You feel tired in the afternoon and have tried drinking water, coffee, green tea, or any sort of tea you can name. But one topic that comes to your mind is sports drinks vs. water and which one is better for you when you’re tired and thirsty.
This article explains all you should know about the benefits and drawbacks of sports drinks vs. water. It will provide you with a guideline to make a wise decision.
Table of Contents
- 1 What do sports drinks contain?
- 2 Sports drinks vs. water for athletes
- 3 Disadvantaged of sports drinks
- 4 Popular Products
- 5 Sports drinks can cause obesity and weight gain.
- 6 Are sports drinks better than water for hydration?
- 7 Bottom line
What do sports drinks contain?
There are different substances in sports drinks, but the main one is water. The two major and famous substances are carbs and electrolytes. They are to increase performance and provide more energy for athletes.
You can expect to find the carb in sports drinks in the form of sugar like:
The above items are not all, and you might find the carbs in different forms.
According to J S Coombes and K L Hamilton’s research, 6-8% of sports drinks are carbs. There are 14 grams of carbs in such drinks.
Of course, there are some sports drinks that contain no sugar or carbs. People prefer to receive less of these two substances because burning them is a bit hard.
According to R J Maughan’s study, potassium and sodium are the main electrolytes in sports drinks. They are necessary for the normal operation of your body.
The Coombes and Hamilton’s research we referred to above also indicates that there is little to no difference in different water sports brands available in the market. Their effectiveness is almost the same.
Experts advise reading the food label of the sports drinks before drinking them. You are to decide whether they are useful for you or not. What they contain might not be appropriate for your diet. So you would better consult with a health expert.
Sports drinks vs. water for athletes
There are advantages and disadvantages with everything, so it is with sports drinks. The following are some of the pros and cons of sports drinks vs. water you would better know.
The point to remember is that you should consult with a health expert before taking sports drinks.
Benefits of sports drinks
The following items are some of the benefits of sports drinks;
Making up for the mission fluids
The one benefit of sports drinks is that they can make up for the lost fluids. Your body loses fluid through daily activity and needs to replace it.
Sports drinks can be an option as the taste is better than tap water; they motivate you to drink more.
If you don’t drink enough fluids per day, you might get dehydrated. It’s dangerous for the body, and you need to keep an eye on it. Bear in mind that you need to drink one to four cups of liquid for every hour of exercise. It is unlikely that you don’t feel thirsty after exercise, but you need to drink that amount of fluid even if you don’t feel thirsty.
Contain calories and sugar
Sports drinks contain sugar, often 4-9%, and they are a source of energy for athletes. Sugar can give you more strength and endurance while doing exercise. The point to remember is that you should not drink sports drinks that contain high levels of sugar. Sugar can prolong the absorption of liquid. It was made clear after the University of Illinois study.
You can add some water to the drink to dilute them and enjoy them as well.
Long endurance and stamina
Sports drinks vs. water are one option when you train for had sports for a long time, such as the marathon. This is what the dietitian Lisa Middleton thinks from Melbourne.
You get to do exercise or practice more as you can delay fatigue.
The fluid and electrolytes also help you during the exercise. As explained, the good taste helps hydration, but there are water options like alkaline and spring water to replace sports drinks.
Easy to use and carry
Sports drinks vs. water are easy to carry and use. You can have them in one bottle and use them whenever you want. You can also use them when you are in nature. Preparing food or carrying a snack can be heavy.
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Disadvantaged of sports drinks
The followings are some of the disadvantaged of sports drinks:
Sports drinks have acids
The one substance found in sports drinks is acid. Sugar and acid can be bad for your teeth. The reason is that when you drink sports drinks, your body doesn’t have enough fluids, and that is due to the heavy exercise you have had.
You should know that when you are thirsty, the saliva in the mouth is not enough to protect your teeth. It can not eliminate the harmful substances in the mouth from your teeth. That is the point to remember if you do heavy sports a lot or for the long term and intent to make up for the lost energy by sports drinks vs. water.
High amounts of caffeine
When you have a coffee, you know you are taking caffeine and adding it to the total count of your day, but what about the time you don’t know you’re taking caffeine and you use it too much. We do remember that too much of a good thing won’t be good anymore.
Sports drinks contain a high amount of caffeine. It could be bad for your health as you consume them in the long term. It is particularly true for your nervous system.
Health experts say that the caffeine in sports drinks could lead to;
According to HealthResearchfunding, “11 out of 27 top US energy drinks do not specify the exact amount of caffeine in their drinks”.
The mentioned source also indicates the other health risks of sports drinks:
Small amounts of caffeine can improve cognition, but too much can hinder it.
Consuming too much caffeine can cause heart cells to release calcium. It affects the heartbeat and overall health of your heart.
People who consume energy drinks are 2-3 times more likely to get dependent on alcohol.
The decision to consume sports drinks vs. water or energy drinks is up to you. You should consult with a health expert before drinking them too much or on a regular basis.
Sports drinks can cause obesity and weight gain.
A study by Alison E. Field and his team published in the Journal of Obesity indicates that drinking sports drinks vs. water can lead to obesity. It says that the young people in the study who drank 1-2 sports drinks each day had more weight gain compared with their classmates who did not drink any sports drinks at all.
Nancy Rehrer was not in this study, but she says that the adults could be at risk, too, as they drink these sports drinks do not need them. She is an exercise metabolism researcher at Otago University in New Zealand.
Sports drinks are to provide more energy, sugar, and hydration for athletes. They burn the received calory by the tough practices. It is unlikely that ordinary people can burn the calories received from sports drinks.
Are sports drinks better than water for hydration?
There is a study named “A randomized trial to assess the potential of different beverages to affect hydration status” by Ronald J Maughan and his team. They tested the hydration ability of different beverages. The study found that “there was no difference in the hydrating ability of water, sports drinks, tea, and cola.”
If you take sports drinks vs. water for better hydration, you should consider the findings of the mentioned research, with is a well-cited one.
The benefits and drawbacks of the sports drinks mentioned above can also help you decide whether you need sports drinks or not.
Whatever beverage you use, it’s necessary to drink enough water every day and ensure your hydration. It is true even if you don’t feel thirsty. The following are some of the reasons you need to drink water:
- Creates salvia in your mouth
- Regulates your body temperature
- Protects your joints, spinal cords, and tissues.
- Helps to eliminate waste from your body
- Increase physical performance
- Can help prevent constipation
- Aides your digestion
- Helps absorbing nutrients
- Aids weight loss
- Can help to fight some illnesses
- Improves your mood
- Helps to have s bright and healthy skin
- Improves overall hydration
Sports drinks vs. water are one of the topics that people ask a lot about and want to know which one is better. This article explained the benefits and drawbacks of sports drinks. You will better consult with a health expert if you drink them too much. In case you don’t do tough exercise for more than 60min per day, you are unlikely to need them. Water can answer your body’s needs.
If you don’t like the taste of tap water, and that is the reason you have picked sports drinks vs. water, try different water options; alkaline, purified, and spring mountain water.
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