Hypotonic, Isotonic & Hypertonic Sports Drinks

October 6, 2011

If you like to hit your workouts hard and stay at it for longer than most, two issues are eventually going to be working against you: hydration and glycogen depletion. Fortunately, there are performance beverages that support both of these needs.

Hypotonic drinks put the emphasis on hydration support and have the lowest levels of carbohydrates for glycogen replenishment -- typically around 3% to 4%. Isotonic drinks provide an even balance of support with 6% to 8% carbs. And Hypertonic drinks bring the carbs on strong, sometimes containing as much as 50 and 70 grams.

A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism analyzed the impact each of these beverages had on 11 experienced cyclists who rode for 2 hours at 55% peak power before a time trial to exhaustion. With only a statistically insignificant 1.2% difference between the formulas, stick with the option you like best...until something better comes along. It turns out that micronutrients can have a more dramatic impact on performance. Read the study on today's Breaking News post at Optimumnutrition.com