Dissecting Sports Drinks: What Is Inside And Are They Safe To Use?
It used to be the case that the best way to stay hydrated before, during, and after strenuous workouts was to drink plenty of water. Today, athletes, weightlifters, and fitness enthusiasts are turning in droves to alternatives such as sports drinks. This trend begs two questions: what’s in these sports drinks, and are they safe to use regularly? Read on to find some answers.
What Is a Sports Drink?
Most sports drinks consist of water, sugar, salt, and some coloring or flavoring agents. Some athletes use them because they taste better, while others believe they help to speed up the absorption of water. Sports drinks typically feature plenty of electrolytes, too, which can be good for restoring hydration after working up a sweat.
Are Sports Drinks Safe?
The thing is, all sports drinks are a little different. While a high-quality cbd sports drink usually contains only natural or organic ingredients, most conventional sports drinks contain artificial sweeteners and other non-organic ingredients. Common artificial sweeteners include aspartame, sucralose, ace-k, and alcohol sugars.
These artificial substances have been deemed safe for consumption based on short-term studies, but since they’ve only hit the markets recently, researchers don’t know how they impact long-term health. Some research shows that they could cause or contribute to health problems, including weight gain, the development of brain tumors, and certain types of cancers.
The best way to avoid potential health complications is to choose sports drinks made from natural ingredients, including natural sweeteners, flavors, and colors. Those with dietary restrictions can also find sports drinks that are guaranteed to be gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and vegan.
Are Sports Drinks Beneficial?
Now that athletes and other fitness enthusiasts have an idea of what to look for when it comes to choosing a safe, healthy sports drink, it’s time to address another common misconception. A lot of people assume that the recent sports drink craze is exclusively a result of targeted marketing campaigns. In fact, the right sports drink truly can help improve performance.
Sports drinks contain both carbohydrates and electrolytes. The carbohydrates give athletes an energy boost during their workouts, but the electrolytes play an even more important role. They affect how the body functions in several ways. Electrolytes help to regulate:
- Water retention rates
- Fluid levels in blood plasma
- Blood acidity
- Muscle function
- Nerve signal transmission
- Blood clotting
- Tissue building
- And more
To perform optimally, the body needs to maintain a balance of electrolytes. These key substances are eliminated through both urination and sweat, so it should come as no surprise that athletes often struggle to maintain a healthy electrolyte balance. Consuming sports drinks before, during, or after a workout can help to restore electrolyte concentrations that have been depleted through working up a sweat.
Sports Drinks and Normal Activities
Consuming sports drinks can be beneficial to athletes and fitness enthusiasts since it gives their bodies access to the extra carbs and electrolytes required to boost performance. However, there’s no need to consume sports drinks before performing normal daily activities. It can even be harmful, especially if they contain lots of added sugars and artificial sweeteners. Stick to using them as a workout supplement.
The Bottom Line
Not all sports drinks are created equal. Athletes and gym-goers can benefit from drinking high-quality beverages made from natural ingredients, but they may want to avoid artificially sweetened sports drinks.