In response to a British Medical Journal series of articles which focus, in part, on sports drinks, the American Beverage Association issued the following statement:


"It’s important to note that the series of articles in the British Medical Journal exhibited a clear bias by overlooking widely accepted research on sports drinks.  Furthermore, suggesting that industry-funded nutrition-related scientific studies may bias conclusions fails to look at the merits of the science in those studies and disregards the integrity of the peer-review process enforced by the highly regarded scientific journals.

Importantly, we know hydration is essential for good health, and science clearly shows that the water, carbohydrates and electrolytes in sports drinks provide significant hydration and athletic performance benefits. Furthermore, our member companies' marketing makes it clear that these functional beverages are formulated for athletes and those who are physically active. However, sports drinks – which are available in a range of calories - can also be an option for those who are working out, training, exposed to high temperatures or simply seeking refreshment as part of an active and healthy lifestyle."

Additional Background Information:

On Sports Drinks

Sports drinks were created to help athletes and other active people hydrate and provide needed energy before, during and after exercise. Sports drinks contain carbohydrates, the main source of energy in the human body. During physical activity, carbohydrates are used to provide energy and should be replenished to have optimal performance. Sports drinks often contain electrolytes, salts that are found in the body fluid, tissue and blood, and are essential to proper hydration. Electrolytes are lost during exercise or in the heat. Sodium is a common electrolyte used in sports drinks.  Drinks with sodium (and other electrolytes) help enhance fluid absorption, so active people can stay hydrated.  

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The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.  For more information on ABA, please visit the association’s Web site at or call the ABA communications team at (202) 463-6770.