July 20, 2012

Operation Hydration: Water over sugary sports drinks

People sometimes believe that sports drinks are among the healthiest ways to stay energized while being active. Your body loses electrolytes when sweating, and it is true that sugary sports drinks can help replenish those electrolytes. As Titleist Performance Institute co-founder Dr. Greg Rose tells us, though, there are other ways to replenish electrolytes that are healthier in the long run.

Dr. John Berardi of the TPI Advisory Board explains in the following video that sports drinks can be helpful in replenishing your sugar levels when the duration of activity is longer than 90 minutes. While a round of golf lasts longer than that, Dr. Barardi goes on to explain that even one bottled sports drink probably contains more sugar than necessary during extended exercise. As an alternative to sports drinks, consider pairing water with fruits, vegetables and other snacks that can provide the necessary sugar along with other nutrients.

If you do turn to sugary sports drinks during play, you are better off taking only a few swigs over the course of a round (What's a swig?). As Dr. Berardi mentions, a portion of a bottle is usually enough sugar for an athlete, even when activity lasts for hours.

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