Energy drinks, Sports drinks, or Water

Which hydrates better – Energy drinks, Sports drinks, or Water? What’s the best drink for hydration? There’s a lot of speculation on what liquids you can consume to stay adequately hydrated on a day-to-day basis. Technically, any liquid containing water will add to your body being hydrated. So when it comes to energy drinks, sports drinks, and water, all three will indeed hydrate you. But which one is best? First let’s look at what being hydrated even means, and what benefits it gives you.


  • What is it?: Hydration is the replacement of body fluids lost through sweating, exhaling, and eliminating waste. On average, the body loses and needs to replace about 2-3 quarts of water daily. If you’re someone who enjoys working out or other physical activity, then that amount increases. Luckily, many foods available are composed mostly of water. Foods with high water content include greens and most fruits and vegetables. However, most people in the US rarely consume enough fruits and vegetables to even make a dent in their body’s hydration.
  • Why is it important?: Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, and skin healthy, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. One of the most crucial reasons for staying hydrated is the elimination of waste. Whether through the urinating or the excrement process, hydration matters a lot to reduce the chances of toxicity in the body. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.

Energy Drinks The Breakdown:

When it comes to beverages, energy drinks dominate the market. People have busy lives and hectic schedules and will use energy drinks to give themselves a boost to get through the day. Energy drinks and sports go hand in hand as well as energy drinks and working out to push athletes harder. With water being the base ingredient in energy drinks, they’ll indeed add to someone’s total fluid intake for the day. However, the caffeine in anything consumed has a diuretic effect on the body causing more frequent urination. Now that doesn’t necessarily make you dehydrated, but if you’re consuming 500mg or more of caffeine a day then it can push your body in that direction.

  • Conclusion: If you consume any type of energy drink or coffee, watch out for how much total caffeine intake you’re getting in a day.

Sports drinks The Breakdown:

Even if you’re disciplined enough to eat a healthy diet and drink lots of fluids daily, you still should consider taking an electrolyte product in my opinion. Foods don’t have the same nutrient profile that they did 50 years ago due to agricultural practices over time. That’s why dietary supplements exist, to fill the nutritional gaps that we’re missing in our diets. When it comes to electrolyte supplements there are many to choose from. Older formulations tend to have a high added sugar content, so those aren’t a good choice. Products that are newer in the industry have little sugar or no sugar at all so those would definitely be the best choices to consume. Many of these products I’ve personally tried and tested myself, but I’ve found that they typically have a salty taste and a really high amount of sodium. Too high.

  • Conclusion: When seeking out a sporty electrolytes drink, go with the sugar-free versions that don’t contain 400mg of sodium or higher.

Water The Breakdown:

While it likely comes as no surprise, drinking water is most often the best and cheapest way to stay hydrated and rehydrate. Unlike many other beverages, water contains no added sugars or calories, making it ideal to drink throughout the day or specifically when you need to rehydrate, such as after a workout.

  • Conclusion: If you don’t mind the lack of flavor and drinking a higher volume of fluid (at least 64oz daily), then water is the way to go to keep hydrated daily.

The Best Way

Most people are dehydrated because of a few reasons, the main ones being that water has no flavor, and the amount we should be drinking causes a bloating sensation and frequent urination. For those reasons I would suggest utilizing an electrolyte sports drink daily to keep your body hydrated. You could get away with drinking less fluid daily and still give your body what it needs. But which one to choose from?


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