A Brief History Of Sports Drinks– By Coach Paulsen

September 15, 2014

Postedon September 1

Written by WildernessAthlete on August 13, 2012Everyone knows about “sports drinks”, but few know why they actually became so popular. In the mid-to-late ‘60s, researchers stumbled upon the fact that water which included a sugar/carbohydrate solution of around 6%-8% sped up the body’s ability to absorb and utilize those fluids. This became known as “active transport” of fluids. While water itself is the obvious natural hydrator, it’s actually absorbed through osmosis, slowly “leaking” into the body. This is a slower process than active transport. When physical demands on the body are such that immediate hydration is required, sports drinks are scientifically proven to be superior.

The added benefit of sports drink-derived sugars and carbs in the bloodstream is that they provide another energy source for the athlete who may be fatigued due to depleted muscle glycogen and blood sugar. The most current research indicates that by adding some select amino acids (protein subunits), the body can repair/recover much faster than with the sugar/carbohydrate solution alone. It’s important to note that if the drink solution becomes too dense (over 8% concentration), the speed of absorption will be reduced below that of water alone. So, there’s a balancing act for active transport to be effective. Current research also indicates that including the electrolytes sodium and potassium can immediately replenish those vital minerals that were lost during physically demanding activities. Balanced electrolytes are absolutely necessary for optimizing physical performance.

Finally, by producing drinks that were flavorful, it became quite apparent that the more palatable the product, the more the athlete would consume. And voila, a multi-billion-dollar empire was created! In a pinch, these over-the-counter commodity products work, but for a specialized version, Wilderness Athlete Hydrate & Recover is set well above all others.

Not only does WA Hydrate & Recover incorporate an optimum sodium/potassium ratio based on the most recent science, but you’ll also find an astounding amount of goodies incorporated while still keeping within the magic 6%-8% solution concentration. How about 1000mg of vitamin C, synergistic vitamin and mineral support, and 250mg of glucosamine (to hydrate the tissue surrounding the joints for more comfortable mobility)? Plus, Hydrate & Recover includes amino acids (for muscle repair/recovery), natural herbs for superior oxygen utilization, and just enough carbs/sugars to help fuel you when the going gets tough.

Donʼt kid yourself; dehydration is no joke. If you’ve ever experienced it at its worst, you can attest to the miserable feeling that comes with it. Be smart and stay hydrated for a much safer and more enjoyable outdoor experience.


Go Further, Stronger. -Coach P.


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