What is isotonic?
Isotonic is a sports drink that is necessary to restore the balance of fluid and electrolytes in the body during exercise and cardio. Isotonic contains carbohydrates (maltodextrin, fructose, glucose) and mineral salts (magnesium, potassium and sodium chlorides). Some manufacturers also add caffeine and vitamin complexes.
The main advantage of isotonic for athletes-runners is its ability to quench thirst better than ordinary drinking water. In addition to compensating for fluid loss, isotonic drinks help make up for the loss of minerals caused by increased sweating, as well as being a source of fast energy and increase glycogen stores in the body.
Note that sports drinks are recommended for physical training lasting more than 60 minutes. Amino acids BCAA will help with strength training, and isotonics will be useful in cardio workouts for endurance - especially in the case of long runs in hot and sunny weather. However, during training shorter than 45 minutes, isotonics will not bring additional benefits.
// The benefits of isotonics:
- Thirst removed better than regular water
- Helps fight dehydration
- Contain salt electrolytes
The composition of the isotonic
Sports isotonics are sold both in finished form (i.e., liquid in a bottle), and in the form of dry concentrates for mixing with water. They have the same composition, so buying isotonic powder or tablets is more economical. In addition, you can make an isotonic drink at home completely with your own hands - in this case you can control the amount of minerals and carbohydrates.
Note that the composition of the finished isotonics such as Powerade and Gatorade includes a significant amount of maltodextrin . These carbohydrates have a high glycemic index and instantly increase the level of insulin in the blood. Despite the fact that this helps athletes to train more vigorously, such a composition is categorically not recommended for training for fat burning.
The benefits of isotonics
The isotonic minerals-electrolytes play an important role not only in regulating the body's water balance, but also in the processes of energy metabolism in muscles. The loss of electrolytes with sweating can lead to a decrease in the athlete’s performance, cramping, cramping, impaired coordination, as well as a drop in blood pressure and even loss of consciousness.
In addition, the lack of minerals in the body during physical training is the reason for the increase in blood viscosity and a number of processes associated with this. For example, deteriorating gas exchange in cells leads to a significant decrease in working capacity and further disruption of the balance of electrolyte salts. And the longer the training duration, the more noticeable are these processes.
Pros of Isotonics for Runners
The main use of isotonics for runners is that their sodium (in fact, the main component of table salt) stimulates thirst and significantly suppresses the production of urine and sweat. In addition, salt supplements provide faster and more efficient absorption of fluids by various tissues and cells of the body. Simple carbohydrates , in turn, as we noted above, give energy.
Despite this, scientific studies show that ordinary water is enough for training no more than 45-60 minutes. Isotonics and drinks with electrolytes are recommended exclusively for long runs and marathons - especially in hot weather conditions. In this case, athletes are advised to use isotonic not only during the race itself, but also the day before the start.
The key ingredient for making DIY isotonic is regular table salt (or Himalayan salt ). The second most important component of the composition are simple carbohydrates (honey, sugar, fruit juice). A properly prepared isotonic should have a sweet-salty taste, to improve which can be used as ordinary mint, ginger and lemon, as well as coconut water, honey or even fennel seeds.
Ingredients for Home Isotonic:
- 500 ml of water
- 500 ml fruit juice
- 1-1.2 g of salt
- mint, ginger and lemon to taste
Isotonic with rehydron
Regidron is a dietary supplement sold over the counter in pharmacies. The composition includes dextrose, sodium chloride, potassium chloride and sodium citrate dihydrate. In fact, rehydron is a mixture of mineral salts and carbohydrates, being a simple isotonic powder. A third of a teaspoon of the drug is diluted per liter of water - a bag (19 g) is enough to make 12 liters of isotonic.
After dilution of rehydron in water, sources of carbohydrates and flavorings are added to it. The amount of carbohydrates depends on the type of physical activity. The usual dose is 10 g (about 2 teaspoons) per liter, but with prolonged high-intensity workouts, the figure can reach up to 50-70 g of carbohydrates per liter. Their source can be both maltodextrin powder and honey or juice.
The recipes of homemade isotonics often include energy components - that is, caffeine in various variations. The source of caffeine can be either strong-brewed tea or instant coffee, or caffeine in tablets (sodium benzoate). In most cases, synthetic caffeine is more convenient, as it does not have an aggressive effect on the stomach - unlike strong tea.
However, recall that caffeine has both a number of advantages (first of all, it increases focus and enhances performance), as well as a number of undesirable disadvantages. In addition to the fact that caffeine is a fairly strong diuretic and increases sweating, it is able to increase the heart rate, which may be undesirable for some athletes. The source of caffeine is not critical.
Isotonics are sports drinks containing electrolyte salts and fast carbohydrates. The main benefit of taking isotonic is to restore the balance of minerals in the body and to suppress the processes of water loss. You can make an isotonic drink at home by adding regular table salt and sources of carbohydrates (honey, fruit juice) to the water.
- Effects of an isotonic beverage on autonomic regulation during and after exercise, source
- Health Risks of Consuming Sports Drinks, Energy Drinks, Fortified Waters and Other Flavored Beverages, source
- The Effect of Drinking Water and Isotonic Sports Drinks in Elite Wrestlers, source
- How to choose a sports isotonic ?, link