- If you’re an elite athlete, sports drinks before and during the race might make the difference between gold and merely competing; for the rest of us they’re just another soft drink containing sugar and salt that we don’t really need.
- Some brands specifically target kids, but young athletes don’t really need these drinks. They’re bad for their teeth and some experts believe they’re contributing to the growing problem of childhood obesity.
Please note: this information was current as of August 2008 but is still a useful guide today.
Sports drinks come with promises that are hard to resist:
- ”Gives you greater energy for a longer more effective performance.”
- “Perform at your peak for 10% longer.”
- ”Formulated to deliver what you need to play hard … Compete longer before fatigue.”
- But when Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile in 1954 his only sports drink would have been water. So how much is fact and how much mere marketing hype? CHOICE looked at the latest evidence and compared 14 brands of sports drink from supermarkets, servos and convenience stores to give you the facts.
Did you know?
21 million litres of sports drinks were downed in Australia in 2006 (the most recent data available). It’s the fastest growing sector of the soft drinks market (up 33% from the previous year) and most of it’s Gatorade (47%) and Powerade (40%).