How to make a great sports drink.

How to make a great sports drink.

, 2 min reading time

The following notes intend to stress the importance of having the right type of drink before, during and after training/ matches. I wrote this about 5 years ago while coaching Rugby and Football. It was intended for the junior section of those clubs and is written to suit the younger ages but, still applies to adults. Why should I bring a drink with me to training or match? It has been noted that some players still, do not bring a drink of any sort to training. This is foolish and will affect your performance, not only at training, but also during the week. Its effect may last as long as 4 days. TOP TIP 1. You should aim to be fully hydrated before exercising starts. Drinking 330ml of water between 1 and 2 hours before training ensures your body is hydrated and fully prepared for the exercise ahead. Technical bit You should aim to drink 40mls of water per kg of body weight. So a child of 40kg should drink around 1.5 ltrs per day. If you are fully hydrated before training you then need only top up to maintain that level. Small, but regular sips of water or isotonic drink are the key to high performance levels. You should aim to consume around 330mls to 500mls during training. Question Do you sweat more in hot weather or cold weather? Actually you sweat about the same. BUT the main difference is…….. you drink more liquids during the hot weather. In cold weather you tend to drink less, making you more likely to suffer dehydration. Rugby tends to be played during the cold weather, so please remember to drink to rehydrate. Top tip 2 Also, try to drink 330mls of a carbohydrate based sports drink towards the end or after training…ideally isotonic based……WHY? Another technical bit Water dilutes the sodium (salt) content in the blood and reduces the urge to drink. This means you may stop drinking before you have fully hydrated Hey, not another technical bit, Sports drinks have 2 functions:-
  • To replace body fluid levels
  • To provide a supply of carbohydrates (glucose) as a source of energy.
The more carbohydrates the drink contains, the greater the energy source. But too many carbohydrates slow down the effect of rehydration. Water, though, should still be the main source of fluid replacement but, using a sports drink as well, has additional benefits. You do not need to buy sports drinks though. They are easy to make, cost a lot less and are just as effective. The ideal sports drink is an isotonic one with approx. 6.4g carbs per 100ml. RECIPE TIME 100ml fruit cordial or squash. 250ml fruit juice 400ml water 250ml water ½ g salt(pinch) 1/2g salt(pinch) Drink chilled Drink chilled Both recipes make 500ml of isotonic drink. I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions, please ask. Coaches work hard to provide interesting, worthwhile sessions. If you do not follow the rehydration process properly then you are undoing all the hard work they have put in.


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