Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Physical Therapy (M.S.)

Degree Program

Physical Therapy


Sports drinks have been shown to influence running performance, however, the best methods of hydration are still unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of water versus sports drink (6% carbohydrate/electrolyte) hydration prior to an exercise bout on the performance of middle distance, amateur runners. Ten subjects were randomly assigned to run two trials and began with either ingestion of water or sports drink. They then completed a maximal treadmill test to volitional exhaustion and returned two days later and drank the opposite drink. Maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max), time of run, heart rate, respiratory exchange ratio, and expiratory volume were analyzed to measure performance. The Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test showed p = .036 when comparing the VO2max of sports drink trials versus water trials, however, no other outcome measures reached a significant level. Therefore, drinking a sports drink prior to a middle distance run appears to improve VO2max when compared to water ingestion.


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