Something you thought was healthy contains 9 teaspoons of sugar

They’re sold in the health food aisle near the quinoa and vegan bliss balls. Right now the Food Standards Australia New Zealand is considering letting them advertise their hydration benefits. 

But the Obesity Policy Coalition argues that in almost all circumstances, sports drinks are almost as bad for you as soft drinks. 

Your average serve of sports drink contains a whopping nine teaspoons of sugar. That’s just one spoon less than a can of coke or lemonade.

Consumer advocacy group Choice has created an infographic comparing sugar in sports and soft drinks.

Even though sports drinks are not a healthy choice overall, there is considerable evidence to suggest that electrolyte sports drinks are more effective at hydrating the body rapidly than water, and the amount of sugar they contain contributes to that rapid hydration. Right now the Australian Beverages Council is pushing to allow sports drinks to advertise these claims.

These benefits are relevant to high performing athletes and those suffering from dehydration, but they're not significant for the average consumer.

Jane Martin, the executive manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition argues that any health claim, even one that specifically relates to hydration benefits, will have an inaccurate halo effect. "Health claims are incredibly powerful tools and people are very motivated to be healthy," she told the ABC. 

"And this is a product that's widely available, it's very popular.

"People will think they're doing the right thing but they'll be getting it with eight teaspoons of sugar."

The verdict on sports drinks: Unless you're an elite athlete, you're always better off drinking water.

Speaking of unhealthy foods, here are eight other foods no nutrition expert would touch.

Do you ever drink sports drinks? When?