Many young athletes consume sports drinks everyday to avoid other sugary beverages. Most athletes do not know that juices (even healthy juices), sports drinks and soda all contain more sugar then we need even if we are athletes. (under my research tab see nutrition in the NBA part 1)
Even worse many of these drinks contain mixtures of natural sugars (at best); along with high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and a myriad of chemicals including additives, preservatives, coloring's, and emulsifiers. What you might find interesting is that many of these ingredients categorized by the FDA as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and may alter our metabolism in ways we are only beginning to understand.
Because we are made of mostly water it makes sense we need to be drinking it. (under my research tab see the nova video hunting the elements, what we are made of) Certainly filtering water is a good idea but even if not filtering most of us should try to drink at least half our body weight in ounces each day (unless fluid restricted). It is not unusual for people to be dehydrated as our occupations are mostly sedentary now so we do not have the stimulus to drink and most of us are drinking anything except water. Many of the things we drink actually increase fluid intake needs.. including tons of sugar.
Athletes do have increased caloric and fluid needs. Because of intense exercise there is benefit to consuming sports drinks which are in large part promoted to re-hydrate and supply electrolytes. My goal is to limit intake of clean sports drinks to pre and post exercise and to focus on clean water and good food to optimize recovery and restore energy reserves. (under my research tab see Dr Kate bone broth for Kobe)
Many professional athletes now rely on coconut water as a clean sports drink and in many cases are drinking it out of a cup on TV which may carry the name of one of the big name sports drinks. Coconut water has some unique qualities for humans as it is isotonic like our blood. (under my research tab see the intravenous use of coconut water)
You can make your own clean sports drink, see my previous blog entry