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I've been doing short runs this summer (~5k in more or less half an hour) and I decided to buy this powder to make isotonic drinks to recover after the exercise.

I know that in such a short time I have mostly lost water and salts from my body but I don't know if drinking an isotonic drink is useful or if it would be fine if I just drank some water afterwards.

When is it useful to drink an isotonic drink? How long should the exercise be? Does it make a difference in my recovery in my particular situation?

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If you look at the breakdown, it's got 364 calories per 100 grams, with 78.2 grams of sugar. So you're basically getting 312 calories directly from sugar substrates (dextrose and saccharose as well as maltodextrose).

Also, the advertising tag line states that it's designed to be light in the mouth "during sports", not after. During, you want enough calories to sustain your activity, which you should have in plenty for short duration such as 30 minutes.

After, you want to replenish and repair, and for endurance, a 3:1 carb to protein ratio is ideal, which oddly enough, is the ratio for milk. Milk has been proven in studies to be a great after endurance replenishment.

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Let me set a fine line: It isn't really THAT useful at all to drink a sports drink AFTER you go for a run. That sports drink stuff is supposed to give you energy to go running, not to recover. Besides, it is probably loaded with artificial sugars, anyway. I would suggest drinking water, milk, and protein shakes after a run, not a sports drink.

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Not useful at all.

The reason to drink an isotonic drink is to get water and calories onboard during exercise. Isotonic means that it is at the same concentration as your blood so you're neither osmotically extracting water from your blood to dilute it so you can absorb it nor leaving nutrients behind because the concentration couldn't be affected.

Secondly, 5km is far too short to get anywhere near depleting the carbohydrate reserves in your liver (that point is at about 90mins).

For a 5km race just drink whatever non-caffeinated drink you normally drink and get on with it.

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