Background on the Sports Drink Market

Anytime that you engage in a strenuous physical workout, whether it involves shoveling snow, competing in sports, or testing your limits during a training session, you most likely will sweat enough to develop a serious thirst. When you hit that stage, it is just not enough to drink water to try to quench that thirst and give your body what it is craving. And, as a result of that fact, the sports drink market is a growing industry that offers people lots of options for handling this kind of need.

Back in the day, old-timers who ranched across America used to brew up batches of what they called switchel. This might have been the original sport beverage and contained a mixture of molasses, vinegar and water, and was used during the intense physical exertion the ranchers experienced during haying season. For most people, their workouts have changed since that time, and fortunately so have the products on the market.

The assorted endurance drink and energy sports drink options that are available on the sports drink market aren't based on the old vinegar and molasses recipe, but the basic formulas actually do have some elements in common. These days, when you analyze the label of an energy sports drink bottle you'll see that sugar supplies carbohydrates and various minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and sodium, which provide the electrolytes for the sport beverage concoction.

This combination of carbohydrates and electrolytes found in endurance drink mixes essentially provides the same benefits to today's athletes that the ranchers got from the switchel. The bottom line is that these extra ingredients give the body what it needs to re-hydrate quickly in order to replace the rapid loss of moisture from the body due to the physical exertion.

Every manufacturer of a sports beverage knows how important it is to keep an athlete's body from becoming dehydrated. When dehydration occurs, performance is reduced. In addition, consuming the electrolyte sports drink formulations help to assure that the body does not become overheated which can cause problems and add stress to the cardiovascular system.

Even though many of the advertisements for sports beverage products put a lot of emphasis on the restoration and the balancing of electrolytes, many doctors say that the most important benefit in these recovery sports drinks comes from the carbohydrates. It is the carbs from the sugars that help to feed the muscles during the workout, help to replace energy stores, and help to delay fatigue, all of which improves endurance.

As far as the actual recipes drink manufactures use, there is not much to differentiate between the three biggest brands on the sports drink market. The three best-selling energy sports drink brands are AllSport, Gatorade and Powerade, and while they all have very similar ingredients listed, they have various amounts of carbs and electrolytes in each type.