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Hydration is important to prevent sporting accidents and illness. The human body is made of about 60 percent water and you need to keep this topped up during sport and exercise.

There are many different types of fluids that you can drink. Water is the oblivious drink but there are many variants which can help to hydrate the body and replace electrolytes and carbohydrates. It is very important not to just drink loads of water with sports as you must find a balance of water and replacement of electrolytes. Reducing this balance can lead to bloating and eventually can lead to death in extreme cases.

There are many different brands or drinks available, all which have different ingredients, flavours and effects on the body. The costs also vary a lot across the brands. To choose the right drink you will need to try different drinks and get advice on the best one for you.

Hydration is very important in sports or during illness and drinking water or special drinks will help with performance or recovery.

Hydration drinks come in two main forms. Those that are bottled ready to drink and those that are powders that are added to water by the user. With the powders, how strong you make the solution, will effect how easily it passes through the gut and how much it actually quenches thirst.

Osmolarity is a measure of the number of dissolved molecules in a solution. Blood usually has an osmolarity of about 300 mOsm/kg. An isotonic solution is one that has a similar osmolarity as that of blood at 300. Iso means the same, therefore isotonic is the same as blood. Hyper means higher and hypo means lower therefore if the osmolarity is more than blood its a hypertonic drink and if lower its a hypotonic drink,

Isotonic drinks are used widely in sports as it provides a perfect balance between replacing fluids, supplying carbohydrates and electrolytes. Isotonic drinks also are good at quenching thirst. Most sports drinks provide a 6-8% solution will typically be isotonic.

Hypotonic drinks are plain water or a weak squash to give it flavour. Hypotonic drinks are very good at replacing fluids quickly but without supplying energy or electrolytes. Hypotonic drinks often leave you with a bloating feeling before you have replaced enough fluids.

Hypertonic drinks are strong solutions of carbohydrates that are used as high calorie drinks. Sometimes a bottle of plain water and another bottle of hypertonic drink are used in endurance sports.