Sports Drinks vs Water

Do you usually drink sports drinks or water? Although sports drinks may seem like a suitable choice after your bike ride or summer run, it is actually not always the best. Below, you can learn more about the benefits of sports drinks vs water and also when to avoid sports drinks for water.

Continue reading below to find out more about
– The ingredients and nutritional values of sports drinks
– The benefits of sports drinks vs water
– The potential problems with sports drinks
– And which drink that is generally more recommended

Ingredients and Nutrition
There are actually just a few people who can get the full benefits from sports drinks. A sports drink typically contains carbohydrates (which come as sugars or polymerized glucose), sodium, potassium, and amino acids. A sports drink is designed to restore the elements that have been lost after a long and intense physical activity. See also: Sports Drinks vs Energy Drinks.

A sports drink averagely has 19 grams of carbohydrates per eight-ounce serving. It also has 35 – 200 mg sodium and 15 – 90 mg potassium. The amino acids may vary, as they are more of additive ingredients.

Sports drinks can help people to recover more quickly after long, intense physical activities. The sugars and carbs provide energy quickly, whereas the sodium and potassium help to retain body water. Although sodium is generally avoided, it is actually very important during a heavy workout. It maintains the fluid balance in the body. Insufficient sodium can actually kill you, as noted by Harvard Health Publishing. Meanwhile, the amino acids are said to be useful for enhancing muscle recovery, but they are not really needed if we regularly consume well-balanced foods.

On the other hand, water simply rehydrates the body. Drinking water after a workout is highly recommended to restore the lost fluid. Sometimes, adding some salt into the water is also recommended. Salt contains sodium, which is needed to retain body water and restore fluid balance.

Health Risks
Not all people can benefit from sports drinks. In fact, most people should just skip sports drinks and take water instead. Why? As mentioned above, sports drinks are designed to restore carbs and electrolytes that have been lost after intense activities. They are indeed beneficial for high-intensity athletes.

Meanwhile, general public usually only perform lower-intensity workouts and exercises. Running, bicycling, and the likes don’t need sport drinks. The high sugar levels in sports drinks will just lead to excessive calorie intake. It substantially increases the risks of obesity and diabetes, in both children and adults.

In addition, sports drinks often have pH levels between three and four. As the effect, sports drinks may cause enamel demineralization, which eventually leads to tooth cavity.

Drinking water is more recommended for rehydration. Water doesn’t have sugars or calories. So, water will not cause obesity, diabetes, or tooth cavity.

Sports Drinks vs Water

Sports DrinksWater
- Contains carbohydrates, sodium, potassium, and amino acids- Only has water
- Designed to restore lost carbs and electrolytes- Rehydrates the body
- May cause obesity or diabetes if consumed outside its purpose- Does not cause obesity, diabetes, or tooth cavity
- Only suitable after a long, high-intensity activity- More recommended for most people

Unless you are a high-intensity athlete who has just performed a long and intense activity, water is more recommended. General public should not consume sports drinks. The sugars and calories are very high, they may cause obesity, diabetes, and tooth cavity. Water is sufficient for rehydration.