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I see many runners drinking some sport drinks. When I talked to some of them they seem to know a great deal about it. There are different formulas. Are they really necessary? Should I use them or drink plain water? If I should use them what are your suggestions? What are your sports drink preferences?

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Well, you can certainly run without them. Heck, people have been running for thousands of years without sport drinks. So can you. However sport drinks have some advantages. They replace the minerals lost during the race and besides quenching your thirst (plain water is best at it) they provide some carbs and protein too. This can speed up your recovery, especially when taken during 1 hour “window of opportunity” (one hour immediately after a high intensity race). At that time whatever kind of sugar you ingest, your body will store it not as a fat but as a glycogen. It is a preferred form of energy storage as it is being stored in your muscles rather than fat cells. Glycogen is a form of sugar your body can easily use at the next high intensity exercise. If I were you I would go for a formula that contains 5-7% solution of carbs with some protein and BCAAs along with vitamins, minerals and trace elements. The carb to protein ratio should be 4:1.
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