Mashed's Exclusive Survey Uncovered Fans' Favorite Hydrating Drink

Whether for a quick workout or while working hard all day long, we're always on the search for the best ways to stay hydrated. Brands know the profit potential in this market, too, hence the rainbow of assorted sports drinks available in every grocery store, vending machine, and quick mart. In an exclusive survey, Mashed asked fans to vote for their favorite beverage to stay hydrated. The survey received a whopping 35,000 votes, and the results were surprising. 

Though coconut water is often touted as an excellent source of nutrients and electrolytes, only 5% of respondents said it was their go-to choice. A study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claims milk is more effective at rehydration than water, but only 3% selected milk over other drink choices. One bottled hydration drink that is definitely not a favorite is Pedialyte, which came in last place with only 2% of votes. 

Coming in second place for our readers' favorite beverage to stay hydrated was Gatorade — but before fans of the popular sports drink take any victory laps, it should be noted that Gatorade was the choice of only 12% of our respondents. Despite its celebrity endorsements and extensive marketing, it couldn't beat the simplest hydration drink of all: water. An incredible 78% of thirsty respondents preferred H2O, whether from expensive bottled waters extracted from remote mountain springs or the free stuff flowing from the tap.

Water reigns supreme when it comes to hydration

Respondents echoed their overwhelming preference for water over all other hydrating beverages in the comments section of our survey. One wrote that "water slaps," and another shared, "Ever since I've only been drinking water I feel so much better and have so much more energy." 

Water taking the top spot in our poll is good news. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control say drinking water every day is one key to good health and should be the hydration choice over sports drinks or drinks containing sugar or artificial sweeteners. In addition to preventing dehydration, water helps boost brain activity, protects joints and soft tissues, and helps the body expel toxins. And, of course, the need for water is even more present in hot weather, during intense physical activity, and when ill. 

One of the most common questions about water usually pertains to the amount we should drink daily. Per the National Academies Press, experts recommend aiming for 12 cups (96 ounces) of water daily for males and 9 cups (72 ounces) daily for females. That amounts to a lot of agua, so if you need to increase your intake, many recommend refilling a water bottle throughout the day.