Are Sports Drinks Healthy


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Are Energy Drinks Bad For You? (What The Science Says)

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When used as intended — to replenish after true physical exertion — sports drinks are, indeed, healthy, according to experts. Cynthia Sass, RD, a sports nutritionist based in New York and L.A., says sports drinks can even be life-saving. “Drinking plain water, which doesn’t contain adequate amounts of electrolytes, after heavily sweating can dilute the concentration of electrolytes in the bloo. The Main Ingredients in Sports Drinks Water is the main ingredient in sports drinks, but they also contain other substances, including carbs and electrolytes, which are supposed to improve. Absolutely not to be confused with potentially harmful energy drinks like Red Bull, sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade are mixture of water, sugar and electrolytes like sodium and potassium. As a result, sports drinks become a substitute for a healthy lifestyle of getting plenty of rest, eating a well-balanced diet, exercising and minimizing stress.

If you lead a healthy lifestyle, you. Sports drinks perpetuate the myth that sugary drinks can be healthy if you just add a vitamin or two and give it a catchy name-and a new study shows how kids have fallen for that myth. Sports drinks contain electrolytes—including potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium—to help combat dehydration.

They work with your body to improve the absorption of fluid and replenish mineral losses. Look for a sports drink that contains at least sodium and potassium. Sports drinks are classified three ways: isotonic, hypotonic and hypertonic, depending upon the amount of carbohydrates they contain.

Isotonic fluids have six to eight percent carbohydrates, including glucose your body’s preferred energy source for exercise. Sports drinks are beneficial in certain situations. If you’re exercising at moderate to high intensity for longer than an hour, a sports drink will keep performance at peak levels. Sports drinks are flavored beverages that generally contain electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates in the form of sugar. They replenish athletes with water and electrolytes lost from sweat and provide energy from the sugar they contain.

Energy drinks, on the other hand, contain a stimulant such as caffeine to give an energy boost. In these instances, it’s definitely recommended to consume a healthy sports drink to rehydrate. Sodium is especially important in this mix, because it helps transport water through the walls of the small intestine, where 95% of fluid absorption takes place.

List of related literature:

While sugar-laced sports drinks have been around since the advent of Gatorade in the 1970s, recent research shows that consuming a sports drink (immediately following a workout) containing both carbohydrate and protein triggers a faster recovery rate than does a conventional carbohydrate-only sports drink.

“The Rock Climber's Exercise Guide: Training for Strength, Power, Endurance, Flexibility, and Stability” by Eric Horst
from The Rock Climber’s Exercise Guide: Training for Strength, Power, Endurance, Flexibility, and Stability
by Eric Horst
Falcon Guides, 2016

Gatorade and other sports drinks contain excess carbohydrate (6% to 8%); they should be diluted with one or two parts water to one part drink for children, but older adolescents may tolerate the carbohydrate load.

“Wong's Nursing Care of Infants and Children Multimedia Enhanced Version” by Marilyn J. Hockenberry, David Wilson, Donna L. Wong, Annette Baker, R.N., Patrick Barrera, Debbie Fraser Askin
from Wong’s Nursing Care of Infants and Children Multimedia Enhanced Version
by Marilyn J. Hockenberry, David Wilson, et. al.
Mosby/Elsevier, 2013

In terms of effectiveness, research has shown that consumption of sports drinks that contain electrolytes and carbohydrates has positive effects on fluid-electrolyte balance and exercise performance and are considered superior to water (American College of Sports Medicine, 2007).

“Handbook of Food Processing, Two Volume Set” by Theodoros Varzakas, Constantina Tzia
from Handbook of Food Processing, Two Volume Set
by Theodoros Varzakas, Constantina Tzia
CRC Press, 2015

However, some sports drinks and recovery drinks may contain ingredients that are not necessary or not even proven to be safe for athletes to consume, especially young and developing athletes.

“Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 3rd Ed.” by Monique Ryan, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN
from Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 3rd Ed.
by Monique Ryan, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN
VeloPress, 2012

The basic sports drink formulation, however, is extremely simple: the essential elements of a sports drink are water, sugar and salt.

“Functional and Speciality Beverage Technology” by P Paquin
from Functional and Speciality Beverage Technology
by P Paquin
Elsevier Science, 2009

Many sports drinks contain only sugars, sucrose, fructose, and corn syrup that provide energy but do not replace electrolytes lost in sweat.

