Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sports Drinks

Steven B. commented on the last post about how his pre-race routine includes drinking Pedialyte, a electrolyte replacement drink designed for infants. I have heard of athletes drinking Pedialyte, but I admit, I am an old school Gatorade fan. I did some research, and found some studies show Pedialyte is better than Gatorade, and other studies say the exact opposite. However, all studies are somewhat wishy-washy in their conclusions, stating both types of drinks can be effective for athletes.

The Gatroade/Pedialyte debate differs from what all of you were taught in middle school. Every time you walk past a water fountain, take a good long drink. Water is free; contrary to what sensationalistic media says, you CANNOT drink too much of it; and no one has an aversion to the flavor of it. Water is good stuff, can't go wrong with it in my opinion.

So, what should you do? Well, I would keep it simple. Drink plenty of water, at least three Nalgene bottles a day. Start drinking plenty of fluids now, as your body needs time to get totally hydrated. After practice, drink some type of electrolyte replacement drink. Stay away from empty calories (soda, coffee) that can dehydrate you. And make sure your pee is clear. The clearer the better! You need to stay hydrated, at all times, for optimal performance in training and in racing.


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