Soda is not hydration – its liquid sugar calories; and as a professional athlete you want to eat your calories, not drink them! (An exception would be a protein shake)
Many athletes think of soda as a liquid, but it is actually like icing on a cake, all sugar! Even diet soda, although calorie-free, has its own issues. Artificial sweeteners cause false signals to be sent to the body causing “metabolic confusion” which may lead to increased insulin secretion and fat storage. Moreover, some artificial sweeteners can interfere with sleep, effect mood, and may even lead to depression.
If that were not reason enough against soda, due its acidic nature (carbonic acid), soda may weaken bones thus increasing the risk of a fracture. Because the body must maintain equilibrium, it needs an alkaline to neutralize the extra acidity of soda. If the diet is not calcium rich enough to provide it, the body will tap into the calcium from the bones, weakening them over time.
The acidity in soda acts as an inflammatory to the body and may prevent optimal recovery. This can also lead to joint pain.
Remember that we breathe out carbon dioxide, as it’s a waste product of the human body. With soda and other carbonated drinks you are ingesting large amounts of this waste product.
Plain and simple, for proper hydration and optimal performance athletes needs to drink water! A lot of water. Probably more water than they are used to, especially during games and practices.
For those who don’t like the taste of water, just drink it! Not everything needs to taste sweet and like weight training or a good night’s sleep; it is a critical component of sports performance.