the one you should buy. A large assortment of calorie free flavors to flavor sparkling water to great taste is sold at http://allfreightfree.com. And if you are just a occassional athlete, then perhaps this is the best drink for you. It would certainly be better for a child than sugar laced soda pop would be.

You most important need while exercising is to rehydrate from water and minerals they have lost through sweat during the exercise period. The harder you workout and the more you sweat, the more your need for a sports drink to help replace these lost nutrients. A good sports drink offers your body three things it might need before, during, or after vigorous exercise:

• Hydration
• Fuel
• Electrolytes or Minerals

There is a condition known as hyponatremia, in which marathoners and other athletes can suffer low levels of sodium in their blood due to over-hydration with water. But not all sports drinks provide enough sodium to offer real protection from hyponatremia. This year, Gatorade is introducing a new beverage called Gatorade Endurance Formula, with more sodium and potassium than its regular drink.

Most coaches or experts says that during exercise lasting less than 60 minutes there’s little need of any difference in those who drink sports drinks carbohydrates or electrolytes, and those drinking plain water. Someone exercising 1.5 hours in a cool gym and sweats less is fine just drinking water.

Many in the industry say consumers must decide for themselves whether to use sports drinks or which sports drink is best for them. Others in the industry also put the decision on the consumer to make smart dietary choices.


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