In October 2015, POWERADE launched POWERADE ION4, the next generation of isotonic sports drinks.
POWERADE ION4 contains four electrolytes - Sodium, Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium - and 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 ION4?
Most sports drinks comprise three main ingredients, electrolytes, carbohydrates, and water.
POWERADE ION4 contains four electrolytes – Sodium, Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium – lost in sweat. Sodium and Potassium help you to retain fluid so you stay hydrated, as well as maintaining your blood volume, sweat rate and muscle blood flow. Without these electrolytes your urinary output increases (ie. water passes straight through) and you won’t remain hydrated.
There is also evidence that consuming sodium-containing sport drinks, , 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.
Calcium and magnesium, also found in sweat, help athletes meet their daily requirements of these electrolytes or minerals.
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
POWERADE ION4 provides additional carbohydrates (sucrose & maltodextrin) to provide the energy that muscles need when working out.
Adding carbohydrate to a fluid has been shown to assist fluid absorption from the gut and intestine (provided the concentration of carbohydrate is not too high)8.
The amount of carbohydrate in Powerade ION4 is designed to be appropriate for the body to absorb in exercise.
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.
Powerade Zero is designed for those people wanting to rehydrate with an electrolyte solution, but not the added sugar. So whilst Powerade Zero will not provide additional energy when you are working out, it’s handy level of electrolytes can be used in addition to Powerade ION4 during or after exercise, instead of plain water, to help rehydrate you fast and keep urine loss to a minimum.