With almost 60% of the body the body constituted by water (Zane E C), water dynamics and balance becomes critical to human existence. The human body has an elaborate, complex and almost foolproof mechanism for water balance that is meant to restore homeostatic balance. Despite these mechanisms, exercising in hot and humid conditions can rapidly dehydrate an individual in 30 minutes. Studies have shown that a loss of 1% of water in an individual can cause severe dehydration and fatigue. It was found that thirst is not triggered until 1% of the body weight is lost (Jour. Internal med). Studies find that exercisers typically only replace 50% of water lost and even professional runners underestimate their water needs (Quin E). Studies at the Gatorade Institute, USA found that runners underestimated their sweat loss by 46% and their fluid intakes by 15% resulting in only replacing 30% of the fluids lost (Gatorade institute of sports medicine).
In this context, t becomes pertinent to examine what makes for an ideal drink. Water is increasingly becoming a less popular fluid of choice and place is taken over by formulated, tasty and often sweetened sports drinks. Infact, a conference paper from the American college of sports medicine reported that exercisers drank 25% more of Gatorade than water after a workout. Children are found to prefer drinks like Gatorade 90% of the time compared to water (Davis J M). “When only water was supplied, children did not drink as much as they needed to,” the journal said. However, Gatorade’s claim to have better merits over water in meeting the body’s water needs is being challenged. Robert Robergs, a UNM exercise physiologist who had been studying Gatorade’s ability to rehydarate the body says, "There's nothing magical about Gatorade that hydrates the body better." "You put water and Gatorade in front of an athlete and they prefer to drink Gatorade just because it tastes better." Robergs felt that it was the carbohydrates found in the Gatorade that led to a greater sense of well being (Daily Lobo)
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