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Exercise and Fitness

Sports drinks vs. Water

02/28/2002

Question:

Are sports drinks or water better to drink before and after exercise?

Answer:

The key to answering your question is the length of time you are exercising. In general, water is an excellent fluid replacer for individuals exercising less than 90 minutes. It is inexpensive, readily available and does a great job of replenishing lost fluids. If you will be exercising more than 90 minutes and are performing intense physical activity (i.e., running a marathon), a beverage containing a small amount of sugar (5% of total beverage)may provide extra stamina. Sports drinks are convenient, but homemade versions can work just as well in maintaining normal blood glucose levels to aid in performance.

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Response by:

Carolyn   Nickol, RD, MEd Carolyn Nickol, RD, MEd
Director
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati