While you’re out on a run, or hitting the gym to tone your muscles, what do you bring to stay hydrated? A sports drink? As the legend goes, sport drinks are better for your body when exerting yourself as it replaces the electrolytes lost during strenuous activity. Athletes and casual exercisers swear by the sugary drink that markets itself to those in need of liquid energy. The brands are endless, demonstrating the demand by amateurs and professionals alike.
Primarily used for sports activity, sports drinks can also be helpful during a stomach sickness as it promotes the absorption of acid. This is because, at its very core, sport drinks are composed of water, sugar and electrolytes. You can’t get much simpler than that. Or can you? If you consume sport drinks to retain the water you lose while sweating, why not just drink water? What makes sport drinks so popular and effective for athletes if the main goal is to stay hydrated. So which is better: sport drinks or water?
Pros: Quickly Replaces Energy, Great Flavor Variety
Cons: Empty Calories, Fast Weight Gain
Pros: Essential to Healthy Life, No Calories
Cons: No Flavor
Overall, sports drinks effectively keep you hydrated and can be used in activities that are feats of endurance such as marathons or a basketball game. Throughout your work out, sport drinks will keep your energy up, which is essential to performance. However, for a short thirty minute workout or a brisk walk, water is better for you system as it will keep you well hydrated without any additives in your system.
Water has been the go-to for years and that’s because there are next to no health risks of water whereas a high intake of sport drinks can cause problems from excess sodium and potassium. Remember: on top of using sport drinks, you must still consume eight glasses of water a day. Kept in moderation and used properly, sport drinks are healthy tools for those seeking quick energy and hydration. Whenever you are in doubt, though, go with regular, old fashion water.