Water Wins in the Battle of the Beverages

Water vs. Sports Drinks

When choosing what to drink, there are countless options, but all of them are not created equal, especially when it comes to children’s health. Sugary soft drinks are not the best choice, and in fact, have contributed to the obesity epidemic in America, in both children and adults. Sugar-free drinks are not recommended because artificial sweeteners can lead to overeating and there are possible health risks associated with some of these products. So how about sports drinks?

The Facts on Sports Drinks

Sports drinks may be the perfect choice for athletes, but for those of us who exercise moderately, water is just as good, if not a better option. The carbohydrates and electrolytes in sports drinks were created with professional or endurance athletes in mind.

The success of sports drinks is due in part to the memorable commercials aired during major televised sporting events. Many famous sports stars have pitched for Gatorade over the years – among this elite group are Serena Williams, Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Dwayne Wade, Kevin Durant, and Jimmie Johnson. These are celebrities that many people admire, adding to the brand’s high visibility and cool factor, which has made Gatorade a very popular drink – especially among preteens and teenagers.

Pediatricians advise against children drinking sports drinks as a primary beverage since it is sugary. Instead, they suggest that every day, they drink a lot of water, two glasses of low-fat milk to get protein, vitamin D, and calcium, and perhaps one or two small glasses of pure fruit juice. Athletes of all ages need to replenish sugar, sodium, and potassium, but only if they are exercising and sweating intensely for at least an hour.

A Few Startling Statistics on Sugar

  • A 2010 study found that people who consumed the highest amount of sugary drinks had a 26% increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared to those that only drank one serving per month.
  • A Harvard University study found that men who drank one 12-ounce sugary beverage a day were 20% more likely to have a heart attack compared to men who never drank sugary beverages. Similar results were found in women –and it is believed that fructose is to blame. This sweetener promotes inflammation and can raise levels of blood fats called triglycerides, which can damage the heart.
  • The typical 8-ounce children’s drink contains 16 grams of sugar, which exceeds the recommended daily limit of 12 grams. In a study that was the first of its kind, Harvard researchers tracked the weight and soft drink consumption of 548 grade school children over two years. It appeared that each daily serving of a sugary drink raised the risk of obesity by 60%.
  • A study of 650 English schoolchildren found that obesity decreased by 0.2% among children who cut their soda intake by just half a glass per day. A control group of children who slightly increased their daily soda consumption experienced a 7.6% increase in obesity rates.

Water is not only calorie-free, it quenches thirst better than any other beverage, effectively replaces fluids lost, is inexpensive, and readily available. Filtered water is always the best choice, but when you are away from home, it may be tempting to buy a can of soda, bottle of Gatorade, or another drink. A solution to this problem is to bring a glass water bottle with you filled with water from one of Aquasana’s highly-rated water filter systems. Whether a whole house, countertop, under the counter, or pitcher filter, an Aquasana filter will provide the crystal clear winner in the battle of the beverages.


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