The following is a excerpt from a publication titled: "Analyzing Sports Drinks: Carbohydrate or Electrolyte Replacement", by sports nutritionist, Nina Anderson (SPN) of Safe Goods Publishing. For additional information on this topic, visit our website to reference the full publication.
Sports drinks are everywhere today, being consumed in the workplace, at home, and in the car as well as before, during, and after exercise. They are outperforming other beverage segments as more choices are being offered each day.
Several types of sports drinks are on the market: a) electrolyte replacement drinks, b) car- bohydrate replacement drinks, c) combination drinks of electrolytes and carbohydrates d) alkalizing waters. While there may be a place for all within the sports arena, on closer examination, the drinks are used for completely different purposes.
Electrolyte replacement drinks are designed to replace the fluids (water) and electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chromium, manganese, etc.) lost during exercise. Carbohydrate drinks are the acceptable choice for instant energy during strenuous exercise and muscle recovery afterwards. Many carbohydrate drinks may also include electrolytes.
Manufacturers have come to the rescue with many flavored and sweetened sports drinks, but are they all the same? These include unsweetened electrolyte replacement drinks, carbohydrate-electrolyte drinks, carbohydrate and protein drinks, and functional fluids (nutrients added such as vitamins or herbs).
Many drinks include high-caloric sugars (glucose, fructose, maltodextrin, cereal starches) as carbohydrates. These are not recommended for dieters or diabetics and may not be beneficial in electrolyte drinks because the added sugar needs to be broken down by the digestive system thus delaying electrolyte absorption. Sports drinks that contain not only water, but also sodium and carbohydrates, do not quench thirst as quickly as water does. When your body wants water, it wants it immediately, and carbohydrates may actually interfere with water absorption.
For fast electrolyte replacement it is best to take pure water from a good source (filtered tap water, bottled water, spring water) and add a proper ratio of absorbable electrolyte-forming minerals.
Sports drinks that include sodium and potassium as electrolyte-forming minerals are primarily included to replace the “salts” removed from the body by sweat during heavy exercise. Sodium, in amounts between 500-700 milligrams per liter, is recommended for prolonged exercise because it may enhance palatability and the drive to drink, therefore increasing the amount of fluid consumed. Most drinks do not contain this level of sodium. Therefore, replacement may be necessary for those who are vigorously working their muscles.
Look for drinks that include sodium in bicarbonate form as these may actually help to counteract the buildup of lactic acid in the blood during heavy exercise. Several studies reported runners using 0.3 gm/kg of sodium bicarbonate with water over a 2 to 3 hour period when competing in 400-800 meter events, thereby improving their times by several seconds. As in all supplementation, use moderation. Smaller amounts of sodium bicarbonate may be beneficial, but loading up with large quantities requires exploiting a challenging energy need and, when taken in excess, may cause diarrhea.
A major part of the sports drink market is geared towards carbohydrate drinks. Carbohydrates are the considered the principal dietary source of energy.
There is no absolute requirement for dietary carbohydrates, although the brain, red blood cells, and some cells in the kidneys use glucose as a preferred source of energy. The need for carbohydrate ingestion before, during, and after exercise has been obtained from athletic performance studies. Almost everyone agrees that carbohydrate feeding will improve performance in endurance events of moderate intensities over two hours. In practice, athletes are instructed to drink 6-12 oz. of a carbohydrate drink immediately prior to beginning strenuous activity, and continue with additional “dosages” during the exercise (to reduce fatigue) and after (as muscle glucose replacement).
Studies from sports teams show that the intake of carbohydrates is derived from both food and from sports drinks. According to the International Sports Science Association, pre-exercise, exercise, and post-exercise carbohydrate ingestion needs to include fluid and electrolyte requirements. The pre-exercise meal is ideally high in carbohydrates, low in protein, fat, and sugar, and eaten about three hours prior to exercise. This is important because it take this long for the stomach to empty and glucose to enter the bloodstream. Consuming sugar immediately before exercise can increase the risk of GI distress in the form of cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and bloating.
