Sports Drinks: Yay or Nay?

We’ve all been there – you finish a long game or aerobic exercise feeling lightheaded and tired. You want to reach for a sports drink, but you’ve heard they aren’t always good for you. So, when and which sports drinks do you opt for?

Drinking carbohydrate and electrolyte infused drinks when exercising 60 minutes or more will greatly increase your performance. Complex carbohydrates in these drinks journey to your muscles and increase endurance by up to 20%. If you drink plain water during an intense workout, the lack of sodium will not bring hydration to places that need it, like your muscles and blood. Electrolytes alone are not beneficial during medium to high intensity workouts lasting 60 minutes or more.

Take little sips throughout your workout to avoid overloading on too much hydration at one time. 

With so many options, which sports drink should you reach for?

Seek out drinks with 13-19 grams of carbs and at least 80 mg of sodium.

Gatorade G (8fl oz):  50 calories, 14g carbs, 110mg sodium

Powerade Ion 4 (8fl oz):  50 calories, 14g carbs, 100mg sodium


For long runs:

Gatorade Endurance (8fl oz): 50 calories, 14g carbs, 200mg sodium, 90mg potassium

PowerBar Reform (1 scoop in 8oz water): 70 calories, 17g carbs, 190mg sodium, 10mg potassium