If you train and participate like there's no tomorrow, then you are likely to require sports drinks as a way or ensuring you do not dehydrate yourself as well to ensure you do not lose too many minerals through sweating.
Whether running a marathon or cycling in a 25 mile race, sports drinks are a vital component of your traingin regime. Since the very first of these performance enhancing ' sports drinks ' first came on the market, there has been speculation about their real benefits and how they should be used in an exercise regime to get maximum benefit. Now, tests have shown that over long-haul exercise sessions, the connection between sports drinks and training and performance benefits does exist. So how can you make sure you're making the connection between sports drinks and training benefits work for you? And how do you know what situations won't get the most out of the connection between sports drinks and training benefits?
These performance enhancing beverages work best during and after long term, intense physical output. What they do is provide your tired muscles with carbohydrates which can be converted into energy, and replenish electrolytes like sodium and potassium, which are lost through sweat, as well as keeping your body hydrated. Water will keep you hydrated, but will not provide carbs or replace lost electrolytes. Also, the presence of much needed carbs and electrolytes often means your body will absorb the liquid at a quicker rate than ordinary water, keeping you more consistently hydrated. This only works, however, provided that your performance enhancing fluid has the right balance of carbs to liquid. Some of these products are too sugar heavy, which actually slows absorption and may upset your stomach.
Also worth remembering is that if your exercise schedule or race duration is an hour or less, you're not going to get maximum benefit from these products as you won't have lost enough energy or electrolytes to reap the benefits. For an hour or less, ordinary water will do.