Nutrition - Carbonated Drinks Aren't the Best Option After Exercise

Nutrition - Carbonated Drinks Aren't the Best Option After Exercise

Dick Moss

Sometimes there's nothing as thirst-quenching as a carbonated beverage, and there's tremendous temptation to drink carbonated water after an athletic event.

But are carbonated beverages - including carbonated mineral water and club soda - the best drinks to regenerate dehydrated athletes after a hard practice or competition?

Actually, no. The problem with carbonated water isn't that the bubbles interfere with water absorption. It's that carbonation reduces an athlete's ability to ingest as much fluid as they might need--either because the bubbles tickle the athlete's throat, causing smaller sips, or cause a premature feeling of fullness.

And since the water requirements in the first two hours after a hard bout of exercise are often huge, this can be a problem.

It's one of the reasons few sports drinks are carbonated.

Carbonated Beverage Use
This doesn't mean athletes can't use carbonated beverages when rehydrating. A good strategy is to drink a full bottle of water or sports drink immediately after the competition or exercise session, then drink the carbonated beverage afterwards.

References 1. Suzanne Girard Eberle (MS., RD), Endurance Sports Nutrition, Human Kinetics Publishers, 2000.

2. Chris Carmichael @ Outside Magazine, as reported in Ken Parker, Runners Web Digest, July 21, 2006.


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