In 2006, Powerade launched the Powerade Isotonic formulation of Powerade sports drinks. Powerade Isotonic is designed to be in balance with your body's fluids to give you fast hydration and energy when you need it most. For those who train hard and push their body to the limits, sports drinks can be a key component to maintaining performance. Water alone isn't enough when you are playing intensive or endurance sport. Your body needs more.
What does “isotonic” mean?
The term isotonic means that the fluid has the same concentration of “solutes” (i.e. particles) as that found in your blood and cells. This means that when you ingest it, other fluid does not shift into your gut to dilute it; instead, the fluid in the isotonic drink just readily crosses over into the bloodstream.
What is in a sports drink such as Powerade
Most sports drinks comprise three main ingredients, electrolytes, carbohydrates, and water.
Electrolytes = essential salts
Powerade Isotoniccontains two essential electrolytes - Sodium and Potassium. Your body loses these salts in sweat and it is important they are replaced. The electrolytes in Powerade Isotonic work in two main ways:
There is also evidence that consuming sodium-containing sport drinks, like Powerade Isotonic, stops your thirst mechanism from being switched off prematurely1,2. Although we often look for drinks to “quench our thirst”, you also want to use your thirst to tell you whether you still need to drink more.
Carbohydrates = Energy for Muscles.
Carbohydrate is the main fuel source for muscles when working at a moderate to high intensity (i.e. at jogging pace or faster), and late in prolonged endurance exercise3. It is also the preferred fuel source for the brain4. We have a limited capacity to store carbohydrate (glucose or glycogen) in our body, so those who exercise regularly will require additional supplies from their diet to maintain adequate stores. Studies have shown that providing carbohydrate during exercise results in better exercise performance in sessions of as little as one hour of very high intensity5,6; for sessions of intermittent high intensity exercise, such as football and rugby3,4,7 and for more prolonged (greater than 90 mins) endurance exercise such as long distance running and triathlons3,4,7.
Why drink a sports drink, as opposed to water?
The two main perspectives which differentiate a sports drink from water alone are the additional supply of fuel (carbohydrates) and electrolytes with the hydration. Also several studies have provided evidence that people will drink more of a flavoured drink than an unflavoured one1,6. Hence, a refreshing, palatable drink such as Powerade Isotonicwill generally be consumed more readily, thereby further enhancing total fluid intake and reducing the risk of dehydration. Powerade Isotoniccomes in a great range of flavours, all of which make it easier for you to keep drinking the amount you need to stay hydrated.
1. Wilk B., Bar-Or O. 1996. Effect of drink flavour and NaCl on voluntary drinking and hydration in boys exercising in heat. J. Appl. Physiol. 80: 1112-1117.
2. Wemple R., Morocco T., Mack G. 1997. Influence of sodium replacement on fluid ingestion following exercise-induced dehydration. Int. J. Sport Nutr. 7: 104-116.
3. Coyle E.F. 2004. Fluid and fuel intake during exercise. J. Sports Sci. 22: 39-55.
4. Maughan R. 2006. Fluid and CHO intake during exercise. In: Burke LM and Deakin V. (Eds). Clinical Sports Nutrition, 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill: Sydney. pp 385-415.
5. Jeukendrup A., Brouns F., Wagenmakers A.J., Saris W.H. 1997. Carbohydrate-electrolyte feedings improve 1 h time trial cycling performance. Int. J. Sports Med. 18: 125-129.
6. Below P., Mora-Rodriguez R., Gonzalez-Alonso J., Coyle E. 1995. Fluid and carbohydrate ingestion indpendently improve performance during 1 h of intense exercise. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., 27: 200-210.
7. Sawka M.N., Burke L.M., Eichner E.R., Maughan R.J., Montain S.J., Stachenfeld N.S. 2007. ACSM Position Stand - Exercise and Fluid Replacement. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 39: 377-390.
8. Maughan R. 2006. Fluid and CHO intake during exercise. In: Burke LM and Deakin V. (Eds). Clinical Sports Nutrition, 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill: Sydney. pp 385-415.