“School Nursing: A Comprehensive Text” by Janice Selekman, Robin Adair Shannon, Catherine F Yonkaitis
from School Nursing: A Comprehensive Text
by Janice Selekman, Robin Adair Shannon, Catherine F Yonkaitis
F. A. Davis Company, 2019

Sports drinks are not necessary for most people, although they can be beneficial for those doing exercise that lasts for long periods of time.

“Fitness for Life: Middle School-2nd Edition” by Corbin, Chuck B., Le Masurier, Guy, Lambdin, Dolly
from Fitness for Life: Middle School-2nd Edition
by Corbin, Chuck B., Le Masurier, Guy, Lambdin, Dolly
Human Kinetics, 2017

The truth is, the vast majority of sports drinks are basically sugar water with some added electrolytes and artificial food dyes.

“Clean Cuisine Cookbook: 130+ Anti-Inflammatory Recipes to Heal Your Gut, Treat Autoimmune Conditions, and Optimize Your Health” by Ivy Larson, Andy Larson
from Clean Cuisine Cookbook: 130+ Anti-Inflammatory Recipes to Heal Your Gut, Treat Autoimmune Conditions, and Optimize Your Health
by Ivy Larson, Andy Larson
Victory Belt Publishing, 2019

There are concerns with improper and unguided consumption of sports drinks; these include the displacement of calorie-free – and essential – water, which can lead to an increase in daily caloric intake, as well as the displacement of other health-promoting beverages such as milk.

“Nutrition in Lifestyle Medicine” by James M. Rippe
from Nutrition in Lifestyle Medicine
by James M. Rippe
Springer International Publishing, 2016

The sugar content of sport drinks is slightly less than that of most soft drinks and juices.

“Athletic Training and Sports Medicine” by Robert C. Schenck, Ronnie P. Barnes, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Robert S. Behnke
from Athletic Training and Sports Medicine
by Robert C. Schenck, Ronnie P. Barnes, et. al.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 1999

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • Any studies on life  extension with mental and long life improvement.. even caffeine may not improve your life but may improve your mind to know a dangerous situation and thus avoid these types of dangers.  The other side is a higher thought process and better mental function with ideal vitamin and other nutrients with mind and body performance. The mind and the body should work together to get the best or ideal performance. Not sure about smart drugs. Or maybe make easier to load new information into the brain and think a certain way. Like and engineer would, or even a doctor. Many drugs in the recreation area are mind altering not in a good direction is my way of thinking. I don’t think you can run a country on people with vodka with their finger on the bomb button. Russian drivers don’t have what it takes.  Watch Russian dash cam accidents and see if you think  their elevator goes to the top.  When you are a kid you got lots of energy to run off an you can go all night till you crash watching late night TV. Wish I could bottle that elixir I could sell billions of bottles. Not sure how to get that vibrant energy back. Can you tell me?

  • For all those who quarrel over ” good or bad” there is something called “natural or organic ” not a lab based product.
    This is created a huge difference
    Whether choose a TECHIE, hybrid life or a more natural mediocre

  • All i know is that caffeine does nothing for me. Energy drinks to give me a noticeable boost. Also they 100% gave me hypertension.

  • is it okay to also just drink this normally, even when not exercising? cause I don’t drink enough water (i’m a fucking fat idiot) but i should. i’m just wondering if it’s okay to drink this normally.

  • Donno why but I new from the start it’s gonna be the advertisement of sugarfree monsters xD. They taste good dude. My only problem is that developed a dependency to this shit, it’s why I am here…

  • That cup. Just that cup, iam staring at that cup, i will die if i dont get it,,, joana i need that cup in my life to keep my heart beating, from where did u get it

  • CONCERNS: too much caffeine, and too much sugar…

    REALITY: Most energy drink brands come with sugar free options (which are always much better imo… ie white monster / sugar free redbull) AND most energy drinks have about the same caffeine as coffee, sometimes slightly less, sometimes a little more.

    CONCLUSION: these are the two most commonly used arguments against energy drinks, especially when being compared to coffee for health reasons… and they are FALSE!

  • The one that pisses me off is “this is all natural plant-derived” like digitalis, heroin, belladonna, scopolamine and ricin?

    Sister of “it’s all just chemicals” yes! “chemical” is just a way to categorise matter according to its atomic structure. Literally everything is “chemicals”, and almost everything else is “radiation” in one form or another.

  • I started drinking monster ultras about a month ago for the first time. My desire for coffee disappeared right away. I’ll stay with monster.

  • Where I live you need to be 15 years to drink them. I am 17 and consume monster or rockstar occasionally. Really never more than once a month on Average to make sure I don’t get hooked, if I can’t handle the crave I’ll just drink a soda and to avoid addiction

  • Someone once said to me,” do you even know what taurine is, it’s a chemical that probabaly isn’t good for you”.

