Sports Drinks

What is this Science Bite about?

There are many different types of sports drinks available in the shops. Find out what these drinks actually do and have a go at making your own.

The goal of drinking fluids during exercise is to prevent dehydration this is when more than two percent of your body weight is lost through sweating. Fluids, preferably with carbohydrates and electrolytes, should be consumed in small amounts every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise to maintain your hydration

Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can adversely impact health and exercise performance. To avoid excessive fluid and electrolyte losses, a person should begin exercising in a well-hydrated state. About two hours prior to strenuous exercise, you should drink approximately 500ml of liquid to ensure proper hydration at the start of exercise

Even minimal dehydration (one percent body weight) can increase cardiovascular strain and limit the ability of the body to transfer heat from contracting muscles to the skin surface. With dehydration, the overall amount of water in the body declines, which reduces blood volume and skin blood flow. Consuming fluids at regular intervals will prevent dehydration

Check out the different drinks you can make...

Make an isotonic sports drink

Make a hypertonic sports drink

Make a hypotonic sports drink

Curriculum Links

Body Systems and cells

SCN 4-12a


Glasgow Science Centre