From protein mixes to hydration beverages to recovery drinks, there are many options available in fluid form to boost athletes' performance.
By Kristin Maki
Kristin Maki is an Assistant Editor at Training & Conditioning. She can be reached at kmaki@MomentumMedia.com.
The days of simply refilling the team's water bottles for games and practices have faded as a variety of beverages to help athletes perform at their best have entered the market. In this article, we'll take you through some of the options that are currently available, so you'll be better able to help your athletes prep for their games, outlast the competition, and recover quickly.
A rice-based hydration and performance drink, CeraSport was developed with help from physicians at major medical institutions. It quickly and effectively restores essential salts and fluids lost in sweat due to exercise, fever, or heat stress, preventing dehydration, without the cramping and nausea caused by many sugar-based sports drinks. This allows athletes to perform better and stay healthy.
CeraSport is the only hydration product on the market made from a rice-based carbohydrate. Its patented rice syrup blend contains short, medium, long and very long chains of carbohydrate. It also uses natural rice or rice-syrup solids instead of simple sugars to deliver electrolytes lost in sweat.
"Coaches and athletic trainers should know that CeraSport is gluten free, it has natural flavors, and no simple sugars are added," says Charlene Riikonen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cera Products, Inc., makers of CeraSport. "Our products are absorbed quickly to provide both the hydration and the energy athletes need for performance."
CeraSport comes in large mix pouches that will make 2.5 gallons of drink in berry and orange flavors. Individual serving size packets designed to mix into a 500 ml water bottle are available in cherry berry, citrus, and fruit punch flavors. In addition, CeraSport Citrus is available in 500 ml ready-to-drink boxes.
CeraSport recently introduced a new formulation called CeraSport EX1 for individuals who sweat a lot or are in high-stress situations. This includes football players going through preseason training camps in the dog days of summer.
"We developed this product with help from military physicians in Iraq, where temperatures were over 120 degrees Fahrenheit," Riikonen says. "The major difference between the two products is that CeraSport EX1 has half of the rice-based carbohydrate and nearly double the amount of electrolytes compared to CeraSport."
The original CeraSport is best used for endurance events and training regimens where carbohydrate consumption before, during, and after activity is essential to help maintain blood sugar and prevent fatigue. This includes long distance running, triathlons, long distance cycling, backpacking, adventure races, or other physical activities that last over 60 minutes.
CeraSport EX1 is slated for shorter events or bouts of physical activity in hot and humid environments, such as those experienced in football, soccer, baseball, short or middle distance track events, field events, golf, and tennis. In these conditions sweat rate increases, and a stronger electrolyte replacement is needed, so CeraSport EX1 has 800 mg of sodium per liter and 390 mg of potassium.
"Replacing water and salt due to sweat loss is a critical concern to persons who are exercising vigorously," says David Sack, MD, Professor at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "CeraSport and CeraSport EX1 maximize absorption without paying the osmotic penalty associated with other sports drinks that have excessive concentrations of simple sugars. CeraSport and EX1 fulfill the description of an optimal sports drink."
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