Have you read some of our publications and noticed that they mention electrolyte drinks a few times? Are you a little lost because you thought that this kind of drink was to be avoided since they are sweet? Here’s the answer you’ve been waiting for.
As you can see from our post on what to eat during training, certain conditions may give you a hint that food during your activity could be relevant: training on an empty stomach, doing interval training or doing a workout longer than 60 minutes would all be relevant conditions. In this case, you need carbohydrates, fluids and electrolytes in very specific proportions since we have a maximum absorption capacity for each of them during exercise.
The electrolyte drink has these three components in the right proportions. Its bad reputation is rather related to regular consumption in an inactive context. In this case, it can be interchanged for one of its low-sugar versions if desired. On the other hand, if you need to fill up on energy during your sport, we want between 4 and 8% carbohydrates, or 40-80g of carbohydrate per liter of drink. To give you an idea, regular Gatorade is found at 6%.
You can also always make your homemade version by mixing 500mL of your favorite juice, 500mL of water and a pinch of salt. Other recipes can also be found on the internet, such as on the Quebec Maple website where keeping them in carbohydrates is indicated to help you. Good discovery!
Par : Joanie Séguin, Dt. P.
Nutristionniste, Clinique de médecine sportive AXiO