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A member asked:

Are sports drinks more effective than plain water at preventing dehydration? i work out year round and sweat a lot, especially in the warmer months. i always drink a lot of water during workouts, but should i be drinking sports drinks instead?

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Christian Peterson
Sports Medicine 34 years experience
The : The art of maintaining your hydration during your workout has quickly turned into a science. There are a plethera of "sport drinks" available for you. Recently, pre, during and post exercise solutions have evolve. Each one claims to be designed for a specific part of your workout. As you sweat, you lose both "water" and "electrolytes", therefore it make sense to adjust your drink to your situation. If you are sweating more, you may want to choose a drink that tastes good and provides you with a balance of fluid, fuel and electrolytes. If your drink is too concentrated, you will suffer from stomach issues, so try and stay with a drink that is more dilute. A simple way to follow your level of hydration is to check the color of your urine. If it is dark yellow, you are dehydrated and need more fluid.
Dr. Jennifer Letourneau
Critical Care 22 years experience
Probably not: Sports drinks have salt, sugar, and water-the three things vital to treating dehydration. If you eat a standard diet and exercise in moderation, plain water is perfect. If you decide to become an ultra-marathoner you may consider sports drinks as it is difficult to consume the salt and sugar necessary during prolonged periods of exercise.
Dr. Sandra Eleczko
Dentistry 37 years experience
Sports drinks will erode your teeth and cause an increase of decay so be careful drinking these.
Jun 8, 2013
Dr. Randy Baker
Holistic Medicine 41 years experience
Yes,or coconut water: You want to replace electrolytes as well as water and research shows that water is better absorbed when electrolytes are added. My concern with sports drinks is they tend to have a lot of sugar, often in the form of high fructose corn syrup which is best avoided. Consider coconut water with added sodium as a good alternative. See http://onforb.Es/1ac8vzh & http://bit.Ly/18pve5h.

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