Sports Drinks: The ‘hype’…

23rd September 2016

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Isotonic, Hypertonic or Hypotonic?

Sports Drinks: The ‘hype’…

by Claire Senior

Isotonic, Hypertonic or Hypotonic?

There is always a lot of hype around sports drinks. If you are drinking to rehydrate, then you must look at the sugar content. The mass of sugar in your drink will affect how well it hydrates you.

Lots of fruit juices and sports drinks are hypertonic. This simply means that the sugar content of the drink is greater than that of your blood, and will result in water moving out of your blood, dehydrating you. Look for sugar content that is either equal to (isotonic), or less than (hypotonic) that of blood.

You can’t go wrong with plain water, but if you fancy a bit of taste or a sugar boost, then for hydration look for drinks with 6g of sugar per 100g or less. Better still, make your own. For example, a fruit juice with 11g of sugar per 100g mixed half and half with water will produce a hypotonic drink. 

Claire Senior


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Jon  Sykes

Jon Sykes

24 Sep 2016 at 08:28 am

Interesting points Claire. Thanks. I've started running with coconut water for long distances. Something a bit more exciting than water and feels like it gives me a good boost. The little cartons are quite useful to hold too!