Sep
06
2012

Water vs. sports drinks – it's more complicated than you might think

Energy booster: Gatorade drinks are generally considered good sports drinks to quickly power up your body, but only after you've done about an hour of working out.
Energy booster: Gatorade drinks are generally considered good sports drinks to quickly power up your body, but only after you've done about an hour of working out.Courtesy Jeff Bedford
What did I learn this summer? I didn't have to go back to school this week, but yet this question jumped out at me when I read this article. That's because I did learn that it's a bit of a complicated line in deciding if you should just drink water or a sports energy drink after that hard workout.

This Washington Post article matches up with what I learned this summer working on a sports nutrition video for another museum. And with the onslaught of football season and all the sports drink commercials that come with it, it might be good to find out what nutritionists think about when it's best to drink sports drinks or just plain water.

Clear refreshment: Water is usually your best source for refreshment for less than one hour's worth of working out.
Clear refreshment: Water is usually your best source for refreshment for less than one hour's worth of working out.Courtesy Walter J. Pilsak
As a general rule, if you've been exerting for a hour or less, water is your best bet. More than an hour of hard activity, many sports drinks will give you needed energy boosters to keep you going. But as with anything you put into your body, you want to read the labels closely and make sure that the right kinds of things are going into to replace your lost energy.

I highly recommend this article. And be sure to make it to page two to find out about the pee test, which is a quick way to gauge if you're properly hydrated or in need of more fluids in your system.

What do you think about sports energy drinks and their use? To you have your own rule of thumb on when to use them? Share your thoughts with other Science Buzz readers.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

PINKSHINE's picture
PINKSHINE says:

I THINK BOTH ARE THE BEST.

posted on Fri, 09/07/2012 - 6:10pm
katena's picture
katena says:

Next occasion you go for a sprint, carry water, not a sports slurp. According to a research, sports and vigor drinks can damage your teeth. Researchers who deliberate 13 games drinks and nine power drinks found that the bitterness in the drinks decomposed fang enamel after only five time of intermittent contact to the liquid. Energy food and drink cause twice as much harm to the teeth as sports food and drink did. injured tooth enamel can guide to tooth compassion, cavity, and fester.
http://www.totalsurfingfitness.com/

posted on Wed, 11/28/2012 - 3:38am
Carol4's picture
Carol4 says:

Water is one of the essential elements required by our body after food. If our water content is less then it could be very much harmful to our body. So it is better to drink lots of water rather to have an energy supplement. Energy supplements will just provide only energy to a certain time period. And also it contains many chemicals which is extremely harmful for our body.
medifast health

posted on Wed, 04/10/2013 - 1:09am
Matt's picture
Matt says:

There is an appropriate balance to be reached between lilquid and carbohydrate replenishment when it comes to physical activity. Extended exercise necessitates eventual food restoration. However, for short periods of exercise, water is likely sufficient.

posted on Sat, 04/13/2013 - 1:50pm
Jeff Montgomery 's picture
Jeff Montgomery says:

I too believe that water is the best bet. Now day you just can't be to certain to what chemicals will be found in processed sports drinks. However proper hydration is key through any work out and either way you need to be consuming fluid. losingyourbelly.com

posted on Sun, 04/14/2013 - 9:07am
Salix's picture
Salix says:

Water is an essential for life, we need it to live. Sports drinks may sound and taste good but water is the best way to go. Other drinks are full of chemicals where water is pure. when I exercise I always drink water.

posted on Sun, 04/14/2013 - 3:25pm
Paige's picture
Paige says:

I think water would be the best choise because you can drink it when you thirsty and it will be affective. But Gatorade would be a good choice because it has flavor and it has vitamins.

posted on Wed, 04/17/2013 - 12:34pm
paul's picture
paul says:

water! it's naturs energy drink

posted on Sat, 04/20/2013 - 3:44pm

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