Comparison of rice-based versus sucrose-based drinks on the ability to maintain hydration status in ROTC cadets during a physical training event.
It is well established that carbohydrates and electrolytes are needed for fueling during physical activity exceeding 1 hour. Sports drinks are commonly used to replenish carbohydrate and electrolyte losses and provide hydration. The ACSM guidelines recommend sports drinks contain 6-8% carbohydrate; however, rice-based sports drinks typically contain only 4-4.5% carbohydrates. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence the type of carbohydrate in sports drinks had on hydration status during a loadbearing 12-mile road march. To test this, CeraSport®, a rice-based drink, and Gatorade®, a sucrose-based drink, were provided to subjects. Sixteen Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from a private university completed a blinded randomized controlled trial. Despite the difference in type and amount of carbohydrate, we hypothesized that both sports beverages would provide adequate hydration throughout the event. Hydration status was assessed by urine specific gravity measures and pre- and post-body weight.