Sports drinks are known for fueling up athletes after they’ve lost a lot of steam. Through heavy workouts, long runs and strenuous sports, these beverages get athletes through some of the toughest moments.
While some sports drinks fulfill different needs for different athletes, they all serve the purpose of helping those achieving physical fitness to be at their best.
But it isn’t just super athletes who benefit from sports drinks. Sometimes the energy these drinks provide can be helpful after a fun Zumba class, a hot yoga session or a sweaty mountain hike. Even busy days at work can leave you drained and needing a boost.
The best sports drink brands can help provide energy and rehydration in delicious flavors that have you reaching for more when you need the extra help.
The History of the Sports Drink
As hard as today’s athletes work, researchers have searched for ways to replenish fluids lost during workouts that can leave these powerhouses sluggish and tired long before they’re done at the gym. Scientists first looked into loss of fluid due to exercise in the 1960s, when researchers at Gatorade Sports Science Institute studied football players at the University of Florida.
Players were struggling to get through the required two workouts they had to master each day in the relentless heat and humidity of this southern state.
These researchers started adding carbohydrates and electrolytes to water to help rehydrate and keep athletes from cramping up on the field.
The Science of Sports Drinks
When the right combination proved successful, the popular sports drink “Gatorade” was born. The researchers had discovered the balance of sodium and potassium to help keep the body hydrated and performing at its best, and it was nicknamed after the Gators players who helped inspire its creation
It also became popular to give icy Gatorade showers to winning coaches after the game – making sure this sports beverage provided hydration inside and out.
But the real science behind sports drinks provided a formula that kept athletes happy, healthy and moving on the field.
About 6 grams of carbohydrates per 100 ml of liquid meets the optimal level for absorption in the body and quick relief to tired muscles. The winning combination of the sports drink includes:
- Correct type of carbohydrates: Combining sucrose and glucose-fructose syrups works with the way the body takes in fluid. They are absorbed quickly – in about a half hour – for the body to convert the sugar to energy.
- Taste: Athletes drink more when their beverage tastes good, according to studies on sports drink comparisons. Be sure to check out the wide selection of flavors so you can find the one you might enjoy the most.
- Sodium and potassium: Sodium is a common electrolyte that helps the body stay balanced by keeping hydrated. It helps keep the right amount of hydration in the body by storing it in muscles and other tissues. Potassium works at keeping sore muscles from cramping up during a heavy workout. No athlete wants a cramped muscle to slow them down from achieving the best physical results.
Sports Drinks Help at All Workout Stages
Sports drinks can be used for each level of the workout, including before, during and after. Sometimes sports energy boosters also come in other forms, such as gels and other-drinkable energy-providing beverages. Here’s a quick breakdown of how most sports drinks help get you through each of the workout parts:
- Before workout
Having a sports drink before a workout ensures the body has enough glycogen to last the length of your activity. Glycogen is a form of sugar the body stores for energy, often kept in muscle and liver tissue. As your muscles work, the glycogen is used and the body slows down. Keeping glycogen up means you can work out for longer periods of time – especially during strenuous activities.
High intensity workouts zap the glycogen levels from the body. When you push your hardest, the body pulls as much glycogen as possible to power through. By making sure your body is well stocked in glycogen before you work out, you’ll be sure to finish even the toughest session.
It also helps to ensure you’re hydrated before starting an intense workout. Even if you hydrate during your workout, if your muscles are already depleted of the hydration needed to keep going, you might experience muscle and stomach cramps, as well as overall weakness and moments of lightheadedness.
- During workout
The best sports drink brands keep your body hydrated during a workout, especially those of high intensity or longer than an hour. These workouts can leave muscles tired and cramped, or leave you dehydrated from so much exertion.
Each drop of sweat that is lost contains powerful nutrients that keep muscles moving at their best. While it’s good to sweat in order to keep the body from overheating, those nutrients must be replaced if you intend to keep working out.
Sports drinks help replenish the necessary nutrients lost during exercise to ensure you can go the extra distance or play another round.
- After workout
Muscles work hard to recover after a workout. Even when you stop moving, your body is still on high alert to replenish all the energy that was lost during your exercise session. Sports drinks help the body recover so the body won’t look within for energy, such as using up valuable muscle, to replenish its lost energy supply.
By putting a high quality, post-workout energy drink in your system, the body will stay strong and hold on to those newly worked muscles that will need all the energy they can get to recover and make you more fit. Many recovery drinks are available to make sure you don’t lose valuable muscle mass, which helps with metabolism and makes you stronger for your next workout session.
Comparing Sports Drinks
There are many different kinds of sports drinks on the market, making it tough to determine which one is right for you and your fitness needs. Some sports drinks can even help when you aren’t working out. Sometimes we need a boost just to get us through a busy day at the office or when running around with the kids has us wiped out.
Because Beverage Universe offers a wide variety of the best sport drink brands, we can help you find what’s right for you and make sure your product choice stays well stocked.
