A new Harris Poll survey finds the majority of adults in the U.S. who exercise intensely understand the importance of maintaining hydration throughout a workout and that hydration is important for muscle recovery yet many have misconceptions about the type of hydration that may impact their ability to perform and recover optimally. The survey conducted for Abbott found 46% of people who report regular, intense …
– A new Harris Poll survey finds the majority of adults in the U.S. who exercise intensely understand the importance of maintaining hydration throughout a workout (93%) and that hydration is important for muscle recovery (89%), yet many have misconceptions about the type of hydration that may impact their ability to perform and recover optimally.
The survey conducted for Abbott (NYSE: ABT) found 46% of people who report regular, intense exercise at least three days per week believe that energy drinks and soda can aid in rehydration after a strenuous 4 workout. This conflicts with guidance from the scientific community that these drinks can contribute to dehydration due to large amounts of sugar and insufficient levels of electrolytes. 1,2,3
Understanding the Science Behind Hydration and Its Impact on Performance
During a workout, dehydration occurs when fluid losses – whether from sweating, increased core temperatures or even breathing – exceed fluid consumed through both foods and drinks. Fluid loss is also accompanied by the loss of electrolytes, which are minerals that aid in healthy cell signaling and function. 5,6
“Water makes up nearly 75 percent of every cell in your body, making its replacement during and after exercise essential to everyday health,” said Craig Horswill , Ph.D., clinical associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago . “What many don’t realize is that electrolytes also help direct the flow of water in and out of cells, helping to support rehydration and muscle repair. Carbohydrates like glucose are needed to pull the electrolytes and water into the body during rehydration, yet too much sugar can slow rehydration and delay recovery.”
Abbott, maker of Pedialyte, and Jeanette Jenkins , human kinetics expert and one of the nation’s leading health and fitness coaches, are encouraging fitness enthusiasts to focus on the quality of an electrolyte beverage because ingredients can impact hydration status and how muscles function and recover.
“I tell my clients that to get results, they need to be mindful of both their food and beverage choices as part of their workout preparation and recovery,” said Jenkins, who has trained professional athletes, including professional basketball champions. “It’s important to approach hydration with intention; get plenty of water and hydrating liquids like Pedialyte each day before, during and after a workout and track your progress on overall nutrition and health goals.”
In 2020, Abbott’s Pedialyte launched a new rehydration solution scientifically designed for athletes with five key electrolytes for muscle support. Offering three times the electrolytes and one-fourth the sugar of the leading sports drink, 7 Pedialyte Sport was developed to help athletes avoid negative symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration like muscle cramping, fatigue and headache by replacing fluid/water lost in sweat. It has an optimal balance of glucose and sodium, which is critical to the rehydration process. Electrolytes also support fluid balance in the body and are vital to muscle and nerve function, as well as help facilitate muscle repair. 1
“Abbott continues to advance Pedialyte’s formulations, which were originally created to help prevent mild to moderate dehydration in sick children,” said Chris Calamari , senior vice president of U.S. nutrition at Abbott. “As the number one, doctor-recommended electrolyte solution, adults, athletes and trainers recognize the science behind this product, which led us to develop Pedialyte Sport. Created specifically for athletes, Pedialyte Sport is designed for fast rehydration and replenishment of fluid and electrolytes during recovery.”
Pedialyte Sport is available in ready-to-drink bottles and powder packs in both lemon-lime and fruit punch flavors. Pedialyte products can be found online and in-store at most major retailers, including Walmart, Target and Amazon. Other Pedialyte products include AdvancedCare ® Plus with PreActiv ® Prebiotics; Pedialyte Organic , a U.S. Department of Agriculture certified organic electrolyte solution; Pedialyte with Immune Support with vitamins C, E, B 12 and zinc; and Pedialyte Electrolyte Water with zero sugar 8 designed for everyday hydration. For more information about hydration, visit the Abbott Nutrition Health Institute , and for product information, visit Pedialyte.com .
About the Survey
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of Abbott from April 27-29, 2021 , among 2,047 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, of whom, 799 typically participate in intense exercise at least three days per week. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. Our 109,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries.
1 Baker LB, Jeukendrup AE. Optimal Composition of Fluid-Replacement Beverages. Compr Physiol. 2014(4):575-620.
2 McDermott BP, et al. National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Fluid Replacement for the Physically Active. J Athl Train. 2017;52(9):877-895.
3 Sawka MN, et al. Exercise and Fluid Replacement. American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. Med Sci Sports Exer 2007;39(2):377-90. doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e31802ca597.
4 Strenuous is defined as requiring maximum effort (e.g., lasting approximately 30 minutes or more and resulting in a substantially higher heart rate as compared with resting heart rate and rapid breathing making it difficult to speak in full sentences). Exertion levels considered hard to extremely hard.
5 Dehydration Symptoms & Causes, Pedialyte.com
6 Liska et al. Narrative review of hydration and selected health outcomes in the general population. Nutrients 2019(11):1-29
7 Pedialyte ® Sport has 1380 mg sodium and no more than 14g sugar per liter; the leading sports drinks has ~460 mg sodium and ~58 g sugar per liter.
8 Low in calories.
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