Sports Drinks and Athletic Performance Essay

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Since the creation of Gatorade in 1987 sports drinks have become a staple of American athletics. Every major sports league, including the NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL and NASCAR, are sponsored by and use Gatorade Thirst Quencher. All Sport and Powerade, two other smaller market sports drinks, have limited sponsorships of smaller sports leagues including the NCAA. The question is, how effective is Gatorade and other sports drinks in doing what it they're advertised to do? One has to wonder if the wide use of Gatorade is merely due to billions of dollars of advertising pumped in by the company or if it actually does provide some benefits to athletes. The majority of the internet research to determine the effectiveness of sports drinks will center …show more content…
Gatorade:How it Works

According to the official Gatorade web site there are four main ways in which Gatorade helps improve athletic performance and keeps our bodies functioning normally even under conditions of extreme physical exertion. First of all several of it ingredients stimulate rapid fluid absorption. Secondly it assures rapid rehydration which allows us to maintain physiological function and prevents dehydration. Third, the carbohydrates in Gatorade provide energy to working muscles. Finally it encourages you to drink more fluid. All the assertions made by Gatorade make sense but the question still remains about the overall effectiveness of Gatorade and other sports drinks. We will now take a closer look at the four major ways Gatorade is suppose to work and how it is suppose to help our athletic performance and general homeostasis.

Rapid Fluid Absorption. Rapid fluid absorption is important during strenuous athletic activity in order to avoid dehydration. According to Gatorade, research has shown that the 6% carbohydrate level and presence of salt found in their beverage is optimal for rapid fluid absorption. They also claim that as the carbohydrate level gets higher than 7% absorption is slowed and therefore fruit juices and some sports drinks aren't recommended during exercise.

Assures Rapid Rehydration. In this case consuming a "properly formulated
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