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Sports Drinks & Hydration etc.

PC67PC67 Posts: 101
Is there any real difference between branded specialists sports drinks like SIS, High5 etc, and stuff you can buy in a newsagent like Lucozade Sport?

Also, for electrolyte repalcement, is the stuff you can buy in Boots (typically to shore up loose bowels!) any better / worse than the branded stuff?


  • Iain MIain M Posts: 9
    It depends what sort of sport drink you're after.

    Lucozade sport, powerade etc are high short-chain carb ( 6 - 8%) isotonic sports drinks with elecrolites for fuelling your body during high intensity excercise. Sports drinks fall into the following categories

    Isotonic - quickly replaces fluids lost by sweating and supplies a boost of carbohydrate. This drink is the choice for most athletes - middle and long distance running or team sports. Glucose is the body's preferred source of energy therefore it may be appropriate to consume Isotonic drinks where the carbohydrate source is glucose in a concentration of 6% to 8% - e.g. High Five, SiS Go, Boots Isotonic, Lucozade Sport.

    Hypotonic - Low level carbohydrate, electrolytes & fluid (water)quickly replaces fluids lost by sweating. Suitable for athletes who need fluid without the boost of carbohydrate e.g. jockeys and gymnasts.

    Hypertonic - High levels of Carbohydrate. used to supplement daily carbohydrate intake normally after exercise to top up muscle glycogen stores. In ultra distance events, high levels of energy are required and Hypertonic drinks can be taken during exercise to meet the energy requirements. If used during exercise Hypertonic drinks need to be used in conjunction with Isotonic drinks to replace fluids.

    "During an endurance event, you should drink just enough to be sure you lose no more than 2% of pre-race weight. This can be achieved in the following way:

    [ul][*]Record your naked body weight immediately before and after a number of training sessions, along with details of distance/duration, clothing and weather conditions

    [*]Add the amount of fluid taken during the session to the amount of weight lost - 1 kilogram (kg) is roughly equivalent to 1 litre of fluid.

    [*]After a few weeks you should begin to see some patterns emerging and can calculate your sweat rate per hour

    [*]Once you know what your sweat losses are likely to be in any given set of environmental conditions, you can plan your drinking strategy for any particular event. "[/ul]

    Source - www.brainmac.demon.co.uk

    You need to assess your rehdration / fuel requirements and decide whether an 'off the shelf' sports drink matches your requirements. Good Luck.

    That's my first 'proper' answer on this forum.
  • PC67PC67 Posts: 101
    Thanks, very proper answer indeed!
  • AndyAAndyA Posts: 14
    If you're after an isotonic drink during exercise, then cheapest is half juice ('smart price' is just fine) and half water. I use this for all my training and just vary the type of juice if it gets boring. A lot less chemicals and a lot less expensive.

    I you're concerned about electrolytes (and i honestly wouldn't worry unless you're doing long evnets/sessions in hot conditions) than try adding salt to this mix (i can stand about 1/2 tsp/litre; any more and it's just too foul to drink!). Also use bananas for your pre session fuelling (for the potassium).

    During events i have used PSP11. This is a 'cut down' (and much cheaper) version of the SIS psp22, in that it just contains the carb source maltodextrin. It is completely neutral in taste (add some cordial if you want) and it can be mixed quite strong yet stilll be isotonic. I've mixed it up to 30% successfully, however this is probably as far as you need to go. Psp11 is not advertised on the sis website but is available mail order (e.g 'wiggle')
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