24/06/2024

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Sports Drinks versus Electrolytes

Sports Drinks versus Electrolytes

Training in the summer heat?

What do you reach for to stay hydrated and fueled?

When it comes to staying hydrated, knowing when to reach for plain water, an electrolyte supplement, or a sports drink can dramatically impact your performance.

But what’s the difference? And does it matter?

The answer is a resounding “YES”, and I encourage you to also watch my video: How to Prevent Dehydration with Electrolytes to learn why electrolytes matter!

Now let’s clear up the confusion about when you need a sports drink versus an electrolyte supplement.

There are six kinds of electrolytes that provide the very vital function of carrying an electric charge throughout the body to beat your heart, which carries oxygen to your muscles. They are also needed for your cells to absorb water. We get them from foods and salt, or electrolyte supplements.

What’s in a Sports Drink?

In addition to electrolytes, they contain sugars, carbohydrates, potassium, and sodium, so they provide the added boost of carbohydrates.

How do you know which to choose? Why would you want to choose a sports drink with additional carbohydrates instead of straight electrolytes with a tablet or salt?

I discuss the guidelines of which to choose in this video, depending on your length of time training in the heat, as well as how to get the right amount with a combination of foods. 

Be sure to check out my other blogs:

How to Make Your Own Sports Drink

Staying Hydrated: A Step-By-Step Approach to Calculating Sweat Rate


Need customized support for your training or fitness goals?

Contact me to schedule a free 30-minute consultation, so we can discuss your particular situation and goals.


Are you losing steam while training? If you’re feeling anything less than fully energized in your training sessions, you need to address this right now, or you will not realize your performance goals! Download this free report:

3 Reasons You’re Running Out of Energy While Training


Want to get stronger, faster and healthier so you can PR your next race/competition, improve your relationship with food and feel confident in your body? Join the Sustainable Sports Nutrition Academy! This 100% online, self-study program compiles everything I’ve learned as a Sports Dietitian for over 10 years. Check out everything that’s included –

The Sustainable Sports Nutrition Academy