Too often I see people drinking flavored, caloric sports drinks when doing highly inactive things…namely watching TV, eating dinner or going for a leisurely “walk”. While many know that these drinks are not really healthy, they still choose to have them because it “tastes better than water”. If someone is weaning off of soda, then by all means replace soda (about 100 calories per 8 oz.) with a sports drink (about 50-75 calories per 8 oz.). But be aware that the average 20 oz bottle of your favorite sports drink packs about 125 to 187.5 calories, most of which is usually sugar. One bottle a day represents about 13 to 20 pounds a year (3500 of excess calories equals about one pound of body fat). Read the following article, Sports Drinks and Vitamin Waters, Are They Right for Me?to assess if these beverages will benefit you in the long run, or if they are just an extra source of unnecessary calories.
When not active or participating in moderate intensity activity lasting less than an hour, try to consume cool water. If you like fizz, go with the unflavored seltzer. For those who want more flavor, try using some lemon juice, lime juice, or a splash of orange juice.