Sport Drinks

Hydration guide: WHAT AND HOW MUCH TO DRINK

We often emphasize the intake of energy (carbohydrates), but what many may overlook is the body’s hydration balance. A disrupted fluid balance can result in a 40% to 60% reduction in the absorption of energy (carbohydrates), leading to cramps and reduced strength.

Personalize your drink every hour.

Every body is different, just like every significant challenge. For a short one-hour bike ride, you don’t necessarily need to plan extensively. In such cases, using Pro Isotonic without much thought is sufficient. However, for larger or more demanding efforts, personalizing your sports nutrition can yield up to 40% more energy and endurance if done correctly. Here’s how you can do it.

 

  • Use the unbeatable Pro Isotonic sports drink as a base and add Pro Hydro & O.R.S. if you sweat more than usual. This could be due to the heat, increased sweating, or indoor sports. Add 1 to 2 Hydro Sticks. With 2 Hydro Sticks, you achieve an ideal ratio of minerals and salts that maximally support your body. This is referred to as O.R.S., oral rehydration solution.
  • You can also add Pro Elite Carb Max sticks to your Pro Isotonic. It’s an unbeatable energy boost with 5 carbohydrates, transforming your isotonic drink into a hypertonic drink with up to 100 carbohydrates per water bottle.
  • Check out our  Hydration calculator

What is the perfect isotonic?

Sports drinks come in all colors, flavors, and forms. But the differences don’t stop there! What truly sets them apart is the quality—how quickly and effectively the drink replenishes your energy, water, and mineral levels. Discover how to choose the perfect isotonic thirst quencher for your body and exertion.

At 3% dehydration, you start to feel thirsty. At 2% dehydration, performance loss begins. That’s why we always say, ‘drink, drink, drink.’ Because if you feel it, it’s already too late. To achieve both maximum energy and fluid absorption, it’s best to choose an isotonic drink. You can always supplement with a gel to get a boost towards the end. As an endurance athlete, always opt for an isotonic sports drink.

1. What makes an isotonic a good SPORTS drink?

Both sports drinks and isotonic drinks are designed to replenish fluids and minerals lost during sweating. The carbohydrates also provide a new dose of energy.

The major difference between isotonic and non-isotonic drinks lies in the density of particles (osmolarity). Isotonic drinks contain the same concentration of sugar and salt as the human body. As a result, your body effectively absorbs everything you drink. If it’s not isotonic, you won’t absorb all the fluids you drink.

This ensures that you don’t get too few nutrients, but also not too many. It’s essential to make sure your body doesn’t expend more energy than necessary to digest all those nutrients. This way, you can use all your energy for what really matters: improving your performance.

Hypertone, isotone, and hypotone

  • Hypertone drinks have a higher concentration of dissolved particles than the body and are absorbed slowly, providing little energy to the body except for a quick burst that lasts only a few minutes. Avoid these during exercise. For example, cola.
  • Isotonic drinks have the same concentration of dissolved particles as the body, with an osmolarity between 280 and 320 mmol/L. The nutrients they contain are almost fully absorbed. Isotonic drinks typically contain 6-8 grams of carbohydrates per 100 ml. A quality isotonic drink like Pro Isotonic contains more than 8 grams of carbohydrates per 100 ml.
  • Hypotonic drinks have a lower concentration of dissolved particles than the body. They are quickly absorbed and contain a limited number of nutrients. Examples include Isostar or Aquarius. The advantage of these drinks is their rapid absorption, but they are also quickly depleted. Hypotonic drinks may contain up to 6 grams of carbohydrates per 100 ml, which may not be sufficient for sports use.

Always look for an isotonic formula of carbohydrate-electrolyte solutions. Only then will you have a sports drink that will help push your limits and never let you down.

2. Ensure a varied mix of fast and slow carbohydrates.

Most isotonic sports drinks contain only two types of carbohydrates: maltodextrin and fructose. However, because these provide a limited amount of energy, elite athletes prefer sports drinks with four types of carbohydrates: maltodextrin and sucrose for slow-release energy, and dextrose and fructose for quick energy. This robust combination provides you with the high and sustained energy levels you need for prolonged top performance.

