by Ronny Marie Tucker
Sports drinks, energy drinks, protein shakes…what’s the difference? Which is right for you?
It can be pretty confusing when trying to figure out what to consume, especially if you are new to exercising. Most are curious if these drinks are really beneficial. Although many products are available, choose what is right for you, your goals, and your lifestyle.
Sports Drinks: Sports drinks such as Gatorade or PowerAde are also known as fluid replacement drinks. These drinks usually contain water, carbohydrates (sugar), and electrolytes (sodium, potassium and chloride), and are usually only necessary for those performing extreme exercise regimens generally lasting longer than an hour. After an hour of exercise, carbohydrates may need to be replaced, and after 4-5 hours, electrolytes may need to be replaced also. The electrolytes in sports drinks can help offset sodium loss in sweat. However, the average exerciser is not exercising hard or long enough to need a sports drink, and are taking in extra sugar and unnecessary calories.