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April 2009 Archives

Sports drinks: playing with your brain

Athletes – elite and weekend warrior alike – are always looking for a competitive edge. Even legal ones.

They'll fiddle with their diets. Take supplements. And take in sports drinks.

Two years ago, the American College of Sports Medicine issued revised guidelines on how much fluid you need to take in while exercising.

The bottom line was: it varies. But it did note that if you're exercising for more than an hour, you need to do more than just replace the fluid you're losing. You also need to replace electrolytes and take in carbohydrates to fuel your muscles. Don't do it and you run the risk of running out of gas or – as marathon runners will say – hitting the wall.

It's big business selling sports drinks.

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