You all are still drinking sports drinks? Despite more evidence to show that sports drinks won't actually help you in sports, people are still lapping them up.
The newest research, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, fights the common perception that carbohydrate-based sports drinks will help improve performance for marathon and half-marathon runners. In the study, 12 male atheletes ran 19.2 kilometer (nearly 12 mile)-races four separate times, and were "supplemented" a carbohydrate-sports drink every two and half miles. Says Runner's World, "The only thing different among the four time trials was what they drank; in random order, each runner drank only Gatorade, Accelerade (a carbs-plus-protein drink), stronger-than-average Gatorade, or an artificially sweetened non-caloric drink (Crystal Light)." What the researchers found? The drinks had no effect on the runners' times or endurance.
However, it seems that it doesn't make much of a difference anyways — Gatorade and Powerade are still the leading sports drinks on the market. New numbers from Symphony IRI (a market research group) show that sales of single-serve sports drinks in convenience stores jumped up nearly 9 percent in 2012, with sales up to to $2.46 billion. According to Convenience Store Decisions, "Gatorade Perform was the top brand in the category by a wide margin, outselling the No. 2 SKU Powerade ION4 by nearly four to one ($1.37 billion and $378 million, respectively)." So you know, keep drinking the stuff — but the science proves it's not going to help you. You can click here to find more sports drinks myths — and which ones to buy and not buy.