Everyone believes that sports drinks are the best thing to imbibe if you’re in the middle of a very active day, a good run, or a tough workout. After all, they see the barrels of Gatorade and Powerade consumed by the athletes on TV, so these drinks have to be good right?
Would you believe that sports drinks can actually be dangerous for your health? By drinking sports drinks, you may actually be doing your body harm…
Sports Drinks and Their Downsides
Sports drinks are found everywhere – even in soda fountains in fast food restaurants around the country. This should actually be the first sign that they’re not all that they’re cracked up to be – and you should realize that the drinks are nowhere near as healthy or athlete-friendly as the general public believes.
Why is this?
- The amount of sugar in the drink is amazing! You’ll get about 34 grams of sugar in each 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade, which is about what you’d get in a cup of ice cream. This not only leads to problems with high blood sugar and excess fat buildup, but you’ll find that drinking Gatorade regularly can lead to tooth erosion and decay. Say hello to those dental bills!
- The sugar in the drink can upset your stomach, especially if you drink the entire bottle. Sugar is processed very quickly — too quickly, in fact, for it to be smart to consume sugar while working out. If you drink a lot of energy drink in the middle of your workout or training session, you’re almost guaranteed to give yourself a stomach ache.
- The sugar can reduce the production of testosterone in men. While this may not be a big deal for the ladies, we men realize that testosterone is the foundation of who we are. It improves our endurance, the size of our muscles, and our strength, so keeping those testosterone levels high is essential for strength training and exercise.
- There are lots of calories in the drinks. If you’re on a weight loss diet, no doubt you’re cutting calories while making an effort to exercise. There are more than 130 calories in a small 12-ounce bottle of Gatorade, so you’re getting far too many calories – and of empty sugar – than you’ll want for your weight loss diet. It’s also very high GI, as it’s all sugar and no fiber to balance out the sugar.
If you’ve ever read the list of ingredients in Gatorade and Powerade, you’d be amazed by how unappealing the drink can sound:
- High fructose corn syrup – the ingredient that comes straight from Satan
- Dextrose – another source of unhealthy sugar
- Sodium chloride – basically the same thing as table salt
- Brominated vegetable oil – almost as unhealthy as consuming lard
- Flavorings and colorings – many of which have been linked to an increase in cancer
For this reason, it’s recommended that you stay away from energy drinks as much as possible!
When It IS Appropriate to Have a Sports Drink
There are some times when having a sports drink is the right thing to do, and that is in the middle of a very long, very intense workout. If you are training with heavy weights for more than 60 minutes, you may want to drink a small amount of sports drink to replenish the energy that you have burned.
Your body can only hold about 500 calories of energy at any one time, so burning through your energy stores can leave you exhausted. If you’re running low on power, drink an energy drink that contains no more than 6 to 8 percent sugar, and has less than 100 milligrams of sodium per 8 ounces of drink.