Didn't Run a Marathon? You Don't Need Gatorade
Sports drinks overkill for casual exercisers
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2010 7:00 PM CDT
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade drinks G2, Gatorade's new lifestyle beverage to hydrate athletes off the field, while strolling the streets of Miami in a G2 commercial.   (PRNewsFoto/The Gatorade Company)

(Newser) – Sports drinks like Gatorade, PowerAde, and Pure Sport are advertised as revitalizing thirst-quenchers for professional athletes, graciously made available to casual exercisers like you. But most desk jockeys don't need anything the drinks provide except water, new analysis suggests. Exercise does deplete both electrolytes and carbohydrates, but the average American diet more than makes up for anything lost during 30 to 60 minutes of exercise, the LA Times reports.

There is an exception: For "salty sweaters," who release unusually high amounts of sodium when they exercise, sports drinks can be a boon. But if salt deposits aren't caked on your skin and clothes after a mild workout, that isn't you. And if you aren't training for a triathlon or putting in 2 hours in the weight room, a sports drink is feeding your self-image, not your body. "If you're just doing a half-hour of exercise, water is just fine," the lead researcher says.