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Is there a difference between energy drinks and sports drinks?

Kate Geagan
Nutrition & Dietetics

It's easy to be confused by all the promises you see on labels in the beverage aisle. In this video, nutritionist Kate Geagan explains the important differences between energy and sports drinks.


Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

Sport drinks are designed to replace fluid and electrolytes that are lost in sweat during exercise. They also provide carbohydrates that are used by the body as a quick form of energy. Most energy drinks contain caffeine and are used by many as a stimulant to enhance performance before and during exercise, but are not viewed as a source of electrolytes. However, use of energy drinks is controversial they may contain unhealthy amounts of caffeine and added sugars. However, sport drinks are more appropriate for use during exercise as they contain the correct ratios of electrolytes like sodium and potassium.

There are many differences, but most important is that energy drinks (i.e. Red Bull) contain stimulants which can have harmful side effects.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.