Since sports and chiropractic treatments go hand in hand, we thought we would talk about all the sports drinks that are available on the market.
We have all seen sports stars like Sidney Crosby pitching Gatorade, or was it Poweraide? Do these drinks help you perform and recover better than plain old water? Which ones should you take? What nutrients do you need to replace?
Here is an article that answers all those questions from a Chiropractor in Kingston by the name of Dr. Ryan Rullitis
You ever hear of people talking about losing electrolytes and wonder what they are talking about? Electrolytes are ions (and in some cases, essential minerals) that affect metabolic processes in your body, including the movement of nutrients into your cells and the removal of cellular waste products. For normal cellular function to occur, electrolytes help regulate the acid-base balance in your body. For example, when you’re out for your daily run, you lose sweat that contains numerous electrolytes, including calcium, magnesium, sodium, chloride, and potassium, among others. Significant sweat loss without electrolyte replenishment may lead to severe dehydration.
Effects of Dehydration
Why do we sweat during physical activity? It’s simple, to help keep your core temperature constant. To maintain your core temperature at 37 degrees C, fluid and electrolytes are lost. In extreme environmental conditions, such as a scorching hot day, dehydration can occur rapidly. The effects of dehydration depend on the percentage of body weight lost as sweat during prolonged physical activity. Your exercise performance will be impaired after losing as little as 2 percent of your body weight as sweat. A 4 percent body weight loss as sweat will significantly reduce your ability to perform a muscular workout. A 5-7 percent body weight loss as sweat can cause heat exhaustion and hallucinations. If you lose 10 percent of your body weight as sweat, you will experience circulatory collapse and heat stroke.
What is carbohydrate depletion you might be asking? Glycogen is the primary form in which glucose (sugar) is stored in your liver and muscle tissue. During prolonged physical activity, the stored glycogen reserve becomes depleted. Your body converts glycogen to glucose to maintain your blood glucose levels during physical exertion. When you perform exercise that relies more on carbohydrates as a fuel rather than fats, you can maintain a relatively high intensity for about 2 hours. After 2 hours, your muscle and liver glycogen stores are in danger of being depleted. Further exercise will require the consumption of carbohydrates to stave off low blood sugar levels, fatigue and other detrimental effects to your body and performance. Consuming carbohydrates during exercise can help you maintain your body’s glycogen levels and give you the energy needed to carry out that particular activity.
Sports Drink Considerations and Facts
- Most appropriate for individuals participating in vigorous physical activity, 45-60 minutes, during which time you are sweating profusely.
- Sports drinks may provide little benefit beyond water for individuals participating in low intensity activity for short durations.
- Caffeine, often found in high amounts in these drinks, stimulates your nervous system and actually may improve your endurance performance (exercise ventilation and lung function). Caffeine may also raise your heart rate and blood pressure. Some people who consume large amounts of caffeine may experience insomnia, irritability, restlessness, headaches, and heart palpitations.
- High-fructose corn syrup and other types of added sweeteners are common ingredients in sports drinks and are linked to weight gain, dental cavities, poor nutrition, and elevated triglyceride levels, which may significantly increase the likelihood of a heart attack.
- Make your own sports drink using other products readily available in many grocery stores. Coconut water (clear fluid inside coconuts) is an excellent substitution for conventional sports drinks as it contains significant amounts of electrolytes, minerals, and antioxidants.
- To make your own sports drink, blend ice and water with one apple, two carrots, two celery sticks, one small parsley bunch, and a handful of mixed greens.