That’s why the best isotonic sports drinks use 4 carbohydrates: maltodextrin + sucrose for slow-release energy and dextrose + fructose for quick energy. This combination is robust and often evidence that you have a perfect isotonic thirst quencher.

With the Carb Max sticks, we use 5 different sources of carbohydrates that you can add to your Pro Isotonic. This way, you’re working with 6 different carbohydrates. Unique in the world!

The ideal isotonic sports drink for endurance athletes contains more than 30 grams of carbohydrates, distributed across four different types. Isotonic is often key to sustaining prolonged efforts.

3. Potassium and phosphorus are essential.

An imbalanced fluid balance not only leads to fatigue but also to high blood pressure and cramps – every athlete’s nightmare! Your fluid balance is the engine to deliver energy. To avoid this and keep your fluid balance in check, you need sufficient minerals. Since potassium and phosphorus are lost through sweat, it’s important to replenish them regularly. Therefore, make sure A: you drink regularly, and B: your isotonic sports drink contains an adequate amount of minerals.

  • You sweat more than you think! Maintaining a stable fluid balance during exercise is something you need to constantly work on. Dehydration is not easily resolved by drinking a lot at once. If you let your fluid levels drop too much, it could be game over. Maintaining a stable fluid balance during exercise is something you need to constantly work on. Dehydration is not easily resolved by drinking a lot at once. If you let your fluid levels drop too much, it could be game over.
  • At the moment our fluid levels become too low, we experience thirst, which occurs at 2% fluid loss. However, relying solely on thirst can be a delayed alarm signal: from 1% fluid loss, your body enters a mode where you can perform less and exert less strength. Usually, once you reach this ‘lost situation,’ it’s challenging to recover. Drinking regularly and on time is crucial, especially when you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Absorb an adequate amount of minerals. Without minerals, you cannot absorb enough fluids, and vice versa. That’s why potassium and phosphorus are indispensable in your isotonic sports drink. Potassium and phosphorus are essential in your isotonic sports drink and are crucial to maintaining your fluid levels.

4. A good isotonic drink is tasty and pH-neutral.

  • A neutral pH is the best evidence that your isotonic drink contains no added acids or flavorings. This also makes it easily digestible for individuals with a sensitive stomach.
  • A good isotonic drink ensures a strong thirst reflex. This helps ensure you drink enough, providing sufficient fluid and minerals during your exertion.
  • A good isotonic drink is never sticky in the mouth. A sticky sensation indicates the presence of inferior carbohydrates.
  • A good isotonic drink should taste good. It should go down smoothly, or else you might not drink enough of it.
  • 3 different flavors: Minth-lime, Orange en Tropical.

5. What impacts the absorption of energy from drinks?

  • The volume of liquid you drink is the most crucial factor. Next, the energy content of the drink plays the primary role.
  • Drink 2 sips every 15 minutes instead of 4 sips every 25 minutes. Continuous replenishment has a significant impact.
  • Hypertonic drinks are usually absorbed the fastest. Isotonic drinks offer the ideal compromise between speed and volume of energy! Always opt for isotonic drinks and supplement with an energy gel in the last half hour. You can use the Pro Elite Carb Max to peak your carbohydrate and energy intake for an hour. However, don’t do this continuously for 3 hours if you want to maintain your fluid balance.
  • Mineral salts promote fluid absorption and are crucial to maintaining optimal performance, especially when sodium levels decrease due to excessive sweating.
  • Intensity of the effort: the higher you go, the lower the drinking rate. Drinking enough to maintain stomach volume during quieter periods of prolonged exertion is highly recommended.

6. This is how you discover your HYDRATION STATUS

  • With a scale: You can weigh yourself before and after a training session, subtracting what you drank during the workout. The result is your fluid loss.
  • Urine test: We have designed a chart where you can see from when you have not taken in sufficient fluids.
  • Remember: At 3% fluid loss, you start to feel thirsty. At 2% fluid loss, performance loss begins. You should drink 3 sips every 15 minutes during the exertion to finish in the first 3 colors.