Sports drinks have become the backbone of American sports. All major sports teams including NFL, Major League Baseball, and NASCAR, are sponsored and use sports drinks. Given a large number of calories and sugar in beverages, the problem is who needs them, and do they quench their thirst and re-supply people with water?

Exercise of any kind puts everyone at risk of dehydration. Many factors determine how a person sweats, so how much water change will be needed during exercise and after exercise. Fluid changes depend on natural factors including temperature, sunlight, humidity and air, and the strength and duration of the operation. Not only are there differences between different occupations, but between individuals; some people just sweat more than others and need a big fluid switch.

Excessive weight loss is like losing weight of 2% or more through physical activity. So a 160 lb person is dehydrated if they lose 3.2 lb. or more during the event. They use higher levels of perspiration (the amount of fluid lost per hour during exercise) to predict the possibility of dehydration. Here are some outdoor sports with normal sweating rates: basketball- 1.4 liters/hour, soccer -1.5 liters/hour, tennis -1.7 liters/hour, and running 0.75 liters/hour (at a speed of 5 mph.).

How to tell if you are dehydrated:

Measure body weight before and after exercise, which is more than a 2% loss of drying. When you divide the difference by the number of hours you spend you get your rate of sweating. Make sure you count the water you drink during exercise.

Here are some Hydration guidelines during exercise.

1. Eat a healthy diet 24 hours before exercising

2. Two hours before exercise drink 14 oz

3. During exercise, drink water every 15 to 20 minutes to make up for water loss.

4. Exercise yourself after exercising, if you lose weight; refresh them again with 16 oz. water in all lb. lost.

5. The liquid should be colder than the outside temperature and spiced to enhance the texture.

6. Exercise for more than an hour, instead of adding sports drinks with sugar and minerals

The need for carbohydrates and extra electrolytes – that include sports drinks depends on specific tests that include pressure, duration, and weather conditions. The American College of Sports Medicine generally does not recommend the need for exercise drinks that take place indoors or less than 90 minutes outside.

Here are the ingredients in 8 oz. sports drinks:

* Gatorade: 50 calories, 14 calories sugar (from sucrose syrup and high-fructose corn syrup), 110 mg sodium, no caffeine, small amounts of potassium, no vitamins, no protein Gatorade is sold in 12, 20, 24, and 32 oz bottles. A very small bottle contains 75 calories and contains 21 grams of sugar for children. A standard bottle is 20 oz. and contains portions of 2.5 or 150 calories and 35 grams of sugar.

* Propel Fitness Water: 10 calories, 2 grams of sugar in sucrose syrup; and spiced with Splenda, 35 mg sodium, no caffeine

* Acceleration: 80 calories, 15 grams of sugar, no high fructose syrup, 120 mg. of sodium, 4 grams of protein, no caffeine

* PowerAde: 64 calories, 17 grams of sugar, 53 mg. sugar, no caffeine. 20 oz. the bottle contains 190 calories and 42 grams of sugar

Energy drinks (8 ounces):

As a reference 8 oz. coffee contains 2 calories and 95-100 mg. of caffeine, 12 oz. of common soda contains 140 calories, and 35-38 mg. of caffeine

* Red Bull: 110 calories, 27 grams of sugar (from sucrose and glucose), sodium 200 mg, contains 76mgcaffeine. Some ingredients include various vitamins. Red Bull is also available with a sugar-free option with acesulfame K, aspartame, and inositol as sweeteners. This version contains 10 calories and 0 grams of sugar.

* Rock Star: 140 calories, 31 grams of sugar (from sucrose and glucose), 125 mg sodium, 80 mg caffeine. RockStart is available with a sugar-free option seasoned with acesulfame potassium and Splenda. This version has 10 calories and 0 grams of sugar.

* Sobe, Energy Citrus Flavor: 120 calories, 31 grams of sugar (mainly from high-fructose corn syrup and orange juice concentrate), 15 mg sodium, contains caffeine.

Strengthened water (8 ounces):

* Propel Water Fitness: 10 calories, 2 grams of sugar, 35 milligrams of sodium. various vitamins.

* Glaceau Vitamin Water – Energy. 50 calories, 13 grams of sugar (from crystalline fructose), 0 mg sodium, 50mg caffeine, various vitamins.

How sports drinks provide benefits to bodybuilders:

Sports drinks can help keep the body functioning normally and under conditions of strenuous physical activity. They provide ingredients that cause rapid fluid absorption which has the effect of maintaining body functions and preventing thirst. Carbohydrates including sucrose and fructose provide muscle strength to function. Sodium, glucose, and flavors encourage the body to want to drink even more fluids. Drought is not a good measure of dehydration because during the dry season it is already dehydrated. A small amount of sodium encourages people to drink beyond where “mouth thirst” is satisfied.

Does everyone who needs exercise need sports drinks?

Although these products offer many benefits to the sweaty athlete, they also include calories and sugar. Do ordinary people, teenagers, and children really need them? The answer lies in how much sweat a person has.

During exercise that lasts less than one hour, there is little evidence that there is a difference in performance between exercise drinks that contain carbohydrates and electrolytes and those that drink light water

Why some people don’t need sports drinks:

Most people do not know the content of the ingredients of these drinks. They report that they consume these drinks for a number of reasons including immunity, “better health,” “energy” and because they absorb “essential nutrients.” They do not know the calories, the amount of sugar, or the fact that the “energy” that comes from energy drinks is due to high levels of caffeine – which is completely healthy and not “natural.”

Drinking one bottle of 150 calories daily for sports drinks adds 15 lb and two inches to the waist over a year. Sports drinks contain less than half the calories of regular soda.

Sports drinks are ideal for rejuvenating adults, children, or teens who play sports outside in the heat for more than 90 minutes and add high energy and endurance. Words to remember: strong, out, long and hot. Sports drinks do not have a lot of space for children and teens that do light exercise especially inside a cool building, not sweating a lot, or not exercising at all. In this case, enough water is not enough and does not add too many calories and unnecessary sugar. Drinking one sports drink containing 150 calories and 42 grams of sugar, (similar to a can of soda) can easily “cancel” 30 minutes of travel. For most common tasks water is absolutely sufficient

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