Isotonic drink, energy drinks, sports drinks, or effort drinks, the market is flooded with products bosting these terms. With every passing day, these drinks are replacing cola and glucose-based drinks. But what do these terms actually mean? Are these all the same? How to distinguish and when should you take them? Today we will be discussing everything about them.
What happened to Glucose drinks?
There was an era when glucose drinks used to be very popular among athletes as those drinks provided the fluids and salts lost due to prolonged physical activity, in a speedier and efficient way. As glucotoxicity started becoming common the glucose drinks lost their charm.
What is an Isotonic drink?
Isotonic drinks, energy drinks, or sports drinks are mostly the same thing with different names.
Term Isotonic means having the same particulate concentration as blood. A drink can be isotonic if it has osmolarity between 270 and 330 mOsm/L. Hence a lesser concentration is called hypotonic and a higher concentration is called hypertonic.
To satisfy athletes or any person’s rehydration needs, the drinks have to be either hypotonic or Isotonic, though Isotonic ones should be preferred. Since it is very difficult to achieve the delicate isotonic concentration, good Isotonic drinks are very rare and most sought after.
Why should I use Isotonic drinks and not something else?
As the athletes start to sweat, they start losing precious salts and minerals which are required to keep them going. The purpose of these drinks is to replenish the lost fluids, nutrients, and electrolytes like glucose, vitamins, sodium, and others. The faster and more efficiently they are able to do this, the better will be the athlete’s performance.
An isotonic drink is easily absorbed and quickly leaves the digestion track, this ensures optimal efficiency and comfortable digestion.
A hypotonic drink does not get absorbed very easily but it can be very useful on an extremely hot day.
A hypertonic drink is not at all recommended for anyone other than for medicinal purposes, its higher concentration makes the body lose even more fluid, and also due to its higher concentration, it stays longer in the body, which can cause digestion discomforts.
It is equally important with powdered isotonic mixes is to use directed amount of water and powder mix to make sure the prepared drink is in isotonic concentration.
What are the contents of Isotonic drink?
MAKE THEM BULLET POINTS PLEASE, MAKE A INFOGRAPHIC OF SHAKER SHOWING VERTICAL SEGMENTATION OF CONTENTS
Water is going to be the primary ingredient of any drink if comes in ready to drink state. Most drinks contain 85% to 95% water. (Humari wali me 86% hai)
Carbohydrate is the next main ingredient of ‘energy’ drink, carbohydrates can readily broken into energy packets by our body. Hence, the primary source of energy in these ‘energy’ drinks is carbs.
Electrolytes are minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, and others which are leaves the body along with the sweat. Electrolytes are required to efficiently communicated messages from brain to the muscles.
Vitamins levels start to deplete very quickly as the body continues to burn energy to carry the physical activity.
Extras are completely up to the brand to include or skip. Extras include nutrients like BCAA, creatine and glutamine which which help retard the muscle damage, fatigue and risks of injury. They also help with blood circulation, endurance and prolonged performance.
When is the right time to take an Isotonic drink?
Endurance sports, such as triathlon, include the risk of fatigue and transpiration. Sweat consisting of salts and fluids (mainly sodium, and potassium). The body can lose more than one and a half liters of fluid per hour during exertion, and sometimes up to 3 liters per hour. Therefore, the body will get dehydrated until this deficiency is compensated by drinking. In addition, we know that during the effort, muscles use energy, so ingestion of carbohydrates helps us to compensate for losses and sustain the effort.
You would therefore need to drink isotonic liquids frequently after an hour of effort. Per 10-15 minutes from the start of your attempt, the recommended dosage, one mouthful per sip.