Water, Gatorades and Powerades
I am a registered dietician, presenting my piece of work on the different types of beverages. I am giving this presentation because water is an overlooked nutrient in the hydration process while it can be an excellent sports beverage. Water is the most essential nutrient in the body because death can occur rapidly in the absence of water than any other nutrient. Knowing this, does not take much imagination when dehydration occurs during sports performance or training. Around 60% of the human body is inside water called intracellular cells, and the muscle tissues have 70% of water which is critical during exercise.
Gatorade and PowerAde contain added proteins, sodium and carbohydrates, which help in increasing blood glucose levels and high cycling performance. PowerAde has low calories while Gatorade is lightly flavored with enhanced vitamins also with low calories. These power drinks are moderately isotonic because, they provide a moderate level of salt and sugar in the form of chloride and potassium, hence help in the replacement of electrolyte loss during sweating. Water has fluoride, carbon, hydrates, iron, magnesium and sodium chloride, which aid in revitalizing the body. A lot of sodium is lost from the body during long hours of exercise; through sweat leading to low sodium concentrations in the blood, water consumption is critical in replacement of the sodium. The fluid part of water regulates body temperature and also helps to maintain fluids in the joints during exercise.
Water can be tapped or bottled. Tapped water contains different levels of sodium chloride and fluoride, high levels of fluoride could be harmful to the teeth. Bottled water can be filtered, distilled or demineralized. Water source and processing will determine the water content. Bottled water is standardized to a certain level of minerals that make them safe for consumption. Gatorade have low sodium levels and examples are; Gatorade endurance, Power bar endurance, E-fuel, Electrolytic drinks and GU electrolytic. PowerAde drinks are G2, powerade zero, Ultimareplenisher and propel. Power drinks cost about 99 cents to $1.50 per bottle, and when in a six-pack, they cost between $3.99 – $4.29. Tap water costs less than a penny while bottled water costs around $3 per bottle.
Water keeps the best drink to be used for hydration because it supplies the body with necessary nutrients especially during exercise. It has natural sodium chloride which replaces the water and chlorides lost through sweat. Water is recommended by American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), when one is exercising for a short period of around an hour. Drinking too much water can cause over hydration that causes fatigue to the body system. During exercise, a certain amount should be taken according to the rate of sweating.
Sports drinks have electrolytes like potassium and sodium which occur naturally in the body; this makes them effective in fluid replacement as they have salt concentrations equal to the body.They have high calories, which replace the, loss of energy. They are taken when one is undergoing an activity of high intensity physical activity, in high temperatures and exercises which last more than an hour. Power drinks help in smooth muscle contractions and energy metabolism. Rigorous exercises drain the body of carbohydrates which energy drinks can replace effectively. Gatorade stimulates fast absorption of fluids than PowerAde. This is due to the carbohydrate content and the concentration of carbohydrates. Powerade has high carbohydrate concentration mainly from fructose. Fructose makes it less efficient because it causes distress to gastrointestinal, hence requires secondary conversion in the liver after absorption.
Water can be consumed but only during short exercising periods, this makes it ineffective when one is exercising for long hours under high temperatures. During exercises, thirst can cause consumption of a lot of water, hence causing water intoxication. Because excessive consumption of water dilutes the sodium chloride salts, this causes fatigue to the nervous system and imbalance to the body salts. ACSM recommends drinking water during short periods of exercise, and this does not favor power drinks consumption. Gatorades have calories which can causeweight gain. Power drinks cannot be consumed by everyone due to the difference in ingredients and some people require little calories. Excessive consumption of energy drinks will obstruct the flow of fluid from the stomach and riveted by the intestine.
I highly recommend water to be used for hydration during exercise in this firm because; water is an excellent hydration fluid, it is absorbed into the body directly and medical institutions like ACSM highly recommend water for short exercising periods. Water can be used along with a power drinks although it reduces the effectiveness of power drinks.
Heather, F.A. (2011). Practical Applications In Sports Nutrients. Atlanta: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Jones, R.S. (2010). Nutrition for Sport and Exercise. Atlanta: Jonnes and Bartlett Publishers.
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