Sports drinks are big business. Gatorade alone makes well over a billion dollars a year. Many athletes swear by them for their performance enhancing abilities, and replacing all of the lost nutrients during exercise.
It turns out however that all the electrolyte rehydration technology is nothing compared to the simple pleasure of having a bunch of sugar in your mouth.
A study conducted by the University of Birmingham School of Sport and Exercise Sciences found that one of the key reasons sports drinks work is because they activate the pleasure centre of your brain. So how can you use this to hack your brain?
You don’t need to actually consume the drink to get some of the positive benefits, just swishing it around in your mouth and spitting it out has the same effect.
The carbohydrates in the drink stimulate receptors in your mouth that then send positive signals to the brain. In turn the brain activates the pleasure centre and also charges up the movement centres, resulting in a higher level of performance.
So if you’re looking for a performance boost just try swishing a sports drink in your mouth every now and then. But if you have just had a gruelling work out swallow it down to replenish the nutrients you have used up.