Originally Posted by LuckyR
True Sports drinks contain sodium and severe sodium loss is a cause of muscle cramping and replacing it at that point can relieve the cramping. However from a practical standpoint there are other information to put the above into context:
Muscle cramping is rare in tennis matchplay, regardless of drinks, supplements, weather conditions etc
Only the most severe circumstances lead to cramps, Chang in the French etc.
The main benefit, therefore, of the sodium in sprts drinks is for more rapid rehydration, than warding off cramps.
In the rare case of actual muscle cramps or a legitimate case where the risk of cramps would be high, the levels of sodium in sports drinks is way too low. That's what pickle juice (or salt tabs) is for.
I agree with all of the above.
Prevention of muscle cramping is not the primary reason for staying hydrated with sodium containing sport drinks.
Probably the only ones at real risk for low sodium related cramps are those practicing playing day after day in the hot summer, and who have a low sodium diet. (Most Americans probably take in an excess of sodium overall in their diets.) Still, I could see my daughters, who have very low sodium diets, getting into trouble at a tennis camp if they drank only water day after day.