Sports Drinks: Spit or Swallow? – The Healthier Man
Would it matter if you swallow or spit out your sports drink? Our nutrition experts at The Healthier Man have the answer.
ports drinks are everywhere these days. You can’t be at a sporting event without an endorsement for a sports drink – and for a very good reason. It’s one of the best-selling beverages today, next to sodas and liquor, and that’s all because of the right marketing and the growing fitness trend. Whether you take sports drinks to recharge or rehydrate, there’s a formula for it – and you, as the eager consumer, would be very much willing to take their word for it.
The truth is, sports drinks aren’t that all revolutionary. It’s just a different presentation for the nutrients that have long existed in the supplement industry. Carbohydrates, caffeine, b-vitamins, taurine, ginseng – these aren’t new to us, and they simply combined it to make it appear more convenient to take. After all, it’s not really that hard to mix up a couple of powders or to drink a pill, but apparently, convenience makes some companies a ton of money.
What you need to know about sports drinks:
Most people who enjoy working out know that drinking sports drinks increase their endurance, but for athletes performing in sporting events that involve skill and accuracy, the results aren’t quite the same. It’s not clear whether sports drinks can help improve overall performance, but research suggests that drinking sports drinks with maltodextrin, a carbohydrate, would help them improve stamina.
Maltodextrin is basically a polysaccharide that is used as a food additive that is derived from corn, rice, wheat, and potato starch. It is found in certain sodas and candy, but it has found its main use in supplements and sports drinks. Maltodextrin is found in many sports drinks and supplements – and in a variety of formulas. It is sometimes combined with caffeine and B-vitamins for sports drinks, and protein, glutamine, and creatine in some bodybuilding supplement preparations.
Spit or swallow?
Recent studies suggest that the maltodextrin found in certain sports drinks could be absorbed by either ingestion or by simply swilling the drink in your mouth for a few seconds – and the rate of absorption is just the same. To test this theory, a group of fencers were invited to test their skill. The group was blind-tested with maltodextrin-laced sports drinks to ingest and another batch was instructed to rinse their mouth with the sports drink. Their performance was measured with a lunge test and a reaction test – the results suggest that it doesn’t matter if you drink or rinse your mouth with your sports drink, but the reaction will be the same.
What this means for you –
Some sports drinks are taken to avoid dehydration, and that immediately takes away the need to spit out your maltodextrin-infused sports drink. But if you feel bloated and full, feel free to spit it out. It doesn’t really matter. However, this would eventually open doors for new maltodextrin products in the market. Do not be surprised to see carbohydrate lozenges that promise to improve your endurance. If anything, proper hydration and blood circulation are key targets to improve performance, so don’t forget your electrolytes and your nitric oxide boosters such as Nitrogenix 365 to greatly amplify your workout performance.