T Nation

Sports Drinks, Good or Bad


Was wondering if this has been covered then can someone post the link please.

ive been told that sports drinks are really really bad, aside from the fact that I don't fancy the taste too much, nutritional info reveals its got something like 30g of carbs in the form of sugars....

so does this mean, that its just as bad or the same as drinking a can of coke, with 30g of cane sugar,

I know you've got a lot of people saying it will rot your teeth etc. etc.

and I know that they do rehydrate etc etc, so if you don't play sport or don't feel tired while playing sport, are these a biiiiiig NO NO??


it depends on which....personally, gatorade or powerade is better than monsters, redbulls, etc. It also depends on how your body reacts to certain stimulants like caffeine, taurine, etc? Have you read Chris Shugart's most recent article where he talks about Energy drinks? I would advise it.

I don't like them because they contain High Fructose Corny syrup which should not be your first choice of sugar during workout times. I would advise buying the POWDERED gatorade because it's a better blend of sugars. But listen, if you're a football player practicing in the blistering heat 3-4x a week, drinking any form of gatorade will be beneficial to you.

Are you planning on drinking these sports drinks during your workout or some intense physical activity?


well to be honest, I cannot stand Vs, Redbulls and the like, it just feels unnatural to be guzzling down a drink thats artificially loaded with caffeine and stuff I had never heard before they were released.

I don't do heaps of sports, I do the odd one, never felt tired during it, so water is usually my first choice, unless a sports drink is for free,

but I was just wondering, sometimes after work, when we all gather round , we all have a drink, some drink coke, some drink beer, however, there is not much left to choose from, there is diet/coke zero, but im trying a caffeine free diet (just a personal challenge, for 2 months) so other then that there is not much to drink, except a sports drink so I was wondering how bad they were, otherwise, I can have a glass of water, and get ridiculed by workmates :slight_smile:


Gatoraid is designed to replenish electrolytes and other substances lost in extreme conditions, it's often used during marathons/by professional athletes. It does contain High Fructos Corn Syrup which as you probably know isn't good for you. That being said I don't consider drinking a red bull the same thing as a gatoraid. vitamin water just made their 10 calorie drink which is a good option if you're concerned about carbs.


Well, there's sugar in them. So as a pure beverage, they're in the same league as cola or even fruit juice (G has slightly FEWER calories than cola).

If you're exercising hard, then the carbs can be a good thing. Plus the "electrolytes" might do a better job of keeping your body hydrated than water.

Surge Workout Fuel is pretty much the mother of all sports drinks.

Incidentally, the store where I bought my gatorade had it right next to Tang. looking at the back, I honestly couldn't see much of a difference between the two products.


First...are you wondering about "sports drinks" or "energy drinks" ?

In my mind they're 2 entirely different beverages, with different purposes.

Regardless, the "ade" drinks rank pretty low on my list of "sports drinks"


there is no high fructose corn syrup in gatorade powder, fyi.


As with most things..it depends. What is your training and what are your goals? Are you training in the heat? How is the rest of your nutrition? Etc. Personally I don't see much need for them, there are a number of studies that conclude chocolate milk is just as effective. At least then you actuall get some protein as opposed to a bottle of sugar. If your training doesn't last at least 60 minutes(90 more likely), then there is really no need whatsoever.

So that eliminates weight training for the most part. Predominately meant for REAL endurance athletes(marathons/trial/etc.) and competition level intensity events. They were never meant for people slaving away on a treadmill or elliptical. The intensity is just not there. Unfortuante necessary evil for me at work. We provide gatorade and even fruit juice to our members?!?!? Makes me cringe every time some middle aged guy 20-30 pounds overweight comes over and requests a gatorade so he can 'replenish' after wearing the elliptical into the ground while watching jim cramer. bang head here.