Water, sugar, salt: the key ingredients in sports drinks


As of September 2017, new Sweat Science columns are being published at www.outsideonline.com/sweatscience. Check out my bestselling new book on the science of endurance, ENDURE: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, published in February 2018 with a foreword by Malcolm Gladwell.

- Alex Hutchinson (@sweatscience)


[UPDATE: See this post for a homebrew recipe]

New Jockology column posted here, on sports drinks:

If you’re an old-school type who thinks plain water is all you need, consider this puzzling fact: Rinsing your mouth with a drink containing carbohydrates will boost your athletic performance, even if you don’t swallow and can’t taste the carbs. [keep reading]

The column takes a look at which ingredients you need (and which you don’t) to keep you fuelled and hydrated during intense exercise. I’ve received a couple of e-mails already asking for recipes for “home-brewed” sports drinks. That’s an excellent question, and I’ll do a little research then post something in the next few days. In the meantime, if anyone has any recipes to suggest, please post them!

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