Here are some of the sports energy drink comparisons to help you decide which product is best for you:
- All Sport Body Quencher
Available in Blue Raz Ice, fruit punch, grape and orange flavors, All Sport Body Quencher is one of the best sport drink brands for athletes looking to replenish lost nutrients and gain energy during a workout. It includes carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C and a great taste in every flavor.
Each 20 oz. serving contains 140 mg of sodium and 150 mg of potassium to keep athletes feeling energized during the most intense workouts. A comparison of sports drinks show All Sport has almost twice the amount of potassium found in similar products. It also has far less sodium than many other drinks, giving it just the right amount to keep you energized without adding unnecessary excess.
All Sport and All Sport Zero (a no calorie drink) also contain B vitamins to help during aerobic and anaerobic workouts as the body creates energy. It also has vitamin C, which is believed to help fight fatigue and keep muscles from being damaged during heavy workouts. This vitamin is also found to help fight upper respiratory illnesses, a common but problematic issue for many athletes.
FLUROwater takes the body’s most natural form of hydration – H2O – and makes it even better. By adding essential nutrients for athletes, this sports drink rises above other options. This sugar-free, preservative-free, naturally flavored product helps users stay hydrated and energized with a variety of nutrients. Each bottle is loaded with vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B1, B3, B5, B6, B12, Biotin, Folic Acid and six grams of fiber.
Flavors include dark cherry, watermelon raspberry, Macoun apple and kiwi cucumber. The added bonus of fiber, a nutrient often excluded by comparison sports drinks, helps keep athletes full and feeling satisfied even when tough workouts would otherwise leave tummies grumbling.
And unlike most enhanced waters, sports drinks and even cold pressed juices, FLUROwater doesn’t contain a lot of calories from added sugar. It also has many key nutrients which help the body heal and feel rejuvenated.
The founding father of sports drinks, Gatorade is a household name that indicates a high quality product that keeps athletes fueled and performing at their best.
Gatorade and Gatorade 2 are available in a variety of size options and in many flavors, such as fruit punch, Glacier Freeze, grape and orange.
Classic Gatorade Thirst Quencher was born in the lab to help athletes stay strong and powerful during the toughest of workouts. It’s not just for celebrating big wins by dumping buckets of the stuff on deserving coaches.
The heat produced by exercise is released by the muscles through the millions of sweat glands on your skin. Fluids and electrolytes in the blood stream that are critical to performance are lost with each drop of sweat that’s released from the body. Replacing what’s lost in sweat helps keep you from becoming dehydrated, meaning you can maintain superior muscle performance, heart rate and brain activity.
A 12 oz. serving of Gatorade includes 160 mg of sodium, 45 mg of potassium, 21 carbohydrates and 80 calories. It’s no wonder Gatorade has been used on NFL sidelines for over 40 years.
Its low calorie partner, G2, has less than half of the carbohydrates and calories of the Thirst Quencher. One 12 oz. serving contains the same 160 mg of sodium and 45 mg of potassium, but has just 7 carbohydrates and 30 calories.
HyDrive performance beverage stands out in sports drink comparisons thanks to its variety of flavors and nutrients. Available in blue raspberry, citrus burst and triple berry, each bottle delivers six antioxidants from vitamin E, Gingko biloba, apple polyphenols, Acai extract, selenium and zinc.
HyDrive offers the taste of a flavor enhanced water with the boost of an energy drink. At just 30 calories and six grams of sugar per serving, HyDrive delivers B vitamins and 160 mg of caffeine – equivalent to the amount in a cup of coffee.
The array of nutrients keeps athletes energized through tough workouts, but it also gives anyone an energy boost to make it through the day. Because it’s not loaded with calories and unnecessary sugar, HyDrive is one of the best sports energy drinks up for comparison.
This popular sports drink brand is available in a variety of flavors sure to quench the biggest thirst, including fruit punch, Mountain Berry Blast, orange, grape and mixed berry.
With its ION4 Advanced Electrolyte System, Powerade delivers the necessary 6 percent carbohydrates with vitamins B3, B6 and B12 to keep athletes energized and recovering. One 12 oz. serving has 80 calories, while delivering 150 mg of sodium, 35 mg of potassium and 21 grams of sugar.
The four key electrolytes that Powerade touts, including sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium, are essentially the equivalent of what is lost through sweat during heavy workouts.
Those who might want to avoid the extra sugar found in the original formula can opt for Powerade Zero, a no-calorie, no sugar sports drink that delivers the same powerful nutrients without the added calories.
Buys Sports Drinks in Bulk
Busy people who are on the go between work, school, family functions and the gym often don’t have time to make sure their sports drinks are stocked. Beverage Universe makes it easy with delivery straight to your door. Buy your favorite sports drinks in bulk, and you’ll always stay stocked up for when you need it most.
Don’t forget that Beverage Universe will remember your order, making it easy to get more when you need it. Be sure to check out the selection of Beverage Universe sports drinks and make your bulk purchase today.