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RTD Workout Drinks
 

RTD Pre-Workout Drinks are pre-mixed drinks that boosts energy, focus and increases performance during exercise. The majority of pre-workout drinks are based on stimulating your body and providing you the energy you need to get through a gruelling workout. RTD Pre-Workout Drinks often contain a spectrum of ingredients that not only enhance energy but augment fuel and nutrient delivery.  These ingredients may include caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine, taurine and many more. Whilst there is an array of pre-workout drinks, it is important to note that are four major categories with respect to pre-workout drinks: all in one, stimulant free, pump based and thermogenics.

More About RTDs in General - Ready To Drink or RTD drinks are a quick and easy way to feed the body the right nutrients. They not only help athletes hydrate after exercise but also provide electrolytes and sugar that can be depleted during physical exertion. RTD drinks are convenient, user friendly and offer a large variety that include amino acid drinks, pre-workout drinks and even electrolyte drinks. There are many variations of sports drinks on the market and each has a specific concentration of fluids and minerals that make it appropriate for a unique purpose. During exercise the body heats up causing us to sweat, which is the body’s natural mechanism for cooling the body. As the body is made up of 60 to 70 percent water physical excursion begins to cause dehydration. If dehydration reaches too high a level it can cause negative reactions to the body and performance.1 Ready to drink drinks help to replenish fluids by supplying the body with instant carbohydrates, electrolytes, and water.

These RTD’s are helpful in the fact that you don’t need to carry a large container or awkward pre-workout container to work or running your errands, these make it ideal for those who exercise during their lunch hour or after work if they want to just grab one on-the-go and drink it as it is without having to pre-make the drink beforehand. Carbohydrates in ready to drinks provide fuel to the body and brain as well as some of the flavouring found in sports drinks. Carbohydrates are stored in the body as glucose and are the most effective source of energy the body has during exercise as they are the easiest for the body to burn. As carbohydrates burn quickly during exercise they need to be replaced to keep up energy levels. RTDs containing carbohydrates help to fuel the body with a rapid energy boost, especially in endurance styled events but also exercises and activities which have more of a stop-start movement pattern2. Certain ready to drinks also contain electrolytes which are the essential minerals that are lost through sweat during exercise including Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Chloride, Bicarbonate, Phosphate and Sulphate. These salts and minerals are necessary for correct functioning of the nervous system and muscle tissue, delivering oxygen to maintain muscle function, and the flow of fluid in and out of cells.

There are three main types of ready to drinks on the market; Isotonic, Hypertonic and Hypotonic3. Each has a different concentration of nutrients, carbohydrates and water and therefore can have different effect on rehydration level it gives your body. It is important to know the effects of each type of sports drink to choose which is right for you and the exercise you are undertaking. Isotonic drinks are made to replicate the body’s natural concentrations of nutrients and water. Isotonic refers to a state of equilibrium where the body’s natural levels are in balance allowing equal pressure of fluids to enter and exit the body’s cells; this in turn causes cells to maintain their natural balance of water. Most RTDs are isotonic. Hypertonic drinks have a lower proportion of water in comparison to nutrients and typically have a higher concentration of carbohydrates. Once a hypertonic drink enters the body the imbalance of nutrients and water causes osmotic pressure which draws water out of cells. Hypertonic sports drinks are used to supplement daily carbohydrate intake normally after exercise to top up muscle glycogen stores. Because hypertonic drinks deplete the water levels within cells it is important that when used during exercise these are used in conjunction with isotonic sports drink in order to replace fluids. Hypotonic sports drinks work in the opposite way to Hypertonic containing a higher proportion of water, and a lower level of sugar than naturally occurs in the body. As this drink has a higher water component than nutrients osmotic pressure causes water to naturally enter the body’s cells and to quickly replace fluids. Hypotonic drinks are great for replacing fluids quickly without the additional carbohydrates.

When should RTDs be used? They can be consumed at any time during the day, most commonly before exercise because it can provide the body with carbohydrates which increase the body’s store of glucose energy in the muscles and liver and sodium which reduces urine water loss before exercising. During exercise, RTDs are idea for instant increase in energy and replacement of lost fluids. After exercise, RTDs can increase the rate of rehydration, replenish essential minerals lost through sweating or provide a quick source of carbohydrates to help with glycogen replenishment.

RTDs are commonly presented & sold as Formulated Supplementary Sports Drinks in Australia. RTDs are not a sole source of nutrition and should be used in conjunction with an appropriate physical training or exercise programme. Not suitable for children or pregnant women. Should only be used under medical or dietetic supervision. Always read label prior to use.

1.      Coyle (2004), Fluid and fuel intake during exercise. Journal of Sports Science, 22: 39-55
2.      Nicholas et al (2000), The Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test: a field test that simulates the activity pattern of soccer. Journal of Sports Sciences, 18, 97–104
3.      UNKNOWN (1993) The Effect of Different Forms of Fluid Provision on Exercise Performance. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 14, p. 298
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