Sports drinks are garbage. Read the ingredient label on any sports
drink. Then read the ingredient label on a can of Coca-cola. Look
familiar? Most sports drinks happen to be just this: uncarbonated
Coca-cola, cut 50-50 with water, with some evil artificial color and
artificial flavor tossed in to make it look fancy. Sports drinks are
about making big multi-national corporations a higher profit margin, not
about helping you run faster. Here is why you don't need a sports drink.
1.) You are only running a five kilometer race. The sugar in a sports
drink won't even be used by your body during that race. You'd have to be
running 12 miles or more for it do you any good.
2.) Much of the sugar in a sports drink is fructose, which is fruit sugar
and the sugar that takes the longest for your stomach to digest. So the
sugar is actually slowing down the absorption of this drink. That means
you are at risk of cramping or vomiting during your race.
All you need to keep hydrated is water. Drink water. Drink a lot of water
during the day, not just before your race.
Just for fun, take a look at the ingredient label from a bottle of Mountain Blast flavored Powerade, along with my comments in parentheses:
1.) Water (Water is okay to drink.)
2.) High Fructose Corn Syrup (This sugar takes a long time to digest and can cause cramps. But it is inexpensive for the company to use. So they use it.)
3.) Maltodextrin (A better sugar for runners (it digests quickly), and if the company really cared about you this is the only sugar they would use. Of course, you don't need sugar unless you are running 20 kilometers or more.)
4.) Citric Acid (It helps balance the PH level of the drink. You can also use it to remove stains from the inside of the dishwasher.)
5.) Natural Flavors (The company refused to tell me what these natural flavors were, but hinted that they were citrus juices.)
6.) Potassium Citrate (An electrolyte you would need if you were running over 12 miles.)
7.) Salt (An electrolyte you would need if you were running over 12 miles.)
8.)Acacia (A substance made from a tree sap that helps keep any solids dissolved in the drink--like the Maltodextrin--from precipitating out of the liquid and settling to the bottom of the bottle. It is there so the drink looks good.)
9.) Potassium Phosphate (An electrolyte you would need if you were running over 12 miles.)
10.) Ester of Wood Rosin (Ester of wood rosin? What is that?! Well, According to the Coca-Cola company, ester of wood rosin is a substance made from a tree sap. It is used to keep citrus oil from rising to
the top of the drink. Without it, the drink would have a layer of citrus oil at the top, when you opened it, much like milk had a layer of cream on the top before homogenization was invented. The ester is a flaky powder that has been "purified" to meet FDA requirements. Sounds appetizing! You really need to be eating ester of wood rosin, don't you?)
11.) Coconut Oil (Oh yes, that will help you run faster, won't it?.)
12.) Niacinamide (That is the vitamin Niacin, which you would need in a drink if you were not eating anything else during the day.)
13.) Blue Dye #1 (It is less expensive for the company to color this with a chemical than with natural fruit colors.)
14.)Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6, which you would need from a sports drink if you were not eating anything else during the day.)
15.) Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12, which you would need if you were not eating anything else during the day.)
Do you really want to be drinking Ester of Wood Rosin?
When I was a runner back in Bulgaria, we drank good old-fashioned water. It worked fine. You might want to stick to water and avoid Blue Dye #1 and Ester of Wood Rosin in your diet.