Posted by: megan | 2004/01/06

i need help finding data for a project

Hi, my name is megan layton and i live in the virgin islands. As a requierment for school i have to do a science fair project, and i have choosen to do a project testing which sports drinks ( or gels) are best after strenous exercise. My problem is that i have to write a background research paper on it and i don't know what else is releated to electroyles that i can tie into my paper. Any ideas and help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. megan

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Our expert says:
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Hi Megan

There is so much on this topic that you can find, that I wish I could send you everything I have (but that would not be a good lesson in eduction, so I won’t!). Instaed, I will try to point you in the right direction.

The two very important things with these sports drinks are 1) the carbohydrate content, and 2) the electrolyte content.

So, you need to look up how much carbohydrate they contain. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy during exercise, and must be replaced. Now, the ideal concentration of carbs is anywhere between 6 and 12%, for various reasons, which you can research. So, most of the products have concentrations somewhere around 7 to 9%. Also, you must look at what type of carbs they are – they could for example be glucose, glucose polymer or fructose. This might be a little harder to find out, but it would be good to try. What I can tell you is that fructose is absorbed a little more slowly from the gut, and so is maybe not as good as glucose.

Then, in terms of electrolytes, it is probably easier to find information. You should not have too much difficulty there. The one thing that you must say, and this is a little controversial, is that most sports drinks contain about 19mg of sodium per 100 ml, whereas sweat contains in excess of 100 mg per 100 ml. Therefore, it is not possible to replace all the sodium and electrolyte losses by drinking during exercise, as these products often claim. However, this is not important, because the body adapts and you replace this when you are finished. However, it’s interesting that all these companies claim to be replacing what you lose, when in fact they are not.

I hope this helps.

If you have any specific questions, please let me know

Good luck

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