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How to choose your energy drink

Energy drinks –not to be confused with energy drinks that are strongly discouraged in case of physical activity– allow beginners and experienced athletes to hydrate during the effort and rehydrate after the effort.

Indeed, physical activity leads to a loss of water and minerals that needs to be filled in order to maintain your level of performance. It's also necessary to compensate your fatigue and to reduce the risk of injuries or cramps. Sport drinks, which are often sweet, are indicated during and after a moderate to intense effort because they are easy to assimilate by the body and bring you all the energy you need!

Composition and active ingredients

The composition of energy drinks is subject to the regulations of the European Union, which are guarantees of quality and safety. They can contain (in a dose of 500ml):

  • Carbohydrates (glucose, fructose, maltodextrins): to compensate for fatigue and to provide energy throughout the effort (between 30 and 60g per hour of effort).
  • Mineral salts (sodium, magnesium, potassium): to maintain your body's water balance, especially sodium, which is the main loss of minerals during exercise (between 400 and 1100mg/l of sodium, 56g of magnesium, about 300mg of potassium).
  • Vitamins (B, C, E): to restore energy (two different vitamins B at a minimum).
  • Antioxidants: to stay in shape over the long term (12g of vitamins C at least).

What drink for what effort?

Does the sports drinks market scare you? Don't panic, we are here to guide you through thousands of products and help you choose the drink best suited for all your needs. There are several categories of energy drinks, each with its own advantages:

  • Pure water: for an effort of short duration (less than 1h) and of low intensity.
  • Isotonic drinks are recommended from 1h to 1h30 of effort at medium intensity. Their concentration is identical to that of blood plasma and thus compensate water, carbohydrate and mineral salts losses in a balanced manner, hence they're the most common on the market. They're found in the form of energy powders on the market.
  • Hypotonic drinks have a lower sodium and sugar concentration than the body. They therefore only compensate water losses, to the detriment of sugar in prolonged endurance sports such as MTB since they are strenghtened with mineral salts which maintain the stability of the digestive system.
  • Hypertonic drinks, on the other hand, have a higher concentration of sodium and sugar than the body: they thus remedy losses of sugars in priority, and less water's. It's in this context that dehydration happens. Therefore, they're adapted to a practice in cold weather.

Our tips

Energy drinks are an undeniable asset for an extreme practice, so here are some tips to make the most of it.

  • Prefer pure water over energy drinks if you're a beginner or casual athlete or if the effort is short in order to get the most out of your exercise and get back in shape!
  • Avoid high-fructose drinks that give gastrointestinal problems.
  • Regularly hydrate during exercise with warm –not icy– water to boost your performance.
  • Never try a drink for the first time during a competition or a big event: have a try at it during training.


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