Ask the Expert: Sports Drinks vs Water

Ask the Expert: Sports Drinks vs Water

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.

basketball player sitting on the bench while being handed a sports drink.

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 youth soccer team sits down to rest in their after practice huddle

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



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.

shop now button

Reading next

royal blue hidrate spark 3 bluetooth smart water bottler glowing green on kitchen counter next to an iPad.
woman drinking a glass of water while sitting on bedsheets

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.