ReFuel Summer 2019:20 - Page 6

Q&A WITH DR DOM CHEWING THE FAT AND QUASHING THOSE MYTHS… his is an interesting question as the definition of a sports drink is normally one that is designed to provide a mix of electrolytes, in particular sodium, fluid and sometimes carbohydrates to fuel for exercise and ensure adequate hydration.  The reason why sports drinks contain sodium is to encourage fluid intake by increasing thirst and allowing an increased retention of fluid. It may also replace lost salt in individuals with high sweat rates. T QUESTION:  DOES A SPORTS DRINK WITHOUT SODIUM STILL HYDRATE ME? 6 ReFuel Magazine Summer 2019-20 SUBSCRIBE HERE Whether a drink without sodium still hydrates is dependent on the duration and intensity of the exercise as well as the individual. Generally, a sports drink is not needed for exercise < 90 minutes. In fact, most recreational athletes or active people will not require a sports drink and water is the best and most hydrating drink. If you are an athlete who has high training loads, long sessions and train in hot conditions, are a heavy sweater or have a short period of time to rehydrate, you may need a drink with electrolytes to promote hydration. Also worth consideration is the fact that many sports drinks are also high in sugar and can cause some gut discomfort, especially if you are not well practised with them. If you are unsure whether you should use a sports drink or not, speak to an Accredited Sports Dietitian for tailored advice!