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Sports drinks are liquid candy

April 26, 2010

Ben had his wisdom teeth extracted last Friday. He thought that Gatorade would help him recover quicker…. I set out to tell him why not because he didn’t believe me when I said Gatorade has no effect on recovery and reducing the risk of infection after a dental procedure. I am not a clinically trained professional, doctor, or nutritionist. All of my ideas are  based on my own research and my own opinions.

This is what I’ve concluded: If you like the taste of sports drinks better than regular water, then it’s OK to drink them. But it’s important to know that a sports drink is really no better for you than water unless you are exercising for more than 60 to 90 minutes or in really hot weather. The additional carbohydrates and electrolytes may improve performance in these conditions, but otherwise your body will do just as well with water.Many isotonic fluids (fluid, electrolytes and 6 to 8% carbohydrate) such as Gatorade claim to re-hydrate and boost energy, but any product containing calories will increase your energy levels. However, the best way to obtain calories is from the complex carbohydrates found in bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and cereals. In fact, the least nutritionally satisfactory way is by eating simple carbohydrates – that is, sugar. Many sports drinks contain large quantities of sugar. This statement bothers me: “In fact, scientific research shows that physically active children will drink more Gatorade than water and therefore stay better hydrated. (Adults also benefit in a similar fashion.)” Of course they are going to be more hydrated. They like the flavor, and will therefore drink more. But, children, and adults alike, do not need the supplements added in when playing in a basketball game for an hour. They need knowledge of pre-grame and post-game diet and nutrition.

Sports drinks are for Professional Athletes

Gatorade said it themselves. This drink, though suitable for daily ingestion, is helpful to athletes who are exercising at a high intensity for 60 minutes or more. The football players were working out in extreme temperatures for hours on end. Fluids supplying 60 to 100 calories per 8 ounces helps to supply the needed calories required for continuous performance. It’s really not necessary to replace losses of sodium, potassium and other electrolytes during exercise since you’re unlikely to deplete your body’s stores of these minerals during normal training. If, however, you find yourself exercising in extreme conditions over 3 or 5 hours (a marathon, Ironman or ultramarathon, for example) you may likely want to add a complex sports drink with electrolytes.

What is in your Sports Drink?

I know everything in moderation, yes yes yes. But…ingest some of this stuff in the first place? I’m starting to think all this chemically processed, genetically modified stuff is not doing us any favors.

Filtered Water
Filtered water is simply water that has been passed through a filtering system to remove impurities.

Brominated Vegetable Oil
BMV or brominated vegetable oil is added to certain beverages that contain citrus oils. BMV helps prevent the oils from rising to the surface. It also ensures the stability of the flavor mixture. It is derived from soybean.

Some sugar free varieties of Gatorade contain sucralose, a non-calorie artificial sweetener. Sucralose is added simply to enhance flavor and provide sweetness. Sucralose is sold as Splenda.

High Fructose Corn Syrup
The high fructose corn syrup in Gatorade is a combination of two to three carbohydrates. The high fructose corn syrup contributes glucose, sucrose and fructose to the sports drink. Each is added according to results of scientific data to ensure fluid absorption, energy delivery and desirable taste. Instantly addictive, made from genetically modified corn, riddled with pesticides, major cause of obesity and diabetes, feeds cancer, etc. Some call it the “crack” of sweeteners.

Citric Acid
Citric acid is added for flavor and to act as a preservative.

Natural flavors
Natural and artificial flavors are added to enhance the flavor that cannot be supplied if fruit juice or certain spices were to be used.

Salt, also known as potassium chloride, is used to enhance taste. It is present in Gatorade to help regulate fluid balance in the body.

Sodium Citrate
Sodium citrate is added to Gatorade to enhance flavor and maintain the stability of active ingredients.

Monopotassium Phosphate
Monopotassium phosphate is added as a source of phosphate and has been approved by the FDA as a heart healthy food. It’s a flavor additive.

Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin
Glycerol ester of wood rosin is used in products that contain citric oils. It prevents the oils from floating to the surface of beverages. It is harvested from the stumps of pine and purified to beverage grade gum. The National Institute of Public Health has declared glycerol ester of wood rosin safe for human consumption.

Modified food starch
Hmmmm. Did you know modified food starch is another name for MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)? The “g” in MSG, glutamate, is another instantly addictive product. Gatorade says they put certain ingredients in there products to make them more drinkable or to encourage you to drink more. By addicting us? Thanks, but no thanks! Glutamate may produce many different reactions in people. Some inclusde, cardiac problems, facial tightening, headache, blurred vision, asthmatic reactions, drowsiness, numbness, burning sensations, weakness, and many more.

Artificial Colors
Artificial colors are listed in the ingredients as various dyes or a color with a number. According to, the colors in Gatorade are present to help consumers differentiate the different flavors. Colors and dyes used in Gatorade are suitable for human consumption as directed by the FDA. The least amount of dye is used to achieve the desired color. Yellow 5. Yellow 5, also known as Tartrazine is derived from coal tar. It appears to cause the most allergic and intolerance reactions of all food coloring classified as azo dyes. Reactions can include anxiety, migraine, clinical depression, blurred vision, itching, rhinitis, urticaria, general weakness, heatwaves, palpitations, feeling of suffocation, pruritus, purple skin patches, and sleep disturbance. In rare cases, the symptoms of tartrazine sensitivity can be felt even at extremely small doses and can last up to 72 hours after exposure. Tartrazine has also been linked to childhood developmental problems like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) and obsessive compulsive behavior. It is banned in Norway and previously banned in Germany and Austria as well, but the European Parliament has lifted the ban.,+What%E2%80%99s+Right+for+You,+Carbohydrate+or+Electrolyte+Replacement%3F&source=bl&ots=uR996AcTkH&sig=iRyPO6eOmQFx-Ih4pmWllFR80ho&hl=en&ei=s7vVS_neGYLKMunFwYoE&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

Drink milk!

It has the water, sugars, sodium, vitamins and protein your body needs! Want some sweetness? Add a little chocolate.

Too much sodium is a bad thing.

Most people ingest too much sodium and you do not lose enough Gatorade has a lot of sodium.

But a pinch and a dash can quickly add up to unhealthy levels of sodium, especially when many foods already contain more than enough sodium. About 11 percent of the sodium in the average U.S. diet comes from adding salt or other sodium-containing condiments to foods while cooking or eating. But the majority of the sodium — 77 percent — comes from eating prepared or processed foods that contain the mineral. So even though you may limit the amount of salt you add to food, the food itself may already be high in sodium.

The average person ingests too much sodium on a daily basis. If your kidneys can’t eliminate enough sodium, the sodium starts to accumulate in your blood. Because sodium attracts and holds water, your blood volume increases. Increased blood volume, in turn, makes your heart work harder to move more blood through your blood vessels, increasing pressure in your arteries. Certain diseases such as congestive heart failure, cirrhosis and chronic kidney disease can lead to an inability to regulate sodium.

You can stay hydrated by drinking water and eating a balanced diet

Gatorade is a sports drink and is not specifically formulated as an oral rehydration solution. If you’re not eating, then taking your fluid in the form of soup may be a good idea. Also, electrolyte solutions like Gatorade and Powerade may be good options, but for most people, plain water is usually sufficient. But, if you’re replacing your nutrients with a liquid, you aren’t getting what you need from Gatorade. You should just as well be drinking Ensure.

The carbohydrates found in sweetened sports drinks provide energy to help delay fatigue, key word… delay. Sugar and electrolytes increases performance, it doesn’t directly aid in hydration. A sports drink can do many great things to increase energy levels without the complications of digesting and absorbing a meal.

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