The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Sports Drink

There are many types of sports drinks on the market. But how to figure out which one suits your needs the best? In this article, we help you to select the right sports drink for your needs and adventures.

Why and when should you have a sports drink?

In everyday life, we lose approximately two litres of water per day via breathing, sweating, toilet visits and digestion. But during sports, we lose up to two litres in an hour.

Hydration can make or break your performance. Even slight dehydration is detrimental to your performance, and at its worst, it can lead to serious conditions.

When you sweat, you lose not only water but electrolytes. That’s why it may be better to drink an electrolyte rich sports drink instead of plain water. Electrolytes, as well as carbohydrates, also help in absorbing the liquid.

Want to read more about the science behind sports drinks? Click here.

How to choose the right sports drink

Selecting the right kind of sports drink depends on several factors: the duration and intensity of the exercise, the weather and your overall energy plan for the race or training session. Also your personal preferences play an important part.

How long are you planning to go?

If you’re going on a 45-minute easy jog, you most probably won’t need to drink during your run. To make sure you’re hydrated, you can just drink before and after the workout. If you plan to go on for over an hour, a sports drink can be in place.

The longer the duration, the more important it is to drink throughout the exercise, as well as replenish the electrolytes you have lost via sweating. Thirst is not the best cue to drink, as we’re already around a little dehydrated when we feel thirsty.

How hard are you planning to go?

Another factor in choosing the right sports drink is the intensity. The harder your workout is, the more you sweat and the more important it is to replenish liquids and electrolytes.

A high-energy sports drink (a drink with both electrolytes and carbohydrates) may be a good alternative during high-intensity exercise. When you’re breathing heavily and your heart rate is high, it can be hard to eat solid energy, making liquid sources of energy a better option.

How’s the weather?

Weather and temperature play an important part, too. In a hot climate, you lose a lot of fluid, making efficient hydration a must. When you sweat profusely, you lose a lot of electrolytes, so focus on choosing a drink with plenty of electrolytes.

Remember that you lose fluids also during winter, even though you may not notice it as easily.

Do you plan on taking energy?

During a longer workout (90 minutes and over) it’s smart to think about your energy intake, too. You can choose to take in energy (usually fast carbohydrates, namely sugar) in solid or liquid form.

If you plan to take in all the energy in the form of energy chews or gels, it’s better to choose a sports drink that is meant primarily for hydration. If you want to use a high energy sports drink, you can reduce the amount of energy from chews and gels.

Personal preferences count!

Choosing a sports drink also comes down to personal qualities and preferences. It’s important to select a drink that tastes good to you. This way, you’re more likely to drink enough and not skip drinking because you don’t enjoy the taste.

If you’re afraid you’ll get flavour fatigue during a long workout (meaning, you get tired of a single flavour), it may be good to swap flavours at some point during the workout. 

If you have a sensitive stomach, select a drink that you know works for you. Months or even years of training can go to waste because of stomach issues, so it’s smart to train your gut too. Test different kinds of sports drinks and energy intakes, preferably in similar conditions as on your big day.

How to choose the right Nosht sports drink

We at Nosht have created different kinds of sports drinks for different purposes. They all have their unique properties, but what they have in common is that they are made with real ingredients and no artificial colourings or flavourings, they are easy on your stomach and they taste great.

All our drinks are developed in Finland utilising the latest scientific research and expertise from nutritionists and professional athletes.

Endurance Drink Mix: efficient hydration

Our Endurance Drink Mix is created to provide optimal hydration. The hypotonic drink helps to restore liquid and electrolyte balance swiftly and its consistency ensures rapid absorption.

When to use: You need efficient hydration without stomach distress and a light-tasting drink that helps you keep on drinking throughout your workout.

1 portion of Endurance Drink Mix
15g carbohydrates
1.1g salt

High Energy Sports Drink: hydration, electrolytes and carbs in one drink

Our High Energy Sports Drink contains plenty of carbohydrates and you can use it to replace some or all of your energy chews and gels. You can adjust the amount of carbs by mixing a scoop of powder from 0.25 to 1 litre of water.

When to use: You need energy alongside hydration. 

1 portion of High Energy Sports Drink
50g carbohydrates
1.3g salt

Nosht Zero Electrolyte Drink

If you only want to take in electrolytes but no calories, Nosht Zero is your drink of choice. The handy effervescent tablet also supports your daily hydration and includes a lot of potassium, chloride, magnesium and BCAA.

When to use: You need efficient hydration but want to avoid carbs. (Works well for hangovers, too.)

1 portion of Nosht Zero electrolyte drink
0.6g carbohydrates
0.72g salt

Winter Sports Drink

Designed to be enjoyed both hot and cold, our Winter Sports Drink is designed for winter sports and activities. It includes carbohydrates and plenty of vitamin C.

When to use: During winter sports and activities in cold weather.

1 portion of Winter Sports Drink
37g carbs
1g salt

Different ways to meet your hydration and energy needs

As you’ve now learned, there are many different ways to get the liquids and carbs you need. 

If you have planned to take in 0.5 litres of fluid and around 50 to 60 grams of carbs per hour, it can look something like this:

  • 0.5 litres Nosht Zero Electrolyte Drink and 3 Energy Chews (0+60g carbs)
  • 0.5 litres Endurance Drink Mix and 2 Energy Chews (15+40g)
  • 0.5 litres High Energy Sports Drink (1 scoop, 50g)
  • 0.5 litres High Energy Sports Drink and 2 Energy Chews (½ scoop, 25+40g)
  • 0.5 litres Winter Sports Drink and 1 Energy Chew (37+20g)

Shop our Sports Drinks here.

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