Sports Drinks: Don’t believe the hype!

While training with NYC Adventure Boot Camp, you may have seen many women drinking all kinds of sports drinks that claim to refresh and replenish the body. How effective are these drinks, and how would you know which one them actually work? Are sports drinks really that much better than natural fruit juices? First, let’s look at what are the different types of drinks and juices. There are three types of drinks – isotonic, hyper tonic and hypo tonic.

Hypotonic drinks, such as water quench your thirst. It quickly replaces all the lost fluids and it is suitable for women who are into aerobics or short running. During these exercises, women require more fluid, rather than carbohydrates.

Isotonic drinks also replace fluids quickly, but provide a boost of carbohydrates as well. Isotonic drinks are the most preferred sports drinks amongst women. They provide the right amount of fluids as well as energy during your workout. Since glucose is the best source of energy for the human body, it is always better to go for isotonic drinks that have carbohydrates in the form of glucose.

Hypertonic drinks are taken to increase the carbohydrates storage that is spent during the workout. These drinks are consumed after your workout session, to boost your strength. Women who are into long distance running prefer hypertonic drinks to keep their energy levels high.

An important aspect of sports drinks which you need to remember is that the sweet flavor in these drinks does not quench your thirst. You may be drinking more sports drinks than water for the same effect. So be careful when you actually select one. Make sure that you do not select a drink just because it is sweeter than the rest. The best way to drink sports drinks is to take small gulps in the beginning of the workout. This way, you can avoid getting dehydrated. Drinking sports drinks after you get dehydrated reduces its efficiency by a large amount. An example of the normal intake is to have 8 ounces of the drink, 20 minutes before starting your workout. Then, every 15 or 20 minutes drink 4 to 6 ounces. This is effective for most exercises and for most women, regardless of their health and what regime they are following.

Another issue is that many isotonic drinks in the market claim that they rehydrate the body and boost energy. However, the fact is any drink having calories will boost energy. Nevertheless, the best sources of energy-giving calories are complex carbohydrates that are present in rice, bread, cereals, potatoes and pasta. So if you are looking to boost you energy, you can consume these items.

The fact is that women do not need to look further than a fruit juice (but beware of the sugar), with some water and a pinch of salt, for the best sports drink.  This combination is the most efficient drink for your rehydration. For energy, you can add a fruit, try a combination of a sliced strawberry and a couple of thin slices of cucumber, along with a splash of juice.  Pure coconut water is also a good alternative to juices and sports drinks.   This will not only help you save money, help you control what it is that you drink but you will reduce the use of plastic bottles.

If you have any questions regarding our special 2 week Slim Down Program contact Stacy Papakostas at


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