Water, in general, does not contain electrolytes (for example, sodium, potassium and chloride) that people lose through sweating.
Based on this, water does not assist with fuel needs of some people, depending on the type of physical activity they are engaged in, said senior dietitian Joanna Tan from Changi General Hospital.
Sports drinks, on the other hand, contain between four and eight per cent of carbohydrates and electrolytes. They are better options for meeting fluid and carbohydrate requirements simultaneously following a long workout.
Water is more than sufficient to replenish fluid requirements for non-endurance physical activities – those that are less than 30 minutes – as well as skill-based sports with little aerobic requirements, such as shooting, bowling and archery.
People taking part in physical activities lasting beyond an hour may want to consider taking sports drinks. In addition, sports drinks may taste better than water, and this could make people more inclined to stay hydrated.
Text by Mind & Body, Straits Times. Image: Thinkstock