Electrolyte drinks are important for those who want to make up for the lost electrolytes from their body due to heavy exercising or playing a sport. You can also have the drink first thing in the morning to keep yourself energized and hydrated throughout the day. Choosing the best drink is a matter of understanding as to why it could be helpful to you and accordingly research your option, keeping a close look at things like added sugar and nutrient content. It could be a bit confusing to make sense of everything that is written on the label. But if you can identify what is added to the drink and assess whether the same is useful to you or not would help you to choose the ideal drink.
Remember the term ‘best’ is subjective. Thus, what is best for you may not be as good for others and vice-versa. However, things like chemical additives and ingredients are universal. An electrolyte drink with limited or no sugar can be considered the best for most people. If you are not able to find something useful in the store, you can choose to make the drink at home.
Contents of the drink
Before choosing an electrolyte drink, it is required to understand what is it and who needs it and the difference between the several options available today. There are competing products and different brands in any market. Knowing the reason for you to drink this is the best way to narrow down to a product. For instance, some of these drinks are primarily sugar based with no or minimal nutrients. There are others as well that are full of beneficial nutrients and minerals. Some others contain proteins and amino acids as well.
Different varieties with specific ingredients are geared toward specific audiences. It is the athletes who consume electrolyte drinks mostly. But there are people who spend most of their time working outdoors and do a lot of physical work. They can also use electrolyte drinks to replenish salts they lost through sweat.
Electrolytes are basically minerals that keep an electric charge, moving nutrients to cells and removing wastes from the cells. Electrolyte drinks replenish lost minerals and electrolytes in the body that are lost due to vigorous physical activity.
Consider the ratio of electrolyte
People lose chloride, potassium, and sodium when they undertake strenuous exercise routine. Calcium and magnesium are also lost but not in huge amounts. Take a closer look at the ingredients of the electrolyte drinks that you are considering to buy. This will point out the differences between all the available brands. You must choose the brand that replenishes all the lost essential nutrients as there are some that only replenish a few of the minerals and salts and that too in limited amounts.
Look for sugar content
Most electrolyte drinks contain carbohydrate which is used to fuel the body. However, there are some which contain a high amount of sugar, a simple carbohydrate. Studies have shown that nobody needs more than 6% of these items in their drinks. Carbohydrates are most of the times added calories that are unnecessary and manufacturers add them for taste. More than 6% to 8% carbohydrate is too much per serving is somebody is not doing athletic training for quite a long period or in hot and dry conditions.
Difference between proteins and amino acids
There are some brands who boast of protein in their drinks which seem attractive. However, the truth is that protein is not an essential ingredient for a sports or energy drink. Though drinks containing protein may lower damage to the muscles and promote endurance, it is better to drink something with amino acids instead. They are vital parts of proteins but more elemental.
Keep these important factors in mind when you shop for electrolyte drinks if you want to enjoy its benefits. As a rule of the thumb, go for the products that do not have added sugar and caffeine.