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How do I choose a good sports drink?

A good sports drink should have only a 6% to 8% concentration of carbohydrates (sugars). Too many carbohydrates in the drink can cause stomach upset and decrease the amount of fluid absorbed by the body’s systems, and may contribute to dehydration. The sports drink should also include electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, and contain little to no caffeine. Caffeine increases urine output, and high doses can contribute to dehydration. Sports drinks that also contain protein can be consumed during or after strenuous activity to help enhance muscle recovery. Gatorade, which is an official founding sponsor of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), is one example of a quality sports drink.

This answer provided for NATA by the Appalachian State University Athletic Training Education Program.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.