Sports drinks for endurance vs water - what's best?
As the very stuff of life water's pretty important, and when you're pushing your body to the limit in the heat of an endurance event you'll want to keep those fluids topped up.
But listening to the majority of advice out there, it seems water isn't enough. We need to measure our sweat rate, train our guts, chug salt caps, measure water intake, and drink before we're even thirsty.
Let's just try some common sense for a minute.
We have been on this planet for over two million years, and have spent 99.999% of that time happily running all over the place without anything more to drink than water.
So where is all this great advice coming from telling us water won't cut it?
Funnily enough, most is from the very people selling us the alternatives they're telling us we need. Unbelievable.
- Ah, the essentials of modern exercise: a towel, some fake sweat, and a technical drink. It's bright blue so it must be good. Seriously, if someone gave you a drink this colour in any other setting, would you even consider drinking it? Thought not
So it's refreshing at last to hear some outstanding common sense on the subject of drinking and endurance from large-brained longterm running expert, Professor Tim Noakes.
He makes an impeccable case for some very simple things:
1 Only drink when you're thirsty - your body's own mechanisms for detecting and alerting you to thirst are so infinitely better than anything the Acme Sports Drink co have conjoured up in a lab test there's just no contest
2 Water is all you need
3 Erm, that's it
It really is that simple. As for sports nutrition drinks claiming to outperform good old (free) water? Don't believe the hype.
Don't just take our word for it either - hear from Professor Noakes himself in this most excellent podcast from the equally excellent Trailrunner Nation team.
Prepare to have everything you thought you knew about drinking for endurance and sports nutrition drinks turned on its head.
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