Energy & sports drinks – are they really necessary?

I heard a report on ABC radio that soft drink consumption in America is declining (for both regular and diet) and that intake of energy drinks is increasing. But do we really need them?

The pros and cons of using energy and/or sports drinks.

Pros:

1. If you are doing intense exercise for more than 90 minutes, sports drinks aid hydration and provide some carbohydrate to help replenish your energy stores.

2. You can buy sports drinks in powder form and make them up to be more dilute reducing the carbohydrate and calorie content. Cyclists often do this for long rides. Again, it’s only necessary when you’re exercising for more than 90 minutes.

3. I don’t believe there are any pros to consuming energy drinks, but happy to take comments.

Cons:

1. Sports drinks contains a decent amount of food energy, if your body doesn’t need this energy, why not just drink water?

2. Sports drinks are expensive, especially when water is probably all you need.

3. Both sports and energy drinks contain a fair amount of sugar which most of us just don’t need.

4. Perhaps you want the caffeine in the energy drink? You can achieve the same amount of caffeine in a cup of instant coffee which is much cheaper and calorie free. A short black/espresso will give you even more caffeine.

The photo below shows the sugar content of these drinks.

energy drinks