Energy Drink vs Energy Drink
What is the difference between an energy drink and an energy drink?
Energy drink and Energy drink: 2 words that sound very similar but yet semantically very different. This difference is mainly due to the composition of these two types of drinks which influences their effects.
Energy drinks all consist of the same basic elements: electrolytes and mineral salts such as sodium or potassium (see the article on the role of mineral salts in hydration). There are also fast or slow sugars used as a source of energy during exercise. Finally, there are different types of vitamins: B vitamins (used for the assimilation of electrolytes and the production of energy), vitamin C as an antioxidant.
In energy drinks we most often find: vitamins, caffeine, many amino acids (taurine in Red Bull is the best known) but also a very large amount of sugars.
There is therefore a great difference in their composition, which makes their uses completely different.
What drink for the effort?
When we look at the composition of these drinks, we quickly understand that energy drinks are more suitable for exercise and hydration than energy drinks.
Energy drinks are also called isotonic drinks : thanks to their high concentration of electrolytes they help maintain a good balance in the components of blood plasma. They therefore participate in compensating for the losses due to the effort.
Hydratis lozenges allow you to transform any drink into an isotonic cocktail of the taste of your choice with an ideal composition of electrolytes to avoid dehydration during exercise, compensate for losses or recover from a drunken evening.
Energy drinks have a "boost effect" thanks to their components but no improvement at the physiological level to help the effort.
They are even not recommended for athletes for several reasons: firstly for their too high sugar content which unbalances the composition of blood plasma and hinders proper hydration, then for its lack of mineral salts and electrolytes which does not allow to rebalance the acidity of the blood during the effort nor to compensate for the losses. Finally, they have a diuretic effect which promotes dehydration.
The impact of hydration on performance
Clear water in itself has a primary role: when it is absorbed, it passes into the blood and becomes a component of blood plasma. It therefore makes it possible to maintain a suitable blood volume to ensure the transport of oxygen which is essential in sport for the proper functioning of the muscles.
Indeed when we sweat we lose water so the plasma volume decreases: the blood flow to the muscles is less good which reduces the supply of oxygen which allows them to function optimally.
Isotonic drinks are also called exercise drinks because their electrolyte composition improves recovery, endurance and physical performance.
Indeed, oxygen is not the only element necessary for physical effort, the B vitamins contained in these drinks promote hydration by allowing better assimilation of electrolytes and participate in the physiological reactions of energy production.
Electrolytes are not chosen at random and each have a specific role: attraction of water, buffer for blood pH (reduce the acidity caused by sport), help with muscle contraction, production of energy... (for more details see the article on the role of electrolytes in hydration).
How to measure your hydration level?
It is very important to know how to spot the first signs of dehydration, whether during sports, hot weather or even after heavy alcohol consumption which is also a source of dehydration.
Thirst is the body's first warning system in terms of dehydration even if it often occurs when it has started.
It is especially necessary to know how to identify the signs linked to a less good oxygenation of the tissues: physical and mental fatigue, headaches, acceleration of the heart rate, decrease in urine (oliguria), hypo or hyperthermia, possible disorders of the consciousness (from confusion to coma in the most severe cases)
Body weight is also a good indicator: in extreme cases chronic dehydration can lead to weight loss of up to 20% of body weight.
Make a reference to the articles on chronic dehydration and the different types of dehydration.