Hypertonic drinks have a lot of mineral salts in them and although this may sound very good, the reality is that more mineral salts than usual end up dehydrating you. This is what is known as hypertonic dehydration. The osmotic pressure causes the extra mineral salts to act like sponges, absorbing a large amount of water to restore the balance on both sides of the cell membrane. This is why hypertonic solutions should only be used in very, very specific cases, with very controlled volumes and always under medical supervision. Obviously, you can imagine that this is not the type of hypertonic drink intended for regular training, let alone on a daily basis.
At the other extreme are hypotonic solutions, which contain very few electrolytes and mineral salts, and which end up “hyper-hydrating” our cells. With hypotonic drinks the same thing happens again: hyperhydration can sound quite good, but no! As with hypertonic drinks, this type of solution alters plasma osmolarity and should only be used by therapists and in really specific circumstances.
On the other hand, isotonic drinks respect and maintain the osmotic balance: that is, they provide a balanced amount of mineral salts, electrolytes and water to our body, avoiding the associated risks of altering this important property. That is why isotonic solutions are ideal for hydration before, during and after training and to replace the electrolytes we lose through sweat. In addition, they are also recommended in processes of diarrhea and other digestive problems. As you can see, it is a question of balance and, as is always the case, the key is to achieve the right measure. That is why isotonic drinks are the best drinks for sportsmen and women, and the only ones that are always recommended.
Hydration (especially sports hydration) is a really serious issue, which should be dealt with very rigorously. To give an example, a marked deficit of sodium (one of the electrolytes present in our body) can degenerate relatively easily into a brain oedema.
Sports hydration: key to success
Without a doubt, one of the pillars of sporting success is maintaining good hydration. We tend to place a lot of importance on food (because it has it) and hydration tends to go unnoticed, but proper hydration helps you train, compete and recover better. Obviously, all the details matter, and hydration is one of the weight “details”, the kind that cannot be forgotten because, if you make a mistake there, you are lost.
That’s why, when an athlete tries to hydrate himself with a very mainstream and TV advertised fake isotonic, he can compromise months of hard work and training, end up frustrated and wondering what went wrong? Without finding an explanation.
The informative, critical and didactic attitude is in the same origin of Raw Super Drink, maybe that’s why we feel the obligation to redefine a series of very basic concepts, but also very important, so that each sportsman is able to make the best decisions. Making a good disclosure about the aspects related to hydration, breaking down topics and informing athletes in a real way is fundamental to enjoy sport in a healthy way, avoiding risks and injuries and improving performance.
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