    Clearly a naturally occurring amino acid in my body is unhealthy, and I should definitely believe you because it’s “probabaly” unhealthy.

  • could you please explain why I lost 45 pounds when all I did was take out coke with sugar and switched to diet coke, nothing in my diet changed calories wise food wise, just switched from sugar coke to diet coke, I am living proof that this is not true. ( 8 month process ) Not only me, but the same for my boss and a personal friend, 3 people I know that had the same results.

  • Me and my friend drank 3energy drinks and then some coffe and we didnt knew that was an energy drink its called ZOMBIE and now I think something is going to happen(im 12 and my friend is 12)

  • Coffeineleveting blood pressure
    Guaranacontaining caffeine increasing the blood pressure
    Ginseng elevating the blood pressure
    Taurin strengthen a contraction of the heart muscle
    This mix may be deadly or at least dangerous for some people

  • Hi joanna, I’m often watch your videos and getting useful, joanna! I wonder Should I drink spot drink while exercising or after workout is the best? I like the lemon ones �� hopefully you answer me,I can’t listen English well����

  • I think caffeine dosage should be measured relative to body weight, and not that many kids metabolize caffeine so differently as to have 4x smaller dosage.

  • I would be very curious what you would say about them now? There have been several studies discussing issues that could arise such as strokes

  • why do i get scared drinking an energy drink with 300mg of caffeine after I drink on average 5-7 pops a day. and I’m really healthy for a 15 yo

  • Due to medico-legal concerns and the sheer number of questions I receive from these videos, I can no longer answer questions left in the comments. If you have a medical issue and would like more information, go to for other ways I can help you.

  • I asked my dad to buy me a monster energy drink and he bought me 6 but my mom doesn’t know so I’m just here to check if I can pop my 3rd one later when jamming with the boys, and yeah I’m still scared of drinking energy drinks in front of my mom��

  • I know this is an older video but can you do a video about normal water vs. alkaline water? Everyone at my gym is talking how alkaline water is “the way to go”

  • Where did this myth come from? Boomers. That’s the only group of people I’ve gotten looks from and judged for walking around with a bang

  • A few years ago I would’ve agreed with this, however, after consuming 2 energy drinks daily for 7 years I’ve noticed MULTIPLE concerning side effects and have quit caffeine altogether as a result. Symptoms primarily included irritability, mood swings, “brain fog”, arrhythmia, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, insomnia, and seemingly loss of natural energy production. To be clear, I’m an athlete, and have been for nearly 25 years, eat SUPER clean, very healthy, and do not have a history of family heart issues.

    There is certainly some validity to these predictions of potential harmful long term side effects and I believe in due time they will become more apparent among chronic users, especially since energy drinks containing up to 400mg of caffeine such as Bang are on the market.

  • If you are older though avoid huge spikes of sugar, caffeine and guanara. When monster came out a family friend got addicted to it. 3 large cans for 3 years caused a huge heart attack.
    He was 45 when he started and his health declined sharply. The doctor said the cause was stress on the heart due to a mixture of high contents of sugar, caffeine, lack of exercise and water.
    Welp doesn’t matteri dont even drink coffee or take any caffeine except from gtea

  • Are you aware that’s a tablespoon? And that’s not how you measure it either I would say that there is a total of 18 tablespoons in that glass for a total of 72g

  • Hi Joana. Just started a fitness regime, mostly cycling, and decided to make my own electrolyte drinks. Perfect video and well presented. Nice one!

  • My research team published our Energy Drink clinical trial last year to the American Heart Association and is very relevant to this topic. Not to bore any of you, but the conclusions of our randomized placebo controlled trial was that energy drinks INCREASE Systolic Blood Pressure and PROLONG QTc compared to placebo! If you have any history of heart problems such as QT prolongation, TAKE CAUTION with Energy Drinks!

    I attached our trial if anyone wanted to read.

    @Jeff Nippard

  • I think there should be a law you need a parent beside you to buy a energy drink if your between 10 if your the age of 13 you can just go right In and get like the whole store worth of energy drink’s.

  • This whole video in retrospect is bullshit. Nothing wrong with drinking 1 or 2 of these a day as long as you drink plenty of water as well. But water alone is not enough! I also love how you didnt talk about the fact the it has 20-30 % of your daily intake of potassium and all the other vitamins that water alone will never give you. Body armor is far from a disaster you clown

  • i personally like water more than sports drinks and so what i found interesting was the sugar content and how much it will add up if you drink more than 5 drinks.