Sports Drinks: Who needs em', and when - All Access Sporting News

Updated February 28, 4:05 PM CT


Energy Drinks

Sports Drinks: Who needs em', and when

Ran DeBord - "You can't flex cardio"🏋

Today we're going to take a look at the energy and electrolyte drinks that you may want to add to your workout.

When should you add them? Well that depends on the type of workout you’re doing and whether your drink is supposed to boost performance or just maintain hydration.

Here's an overview of the different types available. 

Electrolyte mixes 

These normally come as a tablet, powder, or a water that contains some carbs and calories.  They also may contain sodium, potassium, calcium, and even caffeine.

You want to use these if you're doing a workout that lasts less than a 90 minutes. Take a few swigs of these as you're working out to help get you to the finish line.

Low-carbohydrate mixes

This is usually a powder or a tablet that dissolves in water and gives you some fuel in the form of carbohydrates. Space

If you're working out longer than 90 minutes you're going to want to add a low carbohydrate mix into your routine. What these do is help move fluids into your bloodstream allowing you to be hydrated quicker and allow better nutrient absorption.

Low-calorie beverages

These are going to be your flavored water that replaces glucose with "fake sugars" to keep the calorie count low.

Avoid these! If you're working out you need carbs so you need to be getting your fuel from another source. These drinks are going to leave you feeling weak after an hour or so. I just don't see a place for these in an athlete's routine.

Carbohydrate + electrolyte mixes

This is the good stuff! If you've ever run a marathon or triathlon you've come across these. 

I would recommend you buy the powdered mix versus the ones that are already premixed in a bottle, that way you can adjust the ratio of mix to water to fit your workout. When you're working out really hard you need a drink that's going to deliver between 30 and 60 g of carbohydrates per hour. That's what most people need.

Carbohydrates + protein + electrolytes drinks

These are drinks that are going to replace carbohydrate calories that you get in your typical sports drink with protein.

These drinks or necessary if you're doing long and slow endurance type events.

One load of warning: Protein moves to your body very slowly. Adding too much can cause real stomach misery. Start out with small amounts before jumping into a heavy dose. Listen to what your body is telling you!

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