It’s a sideline staple: Gatorade. Scientists at the University of Florida developed the energy drink 55 years ago; hence its name. Since then, competition has boomed and in 2018, the sports drink market value was more than 22 billion dollars.
Sports Drinks vs Water
We know we need to drink at least 64 ounces of water a day, even if we’re not athletes. So are sports drinks a good substitute for water?
Dr. Joshua Thurman says they do have value:
“Sweat is composed of water and electrolytes (sodium and potassium). During exercise, the body consumes energy and loses electrolytes in the urine. Sports drinks are made to provide the body with energy and replace electrolytes.”
A big concern with sports drinks is that they are high in calories. For example, a 20 ounce Powerade has 34 grams of sugar; a 16 ounce Gatorade contains about 130 calories. For anyone trying to lose weight or for kids, that’s a problem.
“In general, most people get sufficient energy (e.g. sugar) and electrolytes (e.g. sodium) in their diets. If you are not actively exercising, you may be better off drinking water and avoiding unnecessary calories or salt,” says Dr. Thurman.
So drink your water and if you’re like most of us, too busy to remember how much you need, we’ve got you, and your whole team covered with the HidrateSpark 3 smart water bottle.
ABOUT OUR EXPERT
Dr. Joshua Thurman, MD is a board-certified nephrologist and Professor of Medicine specializing in renal medical diseases and hypertension at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and his undergraduate degree from Harvard University. He has been in practice for more than 22 years.