Are Sports Drinks Healthy?

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You’ve probably seen players baptizing their coach with it after a huge victory or a major player quenching his thirst as he glistens with sweat in the gym. Either way, the glorified sports drinks claim to do magnificent things for fitness trainees and athletes alike. Is there really a benefit to having sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade versus plain old water?

The difference between water and sports drinks

We have all heard the age old rule of thumb: drink at least eight glasses of water a day that equal eight ounces each. Many nutritionists and health experts are now calculating water intake based on more specific factors. Gender, activity levels, or even age goes into account. Either way, water is an element you need continuously. It makes up our bodies and helps produce the very element (oxygen) for us to survive.

We know we need to replenish lost fluids by constantly hydrating throughout the day. Water isn’t the only thing we lose during activities. Very active performers sweat more, losing sodium and potassium too. You also use stored carbohydrates to burn as fuel for energy while working out.

Sports drinks contain water along with other ingredients like electrolytes (sodium and potassium), and carbohydrates. Instead of scarfing down a banana plus heavier carbs and water, sports drinks present the sugars and minerals in easier to digest, liquid form.

Are sports drinks necessary?

For the average workout, water is just fine. For higher performance or lengthier training, even a small amount of sports drink could improve your endurance. The carbs can give you the burst of energy you need to boost your activity and finish what you started. Team sports, long distance running, and high intensity activities have proven the benefit of sports drinks.

Are sports drinks healthy?

Natural is always your best bet, but a sports drink formula may be more convenient at the time. Studies have shown the drinks could delay your body depleting its own source of stored carbs. This could prevent dehydration and the problems that follow.

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