April 8, 2021
It is important to stay hydrated during your activity, because drinking not enough fluids can influence your performance negatively. It is usefull to consume a sports drink that contains carbohydrates especially during a prolonged workout. It is not only a matter of refueling sweated water, but you also need to refill the so-called ‘elektrolytes’ such as sodium. On top of that digesting your sugars via fluids instead of only via solid foods can be of extra benefit to improve your performance. Want to understand how this all works? We will explain it all below. For more information on hydration during workout and during the full day read this post.
Loss of water and electrolyte due to loss of sweat (transpiration) can lead to critical volume depletion and electrolyte imbalance (especially sodium). These losses occur when the athlete consumed not enough moisture during effort. With a 2% volume loss of the total body weight due to lack of drinking fluids to compensate for sweating, a decrease in the performance capacity of endurance athletes is reported. Losing more than 5% body weight can even decrease the exercise capacity of the athlete very substantially. During a warm day this could happen on a long intense ride even if you drink a bottle per hour since sweat rates can be quite extreme in challenging circumstances. This can easily be avoided by knowing your personal sweat rates.
Dehydration is associated with a decrease in blood supply to the muscles and skin, decrease in sweat production, decreased drainage of heat and increased glycogen breakdown. In addition to the negative effects on performance, this can lead to the following performance complaints: faster exhaustion, delayed stomach emptying, muscle cramps, hyperthermia and loss of consciousness in bad cases.
It’s important to replenish the electrolyte balance of your body. Because when you sweat, you will lose a lot of sodium. You need the sodium to be able to absorb fluids intake. Sodium and a lot of other electrolytes are added to sport drinks to increase this water absorption in the intestines and to retain the moisture. Women’s bodies consist of 52% water and men’s bodies 63%. Men also lose more fluid during exercise than women and because of that they need to replenish their self more than women.
The intake of carbohydrates can also improve your performance, especially by long and intensive exercise. When you go cycling, it’s recommended to consume up to 30-90 grams of carbohydrates per hour during a ride that lasts longer than 45 minutes. Carbohydrates provide energy to the body, but such excessive amounts of carbohydrates per hour cannot always just be properly absorbed by the body. Part of the reason is other nutrients can negatively impact this digestion. And there can be supplements involved, click here for more information about the effect of caffeine. Solid foods contain nutrients that are harder to digest such as fibers and fluids usually don’t contain them.
There are a lot of different kind of sports drinks that you can put in the different categories:
hypertonic, isotonic and hypotonic.
Another kind of sports drinks is called isotonic this means that it has the same osmolarity as your body. This means that it can be absorbed very quickly and that it can reduce the change of getting abdominal complaints. An isotonic sports drink contains most of the time 4 to 8 grams of carbohydrates per 100 milliliters. This kind of sports drink is ideal for staying hydrated while still getting carbohydrates into your body.
There are sports drink that contain 0 to 4 grams of carbohydrates per 100 milliliter and has a low osmolarity, this is called the hypotonic sport drink. The problem of this kind of sports drink is that it contains insufficient carbohydrates to keep your glycogen storage full during a long training. There are specific products that mostly come as tablets which are meant only to provide elektrolytes such as sodium but no carbohydrates. These products are most suitable to add to plain water. The other sorts of sportdrinks might as well or might not contain these elektrolytes depending on the product.
When you have sports drinks containing more than 8 grams of carbohydrates per 100 milliliter fluid, it is called hypertonic. Hypertonic sport drinks have a higher osmolarity than your body which means your body must do a lot of work to digest this kind of sports drink. The osmolarity of a sports drink is very important, because it’s easy for your body to digest a sports drink with anosmolarity comparable to your body. Hypertonic sport drinks give a higher risk of getting intestinal complaints and your body has more difficulty absorbing this liquid.Having said that, the benefit still is it contains a lot of carbohydrates which is helpful for your performance. Is there any solution for this problem?
Have you heard of the sports drink Beta Fuel? People have been looking for a sports drink that really fits their needs by providing high carbohydrate levels via fluids without the osmolarity issues. SIS introduced its Beta fuel which is seen as a very solid sport drink to take while exercising intensely for a long time! But what is SIS Beta Fuel and how did they produce this kind of sports drink?
BetaFuel is a new sports drink that elite and pro cyclists use a lot during long rides. The reason why it’s popular is because BetaFuel makes it possible to take in 80 grams of carbohydrates per bottle. Normally a sport drink can contain a maximum of 60 grams of carbohydrates without getting abdominal complaints. Beta Fuel makes it possible to take in this amount of carbohydrates, without causing any complaints. If you want to take in 60-80 grams of carbohydrates using food or other sport drinks, you must eat or drink more. For example, when you use an isotonic sport drink, you must take in 1,5 liters. With BetaFuel you only have to take in 750 ml to take in the same amount of carbohydrates. This can be extremely useful because it can be difficult to drink a lot during a ride. This extremely high carbohydrate formula is so successful because SIS has managed to make an isotonic drink despite his high carbohydrate content.
If you look at the carbohydrate content of BetaFuel you don’t see it like an isotonic sports drink, because it contains 16 grams of carbohydrates per 100ml fluid. Now you know that an isotonic drink has a carbohydrate content between 4 and 8 grams per 100 ml fluid. It is great that SIS created a sports drink with the same osmolarity as an isotonic drink and a high carbohydrate content. But how did they do that? They used maltodextrin instead of glucose and put maltodextrin in a 2:1 ratio with fructose. This leads to 16 grams of carbohydrates per 100 ml fluid and is like 80 grams of carbohydrate per bottle. Due the ratio of maltodextrin and fructose is it possible for your body to absorb 90 grams/hour of carbohydrate instead of 60 grams/hour. This is a huge advantage for athletes that wants to perform on their highest level.