Hypotonic, energy, waiting or recovery drinks; you can get lost easily between the different types of drinks formulated for athletes. What is the ideal drink for your sport? How important is the drink in sports nutrition?

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The role of hydration in sports nutrition

The need for water to ensure the proper functioning of the human body is 2.5 liters, with a liter brought by the water contained in food, and a liter and a half brought by the drinks we consume throughout the day. Fresh white Surrey

Of course, our hydration needs vary depending on our environment, the climate we are exposed to, and our physical activity.

In athletes, the need for hydration increases because water losses are greater: with a regular and intensive physical effort, our body evacuates a lot of water through perspiration . To compensate for this loss and prevent the risk of dehydration, it is crucial to choose drinks adapted to your practice, to accompany you during your training.

Indeed, dehydration can have very bad consequences: decreased performance, dizziness, hot flashes, which can go as far as discomfort.

A drink adapted to the sport will prevent this bad passage, and also to prevent the risk of injury: when the body lacks water, it is more fragile because dry, which significantly increases the risk of injury during the effort .

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Finally, it must also be remembered that when you sweat, sweat is actually a mixture of water and mineral salts. Minerals are also essential nutrients for good health and good performance. The sports drinks must be both moisturizing and rich in minerals .

Isotonic, hypotonic, hypertonic drinks: what to choose for a sport?

The tone of a drink, what is it?

What will define the tonicity of a drink is its osmolarity . Osmolarity, with reference to osmosis, refers to the chemical reaction between two liquids with a different amount of dissolved substances . To understand, let’s go back to chemistry class.

If you mix water with a liquid containing more dissolved substances (minerals, fructose, glucose, trace elements, etc.), you will get a natural chemical reaction: the substances in the most concentrated medium move to the least concentrated, and the water goes the other way, to achieve a balance of concentration between the two liquids . To judge the tonicity of a drink, we will observe this phenomenon between the drink, and the body fluids of our body.

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What type of drink to choose for your workout?

Hypertonic drink

It is a drink more concentrated in dissolved substances than the liquids of our body . The body will react with dehydration: water does not migrate from the drink to the body, but first in the other direction. Our hydration is “absorbed” by the drink causing sudden dehydration (and temporary, rest assured).

Soda Drink

Hypertonic drinks are mostly sodas , with a high sugar intake. These drinks are rarely indicated during sports practices, risking significant dehydration . However, they are sometimes used to fight against hypoglycemia attacks.

Isotonic drink

A so-called isotonic drink is a beverage whose concentration is equivalent to body fluids . During a physical effort, this drink compensates for losses in water and also in sugar, in a balanced way. Since an isotonic drink is of equivalent consistency to body fluids, it is easily and quickly absorbed: ideal before or during training .

Hypotonic drink

Continuing in this logic, a hypotonic drink is a drink whose concentration of dissolved substances is lower than that of liquids in our body .

The body will then draw new reserves directly into the drink, allowing rapid and effective rehydration . Because of its low sugar content , its moisturizing power is very important.

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During a very physical training, long, or in high temperatures, the hypotonic drink makes it possible to compensate the loss of water, evacuated in perspiration. Thanks to its purified composition, the hypotonic drink is very easy to digest , which makes it possible to not feel heavy during the training.