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Need done by 3/28 by 6pm. : Read the article below then answer the questions that follow. Sports Drinks: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Whatever your favorite sport—basketball, skateboarding, tennis, or mountain biking—if you do it hard, you sweat, and when you sweat, your body loses valuable substances that need to be replaced. This is where sports drinks like Gatorade, All Sport, Powerade, and many others enter the picture—to the tune of $700 million in sales per year! The manufacturers of these drinks promise that their products can quickly replenish substances lost from extreme exercise, resulting in greater endurance and improved athletic performance for the consumer. Although these claims may seem quite reasonable, is there really evidence to support the assertions that sports drinks offer any benefit? Exercise does a body good Before considering the claims of sports drinks manufacturers, let’s look at what happens inside your body during and after a hard workout. Your body stores carbohydrates in the muscles and liver in the form of a nonreducing, white, amorphous polysaccharide called glycogen. Glycogen is converted to a simple sugar called glucose and is released into the bloodstream to be used as fuel to maintain normal body processes. During moderate- to high- intensity exercise, glycogen reserves can be depleted within 60–90 min. Blood sugar levels drop as the glycogen reserves are used up, and lactic acid builds up in muscle tissue. Lactic acid lowers the pH of muscle cells— causing muscle fatigue, cramps, and pain. This certainly limits the body’s ability to perform at peak levels. Research has shown that if you plan on exercising for less than one hour, a sports drink is not beneficial. It takes an hour of steady exertion to begin depleting glycogen reserves. But if you are planning to play in a basketball or football game, a sports drink may be advantageous. When carbohydrates are being depleted during exercise, muscles also generate a large amount of heat that must be dissipated for them to work properly. Water, in the form of sweat, which has a large heat of vaporization, is used to take heat away from these muscles. About 600 kcal (one dietician’s Calorie, as listed on food labels, equals one kilocalorie) of heat is eliminated per liter of sweat. Sweating and evaporative cooling help your body to maintain a constant inner temperature, but the cost is huge! Sweating away more than 2% of your body weight—1 L for every 45 kg—can stress the heart, increase body temperature, and decrease performance. During a high-intensity workout in hot weather, 1–3 L of water can be lost from sweating in as little as one hour. Sports drinks are also called isotonic beverages, which means they have the same osmotic pressure as fluids in cells. Experienced athletes drink them before they begin to play. These serious athletes believe that sports drinks help them perform better and longer. Excessive sweating also results in the loss of potassium and sodium ions, which are very important positively charged particles that are present in the fluids inside and outside our cells. Positively charged ions are cations, and negatively charged ions are anions. Our bodies contain equal amounts of both kinds of charges, and these ions enable us to maintain normal body functions. Potassium cations (K+) are responsible for activating certain enzymes, processing and storing carbohydrates, and helping to transmit nerve impulses to the heart and skeletal muscles. Sodium cations (Na+) play a major role in exchanging nutrients and waste products between the cell and its extracellular fluid environment. It is very important for the body to maintain proper fluid balances. A loss of one to three liters of fluid from sweating can result in 1.5 to 8.0 g of lost mineral salts containing potassium and sodium ions. When concentrations of either or both of these ions are in lower than normal, fatigue and muscle weakness set in, and heat exhaustion or heat stroke is a real possibility.


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