Keeping our bodies hydrated while we work out is very important. We all know that water helps with the transportation of nutrients in our bodies as well as aiding in digestion. It also helps to keep our joint and connective tissues lubricated while regulating temperature by sweating. Water is a mainstay with sports nutrition because it also helps keep athletes comfortable, helps them to maintain high performance levels and aids in injury prevention.
So if water is so great, why would an athlete need to consider a sports drink? For the athlete that works out less than an hour at a time, water is the best choice. But those athletes that have a high intensity work out for longer a duration (1.5 to 3 hours), they may want to consider a sports drink to replenish the micronutrients that are lost.
The more you sweat, the more potassium and sodium you lose. A sports drink does offer these nutrients to your body during a strenuous work out.
Hydration, electrolyte replenishment and even fuel are the three basic reasons that a sports drink can help your body during a workout. If people can drink 17 ounces before they exercise and then periodically while they are exercising they will keep their body adequately hydrated throughout the entire workout. The carbohydrates found in sports drinks will help to fuel the workout and inhibit fatigue and of course the electrolytes in the sports drink can help sustain the fluid-electrolyte balance.