To avoid dehydration and get the most out of yourself and out of your sports drink, you should drink before, during, and after sport. POWERADE ION4 is perfect for each of these times.
How can POWERADE help me before sport?
Drinking sports drinks, such as POWERADE ION4, before intense exercise helps to ensure that you begin in a well hydrated and well fuelled state. This can be particularly useful if you find it difficult to eat, or find you need many bathroom stops prior to exercising. Starting exercise well hydrated is vital; leaving it until you are on the field or track may be too late. This is particularly crucial for longer duration exercise, or activity undertaken in hot, humid conditions, and even for people whose primary exercise is actually manual labour. Sports drinks like POWERADE ION4 can also help you start with plenty of energy.
How do I make sure that I start my exercise optimally hydrated?
Unfortunately drinking one litre of fluid half an hour before starting your session isn’t going to rehydrate you effectively. Instead, this should be undertaken over a period of at least several hours, with around 400-600ml in the 2hr before exercise1. A good hint is to set up a hydration strategy that suits your lifestyle. Athletes need to ensure they continue their fluid intake consistently in between training sessions.
If you are working, ensure that you have access to fluids at hand.
Some suggestions include:
Set a timer on your computer/watch to remind you to drink something every hour.
Take a drink bottle to work/uni/school and keep it in sight all the time. If you work outdoors, keep it in an chilly bin to keep the fluid cool.
Set up a dispenser in your workplace so you always have chilled drinks on hand.
Always have something to drink when you have a meal, as many nutrients in meals can help promote adequate hydration2.
Keep an eye on your urine output throughout the day. Aim to keep it reasonably clear in colour most of the day (although this doesn't count if you've just recently consumed a large volume of fluid in one hit).
Fluids can include water, milk, juice, sports drinks, cordial, soft drinks, tea and coffee and can all be “counted” towards total fluid intakes over the day, although you need to consider the impact of their energy content as well.
How can POWERADE help me during sport?
Regular replacement of fluid is the main consideration during any sports event. During exercise, POWERADE ION4 is designed for optimal provision of fluid and fuel. It is recommended to use POWERADE ION4 during training sessions before using it in competition, in order to determine your own individual stomach (gastrointestinal) comfort. You may be able to train your gut to tolerate more fluid if you build your fluid intake gradually1. This can be in the form of plain water for shorter bouts of exercise, but for longer events the fluid should also include small amounts of carbohydrate, like that found in POWERADE ION4.
In the early 1900’s, it was believed that people shouldn’t drink during exercise as it was bad for you. Not drinking was meant to “toughen you up”. However, research has shown that drinking during many forms of exercise is actually good for you. Obviously, in many sports and forms of exercise, it’s not practical to drink – such as a 100m sprint, a judo bout, or during an Olympic rowing or kayaking race! If you’re only exercising at a low to moderate intensity for a relatively short time (less than 20-30 minutes), especially in cool weather, then there is no need to take on fluid during the session as you should be sufficiently hydrated before hand.
Why should I drink during exercise?
There are various effects that dehydration has on both performance and on the body during exercise. Please refer to the section on DEHYDRATION for more information.
What should I drink?
The choice of what you drink partly depends on the duration of exercise, the environmental conditions, and personal preference. In exercise of 60 minutes or longer, especially in the heat, there is good evidence supporting the use of a sports drink (such as POWERADE ION4) over water due to both the electrolytes and the carbohydrate in the drink. If you're not a good drinker, then having fluid with some flavour in it will help you drink more4,5. However, if you're exercising for less than an hour and in cool conditions, then water may be adequate.
How can POWERADE help me after sport?
POWERADE ION4 is ideal for fast replenishment of fluid and fuel to muscles to get you ready for the next training session. This is particularly important for those doing more than one training session per day. It is well recognised that even though sweat rates vary considerably between individuals, voluntary fluid intakes during exercise generally only meet around 50% of fluid needs. Hence, most people finish exercise dehydrated.
Why is rehydrating important?
Rehydrating is important for many reasons, but basically it’s to get the body’s system back into shape as quickly as possible after exercise. If you don’t rehydrate effectively, you can suffer the ongoing effects of dehydration for many hours after exercise – including tiredness, the inability to concentrate, and dull headaches. For those who exercise at least once a day, the failure to rehydrate generally means they may start the next exercise session in a dehydrated state.
When should I rehydrate?
Rehydration should start as soon as practical after exercise, with the overall goal to consume 150 % of the fluid you lost during the session in the next few hours6. For example, if you lost 1 kg (1000g) mass during the exercise session, you need to drink 1.5L (1500ml) in the next one to two hours. The reason you drink more than what you sweated is to account for the fact that you continue sweating even when you stop exercising (at least until the body’s core temperature returns to normal), and because inevitably some of this volume will end up as urine. It is better to drink to a plan over a period of time, rather than in a haphazard way or all in one go! Planning is especially important in older adults whom, it is now known, have a reduced thirst sensitivity when dehydrated7. As most of us already know the ‘one hit’ drinking plan will generally only result in more of the fluid going into the toilet, not to mention making you feel extremely bloated and uncomfortable! BUT, it doesn’t stop there – continue to drink regularly throughout the day, rather than just at meals, in order to maintain hydration levels. If you drank well during the exercise session and didn’t lose any weight, don’t forget that you still need to drink afterwards as well, as you’ll continue sweating for a while.
What should I drink?
After prolonged or intense exercise sports drinks can help you rehydrate because they contain water, sodium and carbohydrates. Other fluids may be also used to rehydrate, however, they may not be as efficient. For example, water on its own has not been shown to be effective in rehydrating over a four hour period where individuals had dehydrated nearly 2 % during exercise in the heat8. Similarly, most soft drinks don’t contain enough sodium, which is the key electrolyte influencing rehydration, so would be as ineffective as water in rehydrating you. Despite the commonly held belief that caffeine-containing fluids further dehydrate you, research now shows that caffeine at moderate doses does not promote dehydration at rest or during exercise. However, such beverages also do not provide improved rehydration compared to water or a non-caffeinated drink9. If you’re going to eat a meal soon after exercise, then water should be a sufficient rehydration fluid10 since the meal generally contributes electrolytes and nutrients which help promote uptake of the fluid you consume (Note: some foods contribute fluid themself - such as fruit, vegetables and dairy products)7.
If you don’t plan on eating, then a sports drink has the advantage of sodium (salt) which helps your body retain and use the fluid more effectively, as well as carbohydrate to help recover muscle fuel stores. The other advantage of a sports drink is that it doesn’t switch your thirst receptors off prematurely – in other words, it keeps you sensing “thirst” until such time that you are adequately rehydrated.