Monday, September 14, 2009


Sports Drinks for Hydration of Kayakers, IKers, Rafters, Canoers, Innertubers & Paddleboaters.

Good hydration from isotonic sports drinks maintains your strength and endurance during a long day of paddle boating on the river.

Sports drinks are definitely better than plain water for fluid replacement and keeping you hydrated while boating. Maintaining optimum hydration helps maintain your muscle function and sports performance during a long, hard day trip paddling down the river. Here is some more information that I found online.

Sports Drinks : Health Topics: University of Iowa Health Care.
"Sports drinks are very effective in reducing dehydration. Drink them during or after hard work or long exercise sessions, not before. Sports drinks rehydrate the body faster and more thoroughly than water alone. Thirst is prolonged by the minerals in sports drinks. This keeps people drinking until fully rehydrated."

Staying Hydrated? No Sweat! - Cleveland Clinic.
"For events lasting longer than an hour, Mrs. Bock recommends sports drinks containing carbohydrates (not greater than 8 percent) and electrolytes. Sports drinks taste good, are absorbed quickly, provide fuel (replenishing glycogen), restore electrolytes (potassium and sodium) and help decrease fatigue. ... Steer clear of caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and soda, says Mrs. Bock. Caffeine acts as a diuretic and can (in)crease urine output and lead to dehydration."

Sports drink mantra dilutes the facts - Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"there are two quite separate mechanisms for absorbing water from your gut into your blood stream: an active mechanism, as well as a passive mechanism. The active pathway can shift 10 to 100 times more water than the passive one. It needs both glucose and sodium to work, and it uses these chemicals to drag water out of the gut into your body."

Q&A Marathon Hydration and Nutrition - USA Triathlon.
"Look for a sports drink/beverage with electrolytes and carbohydrate to help replace the electrolytes you lose in sweat, promote rapid absorption, and supply energy especially during long distance events."

Hydrate and make sure you achieve peak sporting performance - Stand Up Paddle Surfing Magazine.
"Plain water is not particularly well absorbed from the intestines across into the body. Putting electrolytes into the fluid helps the water get dragged across the intestinal wall into the body. Putting carbohydrate into drinks can also help fluid move from the intestines into the body, but on the flip side, it slows the rate at which fluid leaves the stomach and enters the intestines."

Lab Notes : Sports Drinks : No Swallowing Necessary - Newsweek Magazine blog.
"carbohydrates in the drinks fit into receptors in the mouth that in turn activate the brain’s pleasure and reward centers, spurring athletes to push themselves harder without realizing how hard they're working."

Which Fluid Hydrates Best: Water or a Sports Drink ? |
"Why do sports drinks hydrate better than water? There are three reasons. First, fluids are absorbed through the gut and into the bloodstream faster when their osmolality closely matches that of body fluids such as blood. Osmolality is the concentration of dissolved particles in a fluid. Sports drinks contain dissolved minerals (sodium, etc.) and carbohydrates, whereas water doesn't, so water doesn't reach the bloodstream as quickly. (Second,) Sodium and other nutrients also play important roles in regulating fluid balance in the body. In other words, they help determine how much fluid enters into muscle fibers and other cells, how much remains in the blood, and so forth. Again, because sports drinks contain these nutrients, they do a better job of allowing the body to maintain optimal fluid balance, which is an important aspect of hydration that few athletes consider. A third advantage of sports drinks over water with respect to hydration is that the sodium content of sports drinks stimulates thirst, so athletes usually drink more when they have a sports drink than when they have plain water."

Sports Drinks - BrianMAC Sports Coach.
"Two main factors affect the speed at which fluid from a drink gets into the body: the speed at which it is emptied from the stomach and the rate at which it is absorbed through the walls of the small intestin. The higher the carbohydrate levels in a drink the slower the rate of stomach emptying. Isotonic drinks with a carbohydrate level of between 6 and 8% are emptied from the stomach at a rate similar to water. Electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium, in a drink will reduce urine output, enable the fluid to empty quickly from the stomach, promote absorption from the intestine and encourage fluid retention."

Sports drinks : vital for hydration or a waste of money? | Life and style - Guardian News.
"... for exercise lasting more than 60 minutes, an isotonic sports drink is recommended," says Wendy Martinson, registered dietician and sports nutritionist." "An isotonic drink ... contains a 6-8% carbohydrate solution, which is absorbed into the body more rapidly than water, as well as providing energy. A sports drink should also contain approximately 50mg of sodium per 100ml, along with smaller amounts of the other electrolytes, such as potassium and chloride, which are lost in sweat. Morgan highlights another important consideration: palatability. 'Studies show clearly that if you don't like the taste of a sports drink, you won't consume enough of it.' "

Sports Drinks | Science & Technology | Chemical & Engineering News.
"... as performance enhancers these drinks really help athletes and people who are out there for an hour or more."

