Some sports enthusiasts are hesitant to drink juice because they are concerned about the sugar content. But the fact is that both amateur and accomplished athletes stand to benefit from integrating 100% pure juices into their dietary regimen. First, a glass of 100% pure juice (approximately 250 ml) supplies half of the daily portion of fruit recommended by the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans which identify the components of healthy eating patterns.1 Second, the fructose in 100% pure juice helps refuel muscles and replenishes their reserves of glycogen2; which can become depleted during intense physical activity. Juices that are 100% pure are also a good source of vitamins, in addition to containing a variety of electrolytes — sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium — which are essential to cell function, to maintaining pH levels and to the transmission of nerve impulses. Sodium (one of the main ingredients in perspiration) and potassium play a key role in muscle contraction and help to keep body fluids in balance. Calcium and magnesium are associated with bone health and also play a role in muscle contraction and relaxation. Although they are not found in high concentrations in perspiration, they are needed in physical activity. Finally, some juices made from brightly coloured fruit, such as blueberries, cranberries, oranges and grapes, contain various phytochemicals (bioflavonoids and carotenoids, for example) which contribute to strengthening the immune system.3 Today, many people who do sports are choosing the benefits of 100% pure juice and are incorporating them in their own recipes to replace Gatorade-type drinks. They are mixing 100% pure juice, selected to suit their tastes and specific requirements, with water and salt,4 to replenish the electrolytes and carbohydrates lost during exercise.
- 1 Nancy Clark, Fruit Juice for athletes: yes or no? October 2016.
- 2 Glycogen is a form of carbohydrate (sugar) stored in the muscles and the liver.
- 3 Nancy Clark, Fruit Juice for athletes: yes or no? October 2016.
- 4 One gram of table salt contains 388 mg of sodium; the rest is chloride. So a pinch of salt provides a lot of sodium.