A lot of people get confused when it comes to the difference between sport drinks and energy drinks (even specialised magazines). Here are their differences:
The sport drink
Its nutritional criteria are very precise, adapted to the energy needed during the effort, to the supply of macronutrients (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates) and of micronutrients (B, C vitamins… minerals, trace elements, essential fatty acids…)
The energy drink
Acidifying properties (muscular wound, tendinitis or bone wound ++)
The cafeine (diuretic), raises the urinary elimintation of Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium which triggers the worsening of dehydration, some electrolytic disorders, (wounding ++, heart beat rate troubles, non optimised recovery, intestinal problems, cramps….). 80mg per can, these effects are felt for a consumption of more than 100mg, DMA from 200 to 400mg per day (above the toxicity risk is higher).
High level exciter : Raise of the heart beats, narrowing of peripheral vessels, raise of the arterial tension. It’s absolutely not adapted to the adaptation towards the effort.
Not enough sodium salt: if the effort lasts in a hot environment, the loss of sodium gets higher which implies a risk of hyponatremia : cardiac and neurologic troubles.
Too much carbohydrates : more than 100g per litre regarding the recommended rate of 30 to 50g/L which creates a greater digestive risk.
Moreover, there is a reactive hypoglycaemia risk if the drink is ingested before the effort and not integrated into a training process.
Disturbed acid base balance possibly able to create digestive troubles, physical wounds, a lack of energy…
Conclusion: Energy drinks are definitely not adapted to the physical effort!
When drink it?
They are not adapted either before, during or after the effort.
My advice regarding the energy drinks regarding what have been settled previsouly
- The energy drinks do not respect the sport ethic : they can trigger addictive behaviours and favour the wounding risk with the perverse effects of high dose caffeine!
- The energy drinks are totally inadequate to the physical effort.
Sports Dietitian Nutritionist