Two electrolyte-rich drinks aim to meet the specific needs of women.
Infinit Isis Endurance
Known for its customizable sports beverage mixes, Infinit Nutrition also offers premade options, including Isis, designed for women. Isis Endurance, made with all-natural ingredients, is formulated for long-course training with three kinds of carbohydrates (60 total grams per 20-ounce serving), a blend of electrolytes (including 325 milligrams of sodium per serving), and 2 grams of protein to curb hunger. If you’ve ever craved a grape popsicle on a hot summer day, this is your flavor—it’s sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. It tastes great cold and won’t sour in the heat.
$34.95 for 16 20-ounce servings, Infinitnutrition.com
Osmo Nutrition Active Hydration for Women
This sports drink blend meets women’s unique physiological needs including an optimized glucose-to-sucrose ratio and extra sodium (180 milligrams per serving). The mango flavor has a tropical essence, and is subtle and thirst-quenching with a clean finish. It’s mild enough that it wouldn’t be off-putting after hours in the saddle—but make sure you give the bottle a little shake before you swig as the powder tends to settle a bit. The Osmo women’s line also includes a Preload Hydration drink and Active Recovery drink.
$19.99 for 40 8-ounce servings, $1.99 for single 16-ounce serving, Osmonutrition.com
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Do women need their own drinks?
In short, yes, says Osmo Nutrition chief research officer Stacy Sims, Ph.D., who emphasizes that “women are not small men”—because of physiological differences (namely a menstrual cycle and hormone fluctuations), what generally works for a man doesn’t necessarily work for a woman. Due to hormonal changes, women have an altered energy metabolism during exercise, which means they have a smaller recovery window and a predisposition to become over-trained with too much intensity during certain parts of their menstrual cycle. In addition, during the two-week high-hormone phase of each cycle, estrogen reduces the availability of carbohydrate and increases the amount of fat used for fuel. Elevated levels of progesterone increase core temperature by almost one degree Fahrenheit, increase total body sodium losses, and increase muscle breakdown while reducing the body’s ability to synthesize muscle. Women also experience a drop in available plasma volume and are more predisposed to hyponatremia.
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