Replacing the glycogen lost from muscles in the first 2 hours after exercise is the primary usage for carbohydrates during heavy exercise. Glucose and sucrose are the carbohydrates of choice and considered twice as effective as fructose in restoring muscle glycogen. However, the role of adequate glycogen resources in preventing muscle cramps is speculative and still being debated.
To read more on this topic, visit http://www.enduropacks.com/pages/electrolyte-and-carbohydrate-replacement-for-endurance-athletes for the full publication on the sports drinks for athletes.
While Vitamins Do Not Provide Energy, They Are Crucial For Turning Food Into Energy And For Supporting Critical Bodily Functions Used During And After Exercise.
So while vitamins will not enhance your performance by giving you an immediate energy boost, a shortage or deficiency in vitamins and minerals could reduce the likelihood that you can continue performing at high levels for extended periods.Read More
Curious as to what other endurance athletes eat? Find out what elite distance runner, Olympic Trialist, and EnduroPacks ambassador, Tina Muir eats in a regular day!
Food provides a range of different nutrients. Some nutrients provide energy, while others are essential for growth and maintenance of the body. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are macronutrients that we need to eat in relatively large amounts in the diet as they provide our bodies with energy and also the building blocks for growth and maintenance of a healthy body. Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients which are only needed in small amounts, but are essential to keep us healthy.Read More
Professional Triathlete, Nick Brodnicki, has battled more than just the 70.3 mile course other triathletes have been use to. He deals with a chronic disease that effects his body, called Meniere’s disease. It’s a weird disease that gives him seizure-like attacks that can last days.
The disease doesn’t even have a clear consensus on the cause but what doctors do seem to agree on is that fluctuations and imbalances of fluids, electrolytes, and minerals all help to make the symptoms worse. Its like micro-nutrition problems meets autoimmune issues, a perfect storm of sorts.
Nick began using EnduroPacks daily nutrients while in training a few months ago to help balance out the vitamins, minerals and electrolytes in his body. You can read his thoughts and experience on his blog.
Nick believes his body can stay much more balanced and has reduced the attacks he has had to deal with. Aside from the illness benefits, he is enjoying integrating these miconutrients into his daily routine and is finding it helpful to his training. Nick said, "In the end I swear I’m staying healthier and recovering better using EnduroPacks. That might sound super cheesy but it’s true. I’ve never had quite the Winter and Spring I’m having right now as far as my health goes. I can’t say enough positive things about this company and what they offer. I’m not here to tell anyone what to put in their body but I would highly suggest you take a look at what the folks at EnduroPacks have to offer!"
The Pleasant Prairie Triathlon starts and finishes in the picturesque setting of Prairie Springs Park. Lake Andrea, a sparkling 100-acre spring fed lake, will serve as the venue for the swim portion of the race. The bike course uses picturesque roads within the Village of Pleasant Prairie as well as a new frontage road, with long straight-aways. The run course will take you through Prairie Springs Park, on paved and gravel paths.
This course is FAST! So if you're looking for a race to set a new PR, this is it! Pleasant Prairie Triathlon attracts athletes of all levels, including a number of well known professionals. Professional triathlete Paul Eicher has won the International distance the past two years, beating out other elite athletes like Lukas Verzbicas (2013), and Andrew Nielsen (2014).
Athletes who register for the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon event will have the option of adding EnduroPacks daily nutrition system to their training in preparation for their upcoming race. Athletes of all levels have experienced benefits to their endurance training and recovery when consistently adding essential, all-natural, pre-, during-, and post-workout nutrients into their training diets.
Our system contains a 30-day supply of 4 essential products:
Going on it's 11th year the Harryman Triathlon takes place at New York's Harriman State Park offering participants Half and Olympic distance options. Lake Welch serves as the backdrop for this early season race. Only 30 miles from New York City, Harriman State Park's scenic beauty and hilly terrain will make you feel like you're in the Adirondacks. Another draw for athletes to compete in this event is the start time, 9am for Half-ironman and 10:30am for Olympic distance participants.
