Hypertonic sports drink

Hypertonic means it has a higher concentration of solutes than another solution. Hypertonic sports drinks consist of the highest percentage of carbohydrates which further increase the osmolality of the drink.

They are used to supplement daily carbohydrate intake and are normally consumed after exercise to “top” muscle glycogen stores. They have a higher concentration of salt and sugar than the human body. There are very few of these currently in the market. Hypertonic liquids slow the emptying of the stomach, which especially delays the absorption of water.

The osmolality of these drinks is higher than that in human blood, such that water must first be drawn from the blood into the intestines to dilute the solution in the intestines. This will temporarily dehydrate the body and increases the risk of stomach and intestinal problems due to the increased amount of water in the intestines.

Hypertonic drinks may be too high in sugar to be absorbed during exercise. The drinks can be taken during ultra-distance events to meet the high energy demands, but must be used in conjunction with Isotonic drinks to replace lost fluids.
Hypertonic sports drink

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