Best Sports Drinks for Marathon Running
What is the best sports drink for a marathon? When running marathon or training for a marathon, you must take care of your hydration and fluid absorption. What you drink can influence on your over all performance. If you overheat or over sweat you may feel the dehydration effects, which can be dizziness, fatigue and even death.
There are many sports drinks for marathon running, most of the brands will be OK once you know which brand of sports drink is best for you. The best way to learn which is the best sports drink for marathon, it to test a few of them during your marathon trainings.
If you have been training without any particular sports drink, than one of the top three brands (Gatorade, Accelerade or Powerade) would be just fine. The main problem for some runners, is that they can not find the marathon sports drink at the local stores, the solution is to find them at the large online retailers such as Amazon.
Your Personal Marathon Drinking Needs
Before you choose a brand for your marathon running sports drink, you need to know your own personal fluid loss. Here is a valuable piece of information on sports drinks and running hydration, from Brian Mac sports coach website:
Two main factors affect the speed at which fluid from a drink gets into the body:
- the speed at which it is emptied from the stomach
- the rate at which it is absorbed through the walls of the small intestine
The higher the carbohydrate levels in a drink the slower the rate of stomach emptying. Isotonic drinks with a carbohydrate level of between 6 and 8% are emptied from the stomach at a rate similar to water. Electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium, in a drink will reduce urine output, enable the fluid to empty quickly from the stomach, promote absorption from the intestine and encourage fluid retention (Unknown 1993) .
What’s wrong with water?
- water causes bloating which will suppress thirst and therefore drinking
- water contains no carbohydrate or electrolytes
Calculating personal fluid needs
During an endurance event, you should drink just enough to be sure you lose no more than 2% of pre-race weight. This can be achieved in the following way:
- Record your naked body weight immediately before and after a number of training sessions, along with details of distance/duration, clothing and weather conditions
- Add the amount of fluid taken during the session to the amount of weight lost – 1 kilogram (kg) is roughly equivalent to 1 litre of fluid (1lb approx. 0.5 litre)
- After a few weeks you should begin to see some patterns emerging and can calculate your sweat rate per hour
- Once you know what your sweat losses are likely to be in any given set of environmental conditions, you can plan your drinking strategy for any particular event. Read more…
Best 3 Marathon Sports Drinks
Gatorade G Series Sports Drink
G2 is the Gatorade to taken during the marathon run – see pic. Review by the Athlete In Me website:
There are a total of 22 different sports nutrition products within the entire “G Series”. “Original” Gatorade® (aka “Thirst Quencher”) is now part of the “02 Perform” sub-group in the “G Series” line. This one drink alone is marketed in 19 flavors!!..
G-Series Thirst Quencher” vs. “G-Series G2 Thirst Quencher”: To get a better understanding of 2 Gatorade® drinks that are in the same grouping and have nearly identical names, I went to the grocery store and bought a quart of “G Series Thirst Quencher” (this is the new name for the original formula of Gatorade) and a quart of “G Series G2 Thirst Quencher” (this is a low-calorie version). Both of them are part of the “02 Perform” subcategory.
• Calories: The “Nutrition Facts” panel for original Gatorade is based on a 12-fl. oz. serving size whereas the low-calorie version uses an 8-fl. oz serving size. Confusing! Why did they do this? Perhaps, to exaggerate the perceived calorie difference between the 2 formulations? If you don’t realize the nutritional details on the labels are based on different serving sizes, the calorie difference appears to be 80 vs. 20. The calorie difference is actually 80 vs. 30 if you compare equal volumes of the 2 beverages.
• Electrolytes: At first glance, the “original” formula appears to contain more sodium and potassium than the low-calorie version. However, equal volumes of these 2 products have essentially the same amounts of sodium and potassium.
• Artificial sweeteners: Note that the low-calorie version uses acesulfame and sucralose as artificial sweeteners. Taste is highly subjective, but, I definitely preferred the original formula (orange) over the low-calorie version (raspberry melon). More on from this source..
Accelerade Marathon Runners Sports Drink
Ultramarathonman Dean Karnazes was running nearly 5 marathons in 24 hours promoting the Accelarade running sports drink. Though it is very impressive, most runners who seek the best sports drink for their marathon, will never be in such shape in the first place.
On the other hand here is a Accelerade sports drink review from Competitive Cyclist website. Cyclists train for miles and hours jusk like marathon runners:
In terms of performance, we didn’t notice an improvement with Accelerade over other drinks we put in our bottle, other than the taste discouraging our drinking, and thus hydrating less, on hot days. Cooler days, we drank more and more happily, but there, too, no noticeable improvement over other sports drinks. Not that our palate should be your last word. All drinks should be experimented with while training and there could always be something out there that is better than what you already like. Read more..
Powerade Marathon Runners Sports Drink
The powerade sports drink has also several types of drinks and flavors, Powerade Zero is the new sports drink, with the Coca Cola ‘Zero’ built in.
Because the taste of the sports drink is very important if you do not like the Coca Cola Zero, then you might not like the Powerade Zero taste too. Buy a few bottles to check for yourself before you decide to take it to your next marathon run. Here is a review by Wendy Dawn from the Yahoo Voices.
While there are other zero or 10-20 calorie drinks, I chose Powerade Zero for a specific reason. It does not contain NutraSweet ™. I broke a diet coke addiction when I changed my lifestyle, and I know how my body responded to withdrawal from NutraSweet™ and how much better I felt not consuming the sugar substitute.
I opted for Powerade Zero sports drink which is sweetened with Sucralose.
Marathon Runners Best Sports Drink Conclusion
You need to learn your own body fluid absorption rate, and then try out some of the sports drinks. You need to make sure there are no Caffeine in your drinks, you do not need those! Water is the best fluid if you do a short training session (under 45 minutes). Tough workout sessions will require a sports drink during the marathon training, and a recovery right after it.
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