Register today to race one of New York's most scenic and challenging races of the season. Race participants that sign up for the Harryman Triathlon event will have the option of adding EnduroPacks daily nutrition system to their training in preparation for their upcoming race. Athletes of all levels have experienced benefits to their endurance training and recovery when consistently adding essential, all-natural, pre-, during-, and post-workout nutrients into their training diets.
Genesis Adventures' Harryman Triathlon takes place on May 16th. Be sure to register for this amazing race with spectacular scenery, and a day filled with fun, for athletes of all ages and abilities.
The Huntington Triathlon is one of Long Island’s finest races! This race includes a 750 meter swim at the beautiful Crab Meadow Beach, a scenic 9.8 mile bike ride through the hills of the Town of Huntington, and finishes with a 3.3 mile run through the charming streets of Northport which includes an uphill on the first half and a downhill on the second. The finish line will be at the spectator friendly Crab Meadow Beach where your friends and families will be able to cheer you on!
Registrants that sign up for the Huntington Triathlon event will have the option of adding EnduroPacks daily nutrition system to their training in preparation for their upcoming race. Athletes of all levels have experienced benefits to their endurance training and recovery when consistently adding essential, all-natural, pre-, during-, and post-workout nutrients into their training diets. Now Huntington Triathlon participants can experience these training benefits as well.
To find out more about the Town of Huntington Triathlon event, visit their website at http://www.madetotri.com
Jaymee Marty is an elite marathoner, and coach, with an impressive running resume. In 2012 she qualified for the US Olympic marathon trials and followed up with a 1st place finish, for the female division, at the 2013 Eugene Marathon.
Coach Marty considers herself a student of the sport of running -- especially the science of running. She is a scientist by training and uses the skills she's developed professionally and academically on a daily basis to improve her training.
As a coach and athlete (in her mid 40's) Jaymee knows the importance of getting the proper nutrients to train and perform at her best. She recently put the EnduroPacks daily system of vitamins and minerals to the test as she trains for the Napa Valley marathon, where she hopes to earn another qualifying spot at the Olympic trials.
Coach Marty had this to say about her experience, "... I have been feeling amazing and obviously recovering really well from some very tough workouts including a lot of extra strength and mobility work...If it is contributing to how good I feel, it is absolutely worth the cost and extra effort."
Bryan Morton is an elite marathoner and member of the Rogue Running and Skechers Performance Teams. Recently Bryan finished 2nd place overall, in a time of 1:07:16 (5:07/mile), setting a new PR, at the 3M Half Marathon in Austin, TX.
When it comes to nutrition, Bryan was never one to take in vitamins, supplements or anything of that nature. He said, "...Not because I was against it in any way. I simply didn’t know what to take and was getting by just fine with what I’d been doing thus far." But as he bumped up his weekly mileage to 100 miles over the past 8 months, in preparation for qualifying for the Olympic Trials, he noticed his body taking longer to recover from workouts/races. "That heavy feeling in my legs lingers for a tad longer than it did when I was averaging 20-25% less miles the year prior." To keep up with his bodies needs to replenish the vitamins and minerals lost during training he sought help from fellow athletes, coaches and doctors for recommendations.
This past November Bryan was introduced to EnduroPacks by one of his Skechers teammates and Team Rogue training partners, professional triathlete Gray Skinner. "I started adding in EnduroPacks to my daily routine back in November. In that short period of time I’ve already become a huge believer...Since starting this regimen my legs have recovered far quicker from key races and workouts. This has enabled less time recovering between workouts and legs that are far poppier within those workouts." Bryan found that supplementing his daily nutrition with EnduroPacks was easy and beneficial to his training regimen.
Be sure to follow Bryan on his journey as he trains for the Boston Marathon and a qualifying spot at the US Olympic Trials. You can read more of Bryan's experience with EnduroPacks on his blog or follow him on Instagram.