Sports Drinks and Athletic Performance

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Since the creation of Gatorade in 1987 sports drinks have become a staple of American athletics. Every major sports league, including the NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL and NASCAR, are sponsored by and use Gatorade Thirst Quencher. All Sport and Powerade, two other smaller market sports drinks, have limited sponsorships of smaller sports leagues including the NCAA. The question is, how effective is Gatorade and other sports drinks in doing what it they're advertised to do? One has to wonder if the wide use of Gatorade is merely due to billions of dollars of advertising pumped in by the company or if it actually does provide some benefits to athletes. The majority of the internet research to determine the effectiveness of sports drinks will center on Gatorade because it is the only sports drink with significant information on the internet. It shouldn't be too much of problem comparing sports drinks due to the fact that most of the sports drinks have rather similar ingredients.

The major reason anyone drinks fluid before, during and after physical activity is to replace the water that is lost through sweat. If the water isn't replaced dehydration will occur and performance will be hampered. The purpose of Gatorade and other sports drinks is to help rehydrate your body quickly and help improve performance and productivity. This is accomplished through a well balanced mix of water, sugar (carbohydrates) and salts (electrolytes), the major ingredients in most sports drinks. These ingredients, combined with a variety of fruit flavors, create pleasant tasting drinks that according to the companies are suppose to help your athletic performance. Three major problems we face every day from physical exertion is the loss of water and electrolytes...

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...paper is to help people understand more about sports drinks before they decide whether or not to use them. Overall, your athletic performance will not decline because you don't use Gatorade, but in the search for ways to improve athletic performance the use of sports drinks is a very good place to start.


Internet Sites Used.

Research Articles.

Burke,L.M. (1993). Dietary supplements in sports. Sports Medicine, 15(1), 43-65.

Davis,J.M. (1990). Fluid availability of sports drinks differing in carbohydrate type and concentration. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 51(6), 1054-7.

Ryan, A.J.(1991). Consumption of carbonated and noncarbonated sports drinks during prolonged treadmill exercise in the heat.International Journal of Sports Nutrition 1 (3),225-39
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