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Are isotonic drinks good for footballers?

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  • What exactly are isotonic drinks?
  • Are isotonic drinks healthy?
  • What are isotonic drinks made of?
  • Can you make isotonic drinks yourself?
  • Are iso drinks useful for footballers?
  • Conclusion: Isotonic drinks are often unnecessary

Athletes should quickly return to isotonic drinks Energy and minerals take care of. Many manufacturers advertise high vitamin and low calorie content. But, is this really the truth? And when do these drinks really make sense for footballers?

What exactly are isotonic drinks?

The iso drinks from the supermarket are usually called „Iso-Sports-Drink“, “Active” or “Iso Sport” and often taste like grapefruit or lemon. They taste sweet, but usually have less sugar than classic soft drinks. In contrast to fruit juices, they advertise Additives such as vitamins, calcium or magnesium.

But biologically they have another special feature: they are „isoton“. This means that the concentration of nutrients in the water corresponds to that of human blood. Isotonic drinks can therefore be absorbed particularly quickly by the body. Even some drinks that are not listed as “Isos” on the supermarket shelf are naturally isotonic. Apple juice spritzer or non-alcoholic wheat beer, for example.

In contrast, there is also hypotonic drinks. These have fewer dissolved particles than are present in human blood. Water, for example, is highly hypotonic. On the other side of the spectrum are the hypertonic drinks. Their particle concentration is higher than that of blood; the body has to enrich these drinks with additional water in the stomach in order to process them further. So the bottom line is that you get more thirsty. Examples are: undiluted fruit juices, lemonades, cola, energy drinks, iced tea or malt beer.

At first glance it seems that isotonic drinks are perfect source of fluids for the body. But whether they are really healthy depends on a few factors.

Are isotonic drinks healthy?

Basically, iso drinks almost always have a decent portion added sugar or artificial sugar substitutes. This means: If you only have a light workout and sweat little, you will quickly have consumed more calories than you have consumed. So it’s not necessarily healthy. It’s completely normal here Water sufficient.

Many athletes drink iso drinks because they… minerals contain that water does not have. The idea: The calcium, magnesium and sodium that are lost through sweating should be compensated for by the iso-drink. That’s actually how it works. From this perspective, if there is a very high level of exertion, such as a 90-minute football game in the heat, there is nothing wrong with an isotonic drink, because the additional calories are less significant. But: The drinks from the supermarket are usually unhealthy Additives.

The challenge is that Balance to find the point at which an iso-drink does more good than harm (through calories and additives). Because you shouldn’t forget: You also get all the minerals through your normal diet. It only makes sense to supplement pure water with added drinks when the intensity reaches the level at which the body’s reserves are no longer sufficient. It is not possible to give a clear recommendation as to when exactly this will be the case. This limit is determined by age, gender, exertion, fluid loss and the individual mineral balance.

What are isotonic drinks made of?

The basic ingredients of iso drinks are usually Waterjuice concentrates, sweeteners as well as vitamins and minerals.

As an example, we have listed the ingredient list for Hella Aktiv Grapefruit, which advertises itself as isotonic and low in calories:

Natural mineral water, grapefruit juice from grapefruit juice concentrate (6%), fructose syrup, lemon juice from lemon juice concentrate (3.1%), orange juice from orange juice concentrate (2.9%), carbonic acid, acidifier citric acid, acidity regulator magnesium carbonates, antioxidant ascorbic acid, natural grapefruit flavor with other natural flavors , sweeteners cyclamate, acesulfame K, aspartame (contains a source of phenylalanine) and saccharin, stabilizers pectins and locust bean gum, nicotinic acid amide, vitamin B6, biotin, vitamin B12. Contains small amounts of fat, saturated fat, protein and salt.

One super long list of ingredients – almost always a sign that you are not necessarily doing anything good for your body. The sugar content of around 4 grams per 100 milliliters is okay (apple spritzer has around 6 grams), but the iso drink covers the whole range synthetic sweeteners with (cyclamate, acesulfame K, aspartame and saccharin). You should avoid them as much as possible in a balanced diet.

Can you make isotonic drinks yourself?

Yes, and it’s very easy. With this recipe for an isotonic but natural alternative, you get the fluids you need, easily available carbohydrates and sodium. And at the same time you save on unnecessarily high levels of sugar and additives.

Recipe for homemade iso drink

  • 500 ml apple juice
  • 500 ml water
  • A pinch of salt

Are iso drinks useful for footballers?

Iso drinks bring normal hobby footballers rarely an advantage. If you want to use them as sports drinks, you should pay attention to the ingredients. Large amounts of artificial additives and sugar do more harm than good to the body. The fact is that when you sweat, not only water but also minerals are lost. They have to be balanced. The German Institute for Sports Nutrition recommends mineral water rich in minerals.

If you don’t want to do without isotonic drinks, you should mix them yourself or at least use their natural relatives like Apple spritzer or non-alcoholic wheat beer transfer.

Conclusion: Isotonic drinks are often unnecessary

Iso drinks are intended to balance the body’s mineral balance during exercise. In contrast to pure water, they provide the body with larger quantities Sodium, potassium and magnesium as well as readily available carbohydrates and vitamins. But: The products from the supermarket are often too high in sugar and contain many unhealthy additives. That’s why they are not recommended for footballers. There are juice spritzers, non-alcoholic beer and homemade iso drinks healthier alternatives.

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