What is an Isotonic Drink?

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Published: 16th February 2011
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Isotonic drinks have two main roles -they replenish lost minerals and electrolytes and also top up our energy levels in the form of glucose, carbohydrate (sugar). Plus like water they keep you hydrated. The market is full of isotonic drinks, ‘Lucozade Sport’, ‘Powerade’, ‘Gatorage Aid’ and ‘Taut’ to name a few. But it’s important to know a little about them and how they work.





Should we drink them every time we exercise?





Your body has a good store of carbohydrate, enough to cope with 45 minutes normal exercise. So in this case it’s best to just drink water to stay hydrated and eat a healthy meal after exercise to replenish your energy. Now I’m not saying that if you do more than 45 minutes of normal exercise you should have an isotonic drink. As your store of carbohydrates depletes, your body has to find energy for some other place (more on this in the future). If you are going to be training for endurance or long distance events an isotonic drink may benefit you from hitting "the wall" or prevent cramping! However isotonic drinks are no better than drinking water and eating a piece of fruit for normal everyday exercise.





Isotonic Drink Vs Water





Both hydrate you but the isotonic drinks have more minerals and electrolytes to keep your body working better during exercise, but the isotonic drink contains carbohydrates, and water is calorie free! Also most isotonic drinks contain artificial colours, preservatives, sweeteners (Aspartame, more on this in the future) and additives. So with all these additives I would say water is the best in my opinion whilst training! I do use Isotonic Drinks too but mainly when I am undertaking a hardcore training session.





Make your own Isotonic Drink





Dissolve 50 to 70g glucose into a litre of water and then add a fifth teaspoon of natural unprocessed salt.


or


Mix 500ml of unsweetened fruit juice with 500ml of water and add a fifth teaspoon of natural salt (paralympics.org.uk)





Check out http://2train4fitness.blogspot.com/


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