Sports drinks are quite fashionable – it is not uncommon to see them in school lunch boxes, on the desk at work or being taken to the gym.
How necessary are they?
Sports drinks are made from water, sugars and salts – and are designed to quickly replace fluids and sweat lost due to perspiration.
The sugars help replace glucose and salts help replace salts lost via sweating, as well as helping to retain fluid lost via sweating.
Sugar content of sports drinks is typically half that of a soft drink or fruit juice – about 200 calories in a 600ml bottle
The bottom line is that sports drinks are designed for athletes – those that perspire due to intensive training or competition. Most of us do not exercise at this elite level — and water is really all we need.
If you are exercising for less than an hour at a moderate intensity, then water will provide your rehydration needs very well – and for no calories!