Author: Dr. Gary Huber, DO
Cutting edge guidance on proper fuel for athletes of all types.
“Healthy” Sports Drinks
Commercially made sports drinks contain sugar and fructose as a fuel source, which is not your best option and can create problems. The standard Gatorade claims to have “electrolytes” but the truth is it only contains a pinch of table salt and not very much of it. Aside from the little bit of salt it contains, a Gatorade is no different than a soda pop. A good sports drink would offer multiple electrolytes (minerals) including magnesium. It would also provide a healthier fuel than sugar and help reduce fatigue. Well the follow offerings do all of that and more.
Basic Sports Drink: offers electrolytes and a fuel source.
- Water – 24 ounces
- Endurolytes Powder – 3 scoops. Provides sodium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, Vitamin B6, tyrosine, glycine.
- BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) – 1 scoop provides 5 grams of amino acids that quickly convert to energy as needed, protects muscle from breakdown and aids repair of muscle after the workout.
- Sweet Drops is simply a flavor option. It comes in a variety of flavors. You can customize it to be as strong or as light as you desire. Try 10 to 20 drops and adjust as you like.
High Intensity Sports Drink: for those wanting extra support during intense training
- All of the above, plus . . .
- Corvalen – 1 scoop before or during training. Corvalen postpones fatigue and allows for sustained power output over a longer time frame. It also protects cells from oxidative stress thereby reducing damage. Enhances ATP recovery allowing for more sprints.
Ultra Endurance Sports Drink: if you are planning to train for more than 90 minutes then this is your best option for fuel and support.
- High Intensity Sports Drink as above, plus . . .
- UCAN – 1 scoop (or packet) 30 minutes before the start of exercise. This is a “resistant starch” that breaks down very slowly over 2.5 to 3 hours offering a slow release of carbohydrates. This allows the body to continue to use fat as a long-term fuel source and does not spike insulin. Spiking insulin stops fat burning and limits your fuel source.
- Rhodiola – 2 options here, you can take 1 or 2 capsules (100 mg) orally before exercise or open the capsules and mix them with your sports drink. Rhodiola postpones exercise fatigue. It also reduces excess cortisol (stress) response. A great sports adjunct for the truly intense athlete.