Smart Food Choices

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks often contain carbohydrate in the form of sugar, as well as electrolytes and sometimes protein, vitamins, or caffeine. They come in different flavours. Examples of sports drinks include Accelerade, Gatorade, and Powerade.

Victoria Middleton

Victoria Middleton

RD
Registered Dietitian
New York City, NY
Yumna Khan

Yumna Khan

RD
Registered Dietitian
Burlington, ON
Margarita deGraaf

Margarita deGraaf

RD
Registered Dietitian
Burlington, ON

Lauren K. Williams, M.S., Registered Dietitian, discusses sports drinks and athlete health.

Quiz: Do You Understand Sports Drinks?

Test your knowledge by answering the following questions:

Questions
True
False
1

Sports drinks can restore carbohydrates that the body uses as energy.

Explanation:
Sports nutrition drinks are important for athletes in high levels of competition. Athletes use sports drinks to rehydrate, replace electrolytes lost through sweating and restore carbohydrates that the body uses as energy.
2

Sports drinks are a replacement for drinking water.

Explanation:
Sports drinks are not a replacement for drinking water or proper sports nutrition. They are best for athletes who are sweating a lot or competing in a long-distance event.
3

You should drink sports drinks during moderate exercise.

Explanation:
If you drink sports drinks during moderate exercise, you’re taking in unnecessary sugars which could lead to weight gain.
4

It’s generally not recommended that children and teenagers drink sports drinks when exercising.

Explanation:
It’s not recommended that children and teenagers drink sports drinks when exercising, unless they are at a high-intensity competition or event where they’re really sweating.
5

Children and teens especially should not have energy drinks.

Explanation:
It’s also important not to confuse sports drinks with energy drinks. The main ingredient in energy drinks is caffeine, and they also contain sugar. Children and teens especially should not have energy drinks, as they can lead to sleep problems and higher blood pressure.
(Answer all questions to activate)

Make sure you stay hydrated

Optimal health requires regular fluid intake

Sports Drinks

Sport nutrition drinks are extremely important for athletes in high levels of competition.

There’s two important characteristics that these sports drinks contain. Number one, they’re going to contain some sort of energy, so this can be in all different types of forms but as you read the label you want to look for a good amount of carbohydrates in these sports drinks.

They are also going to contain electrolytes, which are extremely important when you’re sweating, when you’re working hard to make sure to replenish these vitamins and minerals throughout your body.

Some ideas of how you can incorporate sports nutrition drinks is actually just by diluting some fruit juice in your house. So take some apple or some orange juice, dilute it in half, and you have yourself a healthy sports drink.

For more convenient options when traveling or on the road you may find some some sports drinks in your local grocery store. Again, look for electrolytes as well as some carbohydrates to provide you energy to get through that tough competition.

For more information on sports drinks that are right for you to optimize your performance contact your local sports nutritionist or local registered dietitian with a sports nutrition expertise.

Presenter: Ms. Lauren K. Williams, Registered Dietitian, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Registered Dietitian

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