Hydration Tips: Guide To Sports Drinks - Men's Health magazine.
Discusses when to drink or to avoid water, sports drinks, endurance sports drinks, enhanced waters, energy drinks, recovery drinks, juice & soft drinks, oxygenated water.

Sports Medicine Advisor - Fluids and Hydration - Univ Michigan Health System.
"Researchers have found that the fluid from an 8-ounce serving of a sports drink with 6% carbohydrates (sugars) and about 110 mg of sodium absorbs into your body faster than plain water."

Athletes & Hydration: Good Hydration Gives You A Performance Edge - The Diet Channel.
"Caffeine and alcohol act as diuretics, which cause the body to lose excess water and thus putting you at-risk for dehydration."

Sports Drinks: Are they effective in improving Athletic Performance? - Health Psychology Vanderbilt Univ.
"... research has shown that for endurance events and athletic competitions Gatorade and other sports drinks are very effective in preventing dehydration and, unlike water, can provide carbohydrate energy to working muscles, stimulate rapid rehydration and can actually encourage you to drink enough fluid to avoid dehydration ..."

Paddleboaters need hydration, carbohydrates and electrolytes to maintain paddling power, performance and endurance during a daytrip on the river.

The USA Triathalon team and many other sources recommend that people who are active for many hours need to replenish fluids, sugar and electrolytes frequently to maintain strength and endurance. I have no illusion of beng fit enough to compete in a triathalon, but at the end of a long, hard day of kayaking I have used up most of what my muscle fitness can produce and I am almost as exhausted as a triathlete at the finish line. If there is something I can eat or drink to allow me to run more whitewater rapids, surf more waves, catch more eddies, etc. then I want to know all about it!!

Of course you can drink plain water while paddleboating down the river if you want. Of course, to maintain your best paddling strength and endurance throughout a long, hard day of paddling you will need to replenish the carbohydrates that fuel your muscles and replace the electrolytes lost in your sweat. If you stop very frequently to take a small bite of food and get a drink of plain water you could maintain good hydration and nutrition during a river boating trip. Hey, lets get real here! I don't remember anybody I've ever paddled with who stops more than once per hour to drink and eat during a river trip. Most of us don't want to be bothered breaking the seal on a granola bar, eating one bite, then carefully stowing it away where it won't get wet so we can take another bite after a half-hour or so. And who can remember to eat & drink that often when its almost your turn on the surfing wave and there is always another big rapid or surfing wave just a little ways downstream.

Sports drinks are a marvel of modern sports science!! A carefully calculated low level of sugar provides some rapid-burning fuel for your muscles that passes quickly from stomach to intestines and into your body for transport to your muscles. The flavor and sugar makes the drink taste good, or at least a little better than plain, old boring water so you are likely to drink more of it. The low level of electrolytes is cleverly designed to replace the salts you lose in your sweat and to further stimulate your thirst mechanism. Yes, its true that sports drinks are absolutely designed to avoid quenching your thirst! This helps to keep you drinking more liquid, more often to keep up with what your body needs to maintain your hydration, strength and endurance on a long paddleboating daytrip.

Drinks containing caffeine or alcohol stimulate our kidneys to pass more liquid out of our bodies. Once you understand that these are "dehydration fluids," you can plan better how these drinks fit into your daily fluid intake, if at all. It is tempting to use caffeinated drinks for a morning pick-me-up or to help improve our sports performance. If you do, then it is doubly extra critical to maintain extra high fluid intake throughout your day of paddleboating on the river to avoid losing sports performance due to dehydration of your muscles.

And I believe that we should all prehydrate by starting to drink our sports drinks while driving to the river, running shuttle, etc. Some of us will start the day already dehydrated from our previous day of activities and low fluid intake. Some of us will be dehydrated from our normal morning routine of dehydration drinks like coffee, tea or energy drinks. So if you care about maintaining optimum hydration throughout an all-day river trip, then it seems clear that you should begin your prehydration routine long before you launch your boat on the river. Lets finish that first bottle of sports drink before launching our boats!!

And when we get to take-out many of us like to share a beer with the great friends we have been boating with all day. If you are very dehydrated as you arrive at takeout, then immediately having a dehydration fluid like beer may not be so smart. Maybe you should first drink one more quart of hydration fluid and delay that beer until your group shuttles back to put-in or stops for dinner on the way home.

Home-made sports drink recipes help to prevent dehydration during & after extreme workouts!

Hydration Fruit-Ade homemade sports drink made from natural fruit juice - BRT Insights.
Hydration Cool-Ade Homemade Sports Drink - BRT Insights.
After Sports Drinks Provide Carbohydrate & Protein - BRT Insights.

More about:
Go Green with Homemade Sports Drinks - The Succulent Wife's Favorite Things 02nov2009.
Paddle boaters need good hydration for optimum paddling performance - BRT Insights 09sept2009.
Food & Drink for Outdoor Activities - BRT Insights.

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