Sports drinks have become very popular with athletes and fitness enthusiasts who desire immediate hydration and a boost in performance. Unfortunately beneath their tantalizing colors and exciting flavors is a list of ingredients that could pose serious health risks.

Manufactures market these sports drinks as important for helping to replenish electrolytes and energy. They fail to mention or bring attention to  their high sugar content, artificial additives, and excessive sodium.

These ingredients pose a serious risk for obesity and diabetes as well as dental health and kidney function.

 5 Of The Biggest Selling Sports Drinks  ( not recommended)

  1. Powerade Ingredients: Water, High fructose corn syrup – Sugar Content: 34 grams per 20-ounce bottle, Electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium), Vitamins B12 and C. Artificial colors and flavors
  1. Gatorade Ingredients: Water, Sucrose – Sugar Content: 34 grams per 20-ounce bottle, Electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium), Food acids, Artificial colors and flavors
  2. Tailwind Endurance Fuel Ingredients: Non-GMO dextrose (glucose)Non-GMO cane sugar (sucrose)- Sugar Content: 25 grams per serving (1 scoop), Electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium), No artificial ingredients or colors
  3. Vitamin Water Ingredients: Reverse osmosis water, cane sugar, (Sugar Content: 26-27 grams per 20-ounce bottle ), citric acid, natural flavor, various vitamins (C, E, B3, B5, B6, B12), electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, potassium), natural colors from vegetable juice.
  4. Body Armor Ingredients: Filtered water, pure cane sugar, (Sugar Content: 21 grams per 16-ounce bottle ), coconut water concentrate, citric acid, electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, calcium), vitamins A, C, E, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, natural flavors, no artificial sweeteners or colors.

Today, I am also going to reveal the 5 healthiest choices in sports drinks and hydration…first lets look at the health consquences of so much sugar in the sports drinks above.

Just when we thought we were doing something good for our bodies, we discover that the drink manufactures are not being truthful about the risks associated with the excess sugar that is put into these drinks:

5 Health Implications of Consuming High Sugar Sports Drinks

Not only does consuming just one high sugar sports drinks  have several potential health implications…just imagine if you consumer many of these drinks daily!

1. Weight Gain and Obesity

The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages like sports drinks, has been extensively studied for its impact on weight gain and obesity.

According to PubMED and the National Insitutes for Health (NIH), Epidemiologic and Experimental Evidence shows a strong positive association between the intake of Sugar Sweetened Beverages and weight gain  in both children and adults.

2. Mechanisms of Weight Gain

Low Satiety and Energy Compensation: Not only do they have high sugar content, but  individuals also experience low satiety that induces cravings.  In other words,  individuals do not reduce their food intake sufficiently to offset the excess sugar calories that results in a positive energy balance and weight gain.

High Fructose Content:   Fructose is metabolized in a much different way that is  glucose that leads to increased fat storage and insulin resistance.

3. Type 2 Diabetes

Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages on a regular basis is associated leads to insulin resistance over time plus  an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

4. Cardiovascular Diseases

High sugar intake contributes to cardiovascular diseases. ie. increased blood pressure, inflammation, and other risk factors.

4. Dental Health Issues

Leads to dental caries and ro an erosion of dental enamel. That is because citric acid in the various sports drinks is quite erosive.

5. Metabolic Disorders

Can lead to metabolic disorders like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome.

6. Intestinal Discomfort

During physical activity, the high sugar content can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, including bloating and cramps. Take for example recently female tennis star Sabalenka who lost at the French open due to abdominal stress. This can be due to the rapid absorption and metabolism of  glucose and fructose.

5 healthier Low/No Sugar Alternatives Sports Drinks ( recommended)

1. Celsius- Filtered water, guarana seed extract (caffeine), green tea extract, ginger root, vitamins C, B3, B5, B6, B12, natural flavors, no artificial sweeteners ( 0 grams of sugar)

2. Prime Hydration-  Filtered water, coconut water, electrolytes (potassium, magnesium), vitamins A, B6, B12, E, citric acid, natural flavors, no caffeine (2 grams of sugar)

3. NOOMA Organic Electrolyte Sports Drink-

Organic coconut water, organic cane sugar, electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium), plant-based sweeteners, no artificial ingredients. ( contains 5 grams of sugar)

4. Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier- Glucose, sodium, vitamins B3, B5, B6, B12, C, natural caffeine from coffee fruit, L-theanine. (11 grams of sugar)

Here are the key differences between the 2 groups-ie not recommended and recommended

Higher Sugar Content: Powerade, Gatorade, Tailwind, and regular BodyArmor are not recommended

Low/No Sugar Content: NOOMA, Prime Hydration, Celsius, and BodyArmor Lyte have low or no sugar, plus they often use natural artificial sweeteners instead. (recommended)

Insiders Health Tip:

We recommend healthier alternatives to get similar results without exposing yourself to excess sugar and artificial ingredients:

1. Coconut Water

  • Electrolyte Content: Rich in electrolytes and contains 5 times more potassium than traditional sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade that is essential for optimal muscle function and preventing cramps.
  • Hydration: Very effective for rehydration and can be a better option for moderate exercise.
  • Nutritional Benefits: Contains antioxidants, phytonutrients, and natural enzymes, making it a much healthier option- with no added sugars or artificial ingredients.

2. Watermelon