Isotonic drinks do not improve sports performance: Study

Sydney: Isotonic beverages that soccer players and other sportsmen usually drink during breaks in matches do not improve their performance in the second half, media said Friday, quoting a scientific study.

The conclusion was drawn from an experiment led by Michael Kingsley of the Australian La Trobe University analysing the effectiveness of sports drinks in maintaining blood glucose levels of top players, local channel ABC reported.

In the study, published in the Journal of Athletic Training, Kingsley and his colleagues showed that these beverages have no impact on blood glucose levels during breaks between performances.

On the contrary, they cause a rapid decrease in blood glucose levels which are key to maintaining the strength of athletes.

Kingsley said the finding is important because it can help counteract the decline in the activity of players during the second half of matches, which is when most goals occur due to errors in the defence.

"Our mind requires glucose to operate" and, therefore, needs a continuous supply, explained Kingsley.

He also stressed that less glucose in the blood can also influence the decisions of players.

Previous research had revealed that a fall in glucose levels can have a potentially negative influence on motor and cognitive functions vital to performance in sports like soccer.

The research team is examining at present whether it is possible to vary the composition of isotonic beverages and determine the right time to drink them.  

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