We have had discussions on the importance of staying hydrated while working out, especially during hotter summer months. Most athletes drink sports drinks like Gatorade to rehydrate during and after hard workouts.
There are varying benefits and drawbacks to consuming sports drinks. They are consumed primarily for absorption and digestion and are full of carbohydrates to prevent fatigue and sugar to help muscles perform. They also help maintain the correct amount of sodium. Sports drinks have electrolytes that assist you with the maintenance of muscle and nerve functions. During hard workouts, we burn electrolytes and if we do not rebuild them we can become dehydrated, experience muscle weakness, and have muscle contractions.
Some sports drinks may even contain certain types of proteins and sometimes even caffeine. Protein is very important to building and keeping muscle mass, so drinking sports drinks that have protein in them can help you with that. The caffeine sometimes contained in sports drinks can help aid in reaction times, heighten focus and concentration, and help fight off fatigue.
However, most sports drinks have a high quantity of sugar, so remember not to drink them too frequently. The sugar may help it taste better, but if you are not working out longer than an hour the sports drink may have the side effect of some undesired weight gain.
While practicing and preparing to Test tomorrow, a sports drink may come in handy after an hour or so of sparring, agility exercises, form demonstrations, contact skill execution, and board breaking! :-) Good luck tomorrow