Science Project:

Here's To Your Heart

3.8 based on 32 ratings
Difficulty of Project

Medium

Cost

Less than $5.00

Safety Issues

None

Material Availability

Materials list requires purchasing a sports drink and having a stopwatch available. Other materials needed are readily available.

Approximate Time Required to Complete the Project

30 – 45 minutes to gather data; one day to write results and prepare the science project display.

To determine if a sports drink affects the heart rate of a student athlete during exercise

  • Sports drink (purchased at store)
  • Plastic cups
  • Drinking water
  • Stopwatch
  • Jumprope

Exercise is important for good health. It is also important to stay hydrated while exercising. During exercise the body loses water primarily through sweat. Water helps to cool the body. Water also helps to transport important nutrients throughout the body. It is important to keep hydrated before, during, and after exercise.

Sweating during exercise is linked to a drop in blood volume. A drop in blood volume causes the heart to beat harder and faster to move the blood through the bloodstream. This is one of the causes of fatigue and cramps experienced during exercise. Drinking water during exercise will replete the blood volume and reduce the heart rate.

Many sports drinks are on the market. Most sports drinks contain carbohydrates and electrolytes. The makers of sports drinks claim that carbohydrates and electrolytes in the drinks provide the body with additional energy helping the body to perform better. The question is whether any of these sports drinks provide benefits that water does not. For the purpose of this study, the affect of sports drinks on heart rate will be tested.

Terms

hydration: having water in the body

heart rate: the number of times the heart beats in a minute

Concepts

Water is essential to life. Water helps the body function. Heart rate is an indicator of how well the heart is moving blood through the body.

Research Questions
  • How do you get an accurate heart rate?
  • What is a resting heart rate?
  • What factors affect heart rate?
  • How does water help the body?
  • Why is water important during exercise?
  • Are sports drinks better at hydrating the body than water?

  1. Select 10 to 20 subjects. Most school science projects require permission slips for all subjects used in science investigations. Be sure to get all the necessary forms signed.
  2. Gather the necessary materials.
  3. Have the subject drink 250-ml of water. Then have the subject sit quietly for 2 minutes. After the two minutes, take the subject’s resting heart rate. Record the results.
  4. Have the subject jump rope for 5 minutes. Take the subject’s heart rate immediately after jumping rope. Record the results.
  5. Have the subject drink 250-ml cup of water. Take the subject’s heart rate again.
  6. After 15 minutes, have the subject drink 250-ml of a sports drink. Again, have the subject sit quietly for 2 minutes. After the two minutes, take the subject’s resting heart rate. Record the results.
  7. Have the subject jump rope for 5 minutes. Take the subject’s heart rate immediately after jumping rope. Record the results.
  8. Average the heart rates of each subject for both liquids. Compare the results.

Articles

“Proper Hydration for Exercise – Water or Sports Drinks” by Elizabeth Quinn, About.com, 2009.

“Effectiveness of Sports Drinks” by Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., About.com, 2009.

“Water vs. Sports Drinks” by Erica R. Hendry, USA Today, 2008.

“Water and Health” at FreeDrinkingWater.com, 2009.

Websites

www.gatorade.com

www.sportsmedicine.about.com

www.freedrinkingwater.com

Author: Nancy Rogers Bosse
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