The answer depends on the intensity and duration of your workout. Water is generally sufficient unless exercise lasts more than an hour, after which an isotonic sports drink can be of benefit. Food Standards Australia place restrictions on the formulation of Sports Drinks, as a result the sports drinks sold in Australia are very similar in composition. Sports drinks are of benefit when exercising for more than an hour. Sports Medicine Australia has demonstrated that these drinks provide additional energy and salts, which improve endurance performance, aid recovery, allow refuelling to occur during exercise and encourage more fluid consumption than plain water because of their taste and salt content.
An average Sports drink contains the equivalent of 8 teaspoons of white sugar, which fuels 30 minutes of walking, 20 minutes of moderate cycling or 10-15 minutes of jogging.
Currently these drinks contain too much sugar to allow manufacturers to make healthy claims. Food Standards Australia New Zealand is reviewing their labelling . Many experts are concerned that allowing manufacturers to promote the benefits of the fluid , carbohydrate and electrolyte lost as a result of activity, will create the impression that sports drinks are beneficial for everyone.
If you do not burn much energy the drinks are the same as any sugar-sweetened drink . Most people exercising for better health do not typically perform anywhere near the amount or degree of exercise required for benefit.
Furthermore, the liquid contains high levels of sugar, which has serious long term consequences for dental health. ( research was carried out on athletes participating in the London Olympics regarding their dental health) Athletes using these drinks have been advised to minimise the contact the sports drinks have with their teeth, a straw or squeezy bottle can direct the fluid to the back of the mouth, where practical eat dairy products or chew sugar free gum immediately after drinking and use fluoride toothpastes.
The amount of energy contained in a Sports Drink will be useful for someone aiming to improve exercise performance after significant duration and exertion, but not for those who eat a normal diet and are not highly active and particularly those aiming to reduce weight.

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