Yahoo! Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo! Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo! every day. Learn more »Yahoo! Contributor Network
Three Factors an Athlete Should Consider Before Buying Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are great for an athlete because they can help give him or her needed sodium, which can prevent dehydration during sports. Sports drinks are also wonderful for an athlete since they can give him or her energy during sports, and can replenish energy lost during the sport. When an athlete goes to the grocery store to purchase sports drinks, there are a lot of things he or she needs to consider before buying a certain product, in order to get the best results during the sport.
Here are three factors that an athlete should consider before buying sports drinks, which can help improve his or her game, and overall health.
Watch Out For High Carbohydrates
An athlete looking to buy sports drinks should watch out for those that contain high levels of carbohydrates, because this can interfere with his or her athletic performance. Drinks that contain high levels of carbohydrates can lead to an athlete feeling bloated, gassy, and can slow down the overall digestive process. Most sports drinks contain fewer than 8% of carbohydrates, which is a safe level for an athlete, but some sports drinks do contain more, and this could lead to stomach problems for him or her. Carbohydrates are an important part of the diet for an athlete, but having too many can lead to negative side effects, which might even cause him or her to have stomach cramps while engaged in the sport.
Stay Away From Sugary Sports Drinks
An athlete should also take into consideration the amount of sugar that is in the sports drinks, because too much sugar can really affect him or her negatively. A sports drink should not have a lot of sugar in it, although some sugar is needed to keep the body in balance. An athlete should not choose sports drinks that contain more than a few grams of sugar, because it could lead to stomach cramps, bloating, and can cause glucose levels within the body to sharply rise. An athlete with diabetes is at the highest risk for negative side effects from sugary sports drinks, since he or she is more vulnerable to hyperglycemia after consuming the beverage. Most sports drinks on the market contain no sugar or very low amounts of sugar, but it is something to watch out for, especially when purchasing a new brand or type of sports drink.
Look at the Sodium Content
An athlete should always look for the sodium content in each sports drink, before considering purchasing that particular product. The sodium content for a sports drink should be 110 to 220 milligrams for every 8 fluid ounces, and an athlete should not consume more than this amount. Sodium is an important factor in sports drinks, because it is what helps an athlete replenish sodium in the body, which is lost through sweat during sports. An athlete does not want to purchase a sports drink with a low amount of sodium, since it will do little to stop dehydration, and might not quench the thirst during sports. Every athlete should be on the lookout for sports drinks claiming to contain higher amounts of sodium, since these sports drinks might not really be as good as claimed, and he or she might waste his or her money. The amount of sodium contained in the drink will also depend upon the flavor of the drink, so an athlete should compare flavors in each drink, since the content might be higher in one than the other.
Jeanne Rose worked as a dietary clerk for three years in a hospital, obtained certification in nurse assisting, and also went to vocational school for Allied Health.
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.