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Which Sports Drinks You Should Be Consuming And Which Should You Avoid

Which Sports Drinks You Should Be Consuming And Which Should You Avoid
By Jeremy Fullam Updated

Sports drinks are everywhere, they are regularly flaunted by top athletes and are always plastered across billboards and double decker buses.

Despite their overwhelmingly obvious presence the debate rages on as to whether these drinks provide any actual results or are they simply just another soft drink disguised as something beneficial.

We've been examining some of the most prominent sports drinks, so you don't have to.

Isotonic Drinks

Lucozade is by far the most popular sports drink out there. It comes in many forms, original, orange, tropical etc.. but the one we're concerned about is Lucozade Sport, the isotonic drink.

Isontonic drinks are not recommended for short workouts however they have been found to be useful for longer term exercising such as marathon running. Reports have found that Isotonic drink consumption gave recreational runners increased durability during long runs.

Verdict: Good for long term workouts and not harmful in the short term either

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Energy Drinks

Red Bull is most popular as a compliment to vodka but due to it's high caffeine content and sugar levels many also see it as a perfect workout drink.

Their belief is that the sugary drink provides you with a sudden jolt of energy which will get you though your workout but this is not necessarily true. The sugars and caffeine will give an energy lift, but you will be left seriously dehydrated mid work out and sometimes dizzy or faint.

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Verdict: Avoid, stick with a more natural energy source before your workout.

Coconut Water

It seems coconut water is all the rage nowadays and rightly so. It is packed with tonnes of electrolytes and offers a healthier alternative to the main brand isotonic drinks.

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Coconut water contains five times the amount of potassium that Lucozade or Powerade does making it ideal for short term workouts, as it helps with muscle cramps.

However it contains less sodium than most isotonic drinks making it less suitable for longer and more drawn out workouts.

Verdict: Great for a pre workout, and short term workouts, for longer ones stick with Lucozade

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Chocolate Milk

Chocolate milk is sometimes considered a sugary version of conventional milk, but some experts say it is the perfect drink to consume after working out thanks to it's ability to aid recovery.

Its high protein content helps your muscles to recover and its calorie content helps replenish some of the ones you've burned off mid workout.

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Some experts claim that chocolate milk is as good as, if not better for us than protein powders which tend to cost upwards of €50

Verdict:Brilliant for recovery, stick with low fat chocolate milk and you're onto a winner

Pre Workout Supplements

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Pre workout supplements promise to have you going for longer in the gym, banging out more reps without ever tiring, but are they really all they're cracked up to be?

These drinks can give you a highly energetic feeling going into the gym but they can sometimes contain up to 300mg of caffeine per serving, which equates to three cups of coffee making Red Bull seem like cordial in comparison.

The effect this has on your cardiovascular system is huge and in the long term these drinks can be very damaging for your health, they can also be quite expensive too.

Verdict: Avoid at all costs

If your ever between two minds about what to take before, during and after a workout remember there's one drink that's hugely effective whenever you drink it and that's water. Water is and always will be more important and more effective than any of the drinks on the above lists, so make sure you get your 2 litres a day.

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