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Why Do I Need to Drink During Exercise?

The goal of drinking during exercise is to prevent dehydration. When you exercise you produce heat, which your

body can help to control through sweating.When you sweat it helps cool your body but you can also lose water

and electrolytes (e.g. sodium). If sweat, water and electrolytes are not replaced by taking in enough fluids then

you become dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to health issues such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. As little

as 2% dehydration (e.g. a 1.4 kg (3 lb) loss for a 68 kg or 150 lb – individual) can hurt your athletic performance.

 

When Should I Choose a Sports Drink?

Sports drinks are specially designed to replace the sweat and electrolytes that you lose in sweat and to provide

energy in the form of carbohydrate for active muscles and the brain. They can benefit a wide variety of athletes,

including those:

• With very high sweat rates (1L/h or more);

• Exercising either very hard or for a long time (more than one hour) including endurance and team sport

athletes;

• Exercising in hot and humid conditions or while wearing protective sports equipment such as with hockey

and football.

 

What Should I Look For in a Sports Drink?

Water

• This is the first and most important ingredient.

• Make sure your sports drink is not carbonated so that it is easy to drink and doesn’t make you feel full or

bloated.

Flavour

• Flavour may help you drink more fluids compared to plain water; this is especially true for children or teen athletes.

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