Do store-bought isotonic drinks hydrate an athlete’s body well?

Do store-bought isotonic drinks hydrate an athlete’s body well?
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The basic drink of every athlete should be water, but the minerals and nutrients lost during intense exercise can be replenished with isotonic drinks. How to use them safely?

Composition of isotonic drinks

Before starting to use isotonic drinks, it is worth to get to know the ingredients of each product thoroughly. Most drinks are prepared on the basis of water, so drinking an isotonic drink helps to rehydrate the body.

What’s more, this type of product includes sodium, which helps the body assimilate water, increase electrolyte levels and maintain a normal body temperature. The list of ingredients in isotonic drinks also includes potassium, magnesium and calcium, minerals that are responsible for the proper functioning of the nervous system, muscle tissue and bones and joints.

Isotonic drinks also contain large amounts of carbohydrates, typically from 4 to 8 grams per 100 milliliters of drink. These are usually easily absorbed nutrients such as glucose, fructose, maltose, sucrose or maltodextrins. Thanks to these elements, the body gains extra energy and is prepared for more intense and longer physical exertion. However, it should be remembered that too much sugar in the drink may reduce the level of hydration and lead to disorders in the proper functioning of the body

Is it worth using ready-made isotonic drinks?

Products available in stores are a great convenience, especially for people who want to provide their bodies with large quantities of microelements and nutrients in a short time.

However, it is worth remembering that in addition to beneficial ingredients, isotonic drinks also contain preservatives or dyes used to make them look more attractive. These substances can have a negative impact on the functioning of the body, especially in people who often use ready-made products

Experts argue that isotonic drinks should be taken immediately before or after a workout to increase energy stores and boost levels of minerals lost during exercise. The caveat is that isotonic drinks should be used by athletes whose training lasts longer than an hour. Shorter units of exercise do not affect the body’s mineral balance as much, and any deficiencies can be safely replenished with water and a balanced diet

Isotonic drinks are also not recommended for people who want to reduce weight, because large amounts of carbohydrates and sugars negatively affect fat burning. The body draws energy from the ingredients of the drink, not from fat stored in the body.

Home-made drinks

Popular isotonic drinks available in stores can easily be replaced with home-made drinks. This ensures that only the necessary nutrients are delivered to the body, without unnecessary additives or excessive amounts of carbohydrates.

Homemade isotonic drinks can be prepared on the basis of water to which honey, salt, fruit juice or herbal infusion are added. To create your own isotonic drink, mint, Himalayan salt, citrus or ginger are perfect. You can prepare the drink in advance so that no time is wasted during the training day.

Main photo: Anna Shvets/

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