Sports Drinks vs. Water

During and after a tough workout it is vital to keep hydrated. Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, it helps the muscles work efficiently. Although, sports drinks quench your thirst and taste good they may not be the best option for your body. For most people, water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated. Sources of water also include fruits and vegetables.

Sports drinks with electrolytes, may be useful for people doing high intensity, vigorous exercise in very hot weather, though they tend to be high in added sugars and calories. Many sports drinks can contain between 50 and 80 calories per 8oz serving (Murphy, 2004). Drinking multiple in a day, every day, can add up. Dr. Paul LeBlanc states that “unless you are extremely active or a high-performance athlete, sports drinks can cause weight gain and electrolyte imbalance” (Current Health, 2000). They are also high in citric acid, so keep your they can have adverse effects on teeth and stomach digestion (Murphy, 2004).

Helping to reduce blood pressure, high cholesterol, the appearances of acne, blemishes, access weight and can combat fatigue is just a few of the more commonly known health benefits water has over sports drinks. Not to mention helping to clean out your digestive system and keep your metabolism going. Drinking water over sports drinks it the right choice for most individuals, so pick up a glass of water and bottoms up!

Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Health Studies department