Posts Tagged ‘water’

Written on August 4, 2021.

Every two years, athletes from around the globe gather for a chance to compete at the Olympic Games. The best of their class, these athletes train hard in hopes of taking home a gold medal for their country. This year, we’re interested in more than just the incredible skill of those participating in the Tokyo Olympics; as beverage developers, we’re also paying attention to how the world’s best athletes are hydrating their bodies.

When you work out as much as an Olympian, plain water just doesn’t cut it anymore. That’s why most athletes incorporate sports drinks into their regimen. Discover what it takes to fuel a champion, including why the composition of the ingredients matter.

What’s In A Sports Drink?

While it’s true that sports drinks can contain a range of ingredients (think antioxidants, vitamins, and flavor additives), for the most part they are made up of three components: water, electrolytes, and simple carbs. Though it may not sound like much, this trifecta of ingredients is critical to the performance-enhancing functionality of the drink. Here’s why:

Okay–water is pretty self-explanatory. We need water for hydration.

Electrolytes can be a little more complicated to explain… As strange as it sounds, electrolytes are chemical substances that conduct electricity when dissolved in water. We lose electrolytes when we work out or when we’re recovering from an illness (yes, hangovers count too). Consuming drinks high in electrolytes (i.e., sports drinks) can help you get back on track.

Common electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonates, magnesium, chloride, phosphate, and more. Maintaining a healthy balance of electrolytes is essential for normal functioning of the human body. Many of the body’s automatic processes rely on a small electric current to function and electrolytes provide this necessary charge. By interacting with cells and tissues, electrolytes regulate nerve and muscle function, keep your body hydrated, balance blood acidity, and assist in rebuilding damaged tissue.

Still with us? Good. Luckily the last ingredient is likely something you already know…

Simple carbs are essentially just sugars. A staple in sports drinks, simple carbs can come in many forms including raw sugar, corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Not only do simple carbs add sweetness and flavor to sports drinks, but they also provide energy and help the body maintain stable blood glucose levels during a workout.

Of course, you can still have too much of a good thing. For one, sugars are not all created equally. Different sugars use different transport mechanisms to pass through the intestinal wall: that means the type of sugars/sugar combinations being consumed (as well as the rate of consumption) will have an impact on the body’s ability to effectively absorb and oxidize those carbs. There are also risks involved in consuming too many electrolytes. If left unchecked, electrolyte imbalances (excess or deficiency) can cause twitching and weakness, or worse symptoms like seizures and heart rhythm disturbances.

These are just some of the reasons why professional athletes don’t just go for any sports drink. Different ratios of ingredients can have huge implications for even the best performers. You can bet that before a sports drink makes its way into the program of any professional athlete, they are meticulously researched.

Why Composition Matters

As functional beverages, sports drinks should be selected based off of their composition to ensure they meet an athlete’s (or consumer’s) specific needs. Based off of the carbohydrate content, sports drinks can be classified into three categories:

  1. Isotonic (6-8% carbs)
  2. Hypotonic (>6% carbs)
  3. Hypertonic (>8% carbs)

Each of these compositions serves a different purpose. Isotonic sports drinks contain a similar amount of carbohydrates and electrolytes as found naturally in the human body. Isotonic sports drinks are designed to restore water, sugars, and salts lost during exercise, while providing the electrolytes and carbohydrates necessary to maintain the body’s glycogen content. This is important for fueling and regulating physical activity, particularly in short-duration, high-intensity exercise involving explosive movements. Most sports drinks on the market fall under the isotonic classification–think Gatorade, Maximus, or Staminade.

Hypotonic sports drinks contain a reduced amount of carbohydrates. Research suggests that hypotonic sports drinks are more easily absorbed by the body than isotonic sports drinks, making them a great option for athletes prioritizing fluid replacement (hydration) over carbs (energy). Hypotonic sports drinks are best used for activity lasting more than an hour, or when a lot of sweat is lost. Examples include Hydralyte Sports, Mizone, and Powerade Zero.

Finally, hypertonic sports drinks are those that contain the highest percentage of carbohydrates. These high-carb drinks increase the rate of water flow into the intestine where nutrients can be absorbed quickly through osmolarity. This provides a swift shot of energy to the system, however, it can also cause dehydration and GI distress–a major reason why these drinks are typically reserved for short duration activity or recovery. Some examples include hydrogels (a carb-rich biopolymer), protein-enriched recovery drinks, and energy drink brands like Lucozade and GU Roctane.

Sports drinks may have been invented as a custom solution for a famous Florida college football team, but today the category serves athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all kinds–yep, even Olympic gold medalists.

If you’ve got an innovative idea for the next sports drink, Flavorman can help you bring it to life! Get started by filling out this webform or by giving us a call at (502) 273-5214.



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Written on January 13, 2021.

Bottled water is perhaps one of the most resilient beverages on the market– and it’s also a category that has seen substantial innovation in recent years. One segment in particular is experiencing surprising growth as a fan favorite. Say hello to enhanced waters.

Okay, perhaps you’ve been introduced before– but even if you’re not new to the category, you might be surprised to learn more about what makes enhanced waters so special.

Written on August 19, 2020.

While demand for functional beverages and “better-for-you” alternatives has been on the rise for decades, the recent global pandemic has no doubt accelerated things. As consumers seek out enhanced beverages in their mission to take control of their health, detox drinks have become a developing niche in this sector.

Written on August 12, 2020.

Everyone enjoys a little fizz in their drink — but how familiar are you with the science behind those delightful bubbles?

Not to worry, today we’re exploring your most burning questions about carbonation (and maybe even a few you haven’t thought of). Of course, the only thing better than reading about carbonation is drinking something bubbly, so feel free to sip along as you quench your brain’s thirst for beverage facts!

Written on June 3, 2020.

Hard seltzers are one of the fastest growing segments of the past year. With no signs of slowing down, the hard seltzer category is expected to grow from a $1.75 billion in 2019 to $4.7 billion in 2022. Their explosion into the mainstream has created room for companies — big and small — to cash in on the buzz. But where and how did the concept for hard seltzers evolve? And why is it so popular among consumers today?

Written on May 27, 2020.

The neighborhood kids may not be starting up a lemonade stand anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy this refreshingly tasty beverage from the comforts of home. With warm weather and sunny skies upon us, here’s a few fun facts to go with your favorite summertime drink.

Written on May 13, 2020.

If beverage trends show us anything, it’s that water alternatives are now more popular than ever. Spurred in part by consumer demand for healthier, lower-calorie drink options, new brands — both alcoholic and non-alcoholic — are continuing to pop up on grocery store shelves.

Written on March 25, 2020.

Our beverage experts formulate dozens of new and innovative drinks for clients every day, making them a valuable resource for the latest flavor trends. In December, our team got together to predict the trends we expect to take over the beverage industry in 2020 and our forecast features botanicals as one of the top 3 flavors set up for success in a year favoring the fresh and functional.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at the world’s attraction to botanicals as drink flavors and ingredients, and the ways they are being used in beverage application. Let get into it!

Written on January 22, 2020.

While the excitement of New Year’s Eve has come and gone, we’re sure your dedication to your New Year’s resolution remains strong! If you’re looking to start off 2020 with healthier habits, we’ve got some healthy drinks that can help you stay on track.

Written on January 15, 2020.

There are a variety of reasons why detox drinks have become so popular in recent years. Yes, celebrity endorsements from the likes of the Jenner/Kardashians have definitely contributed, but we also have to credit the appeal of the numerous health benefits provided by detox beverages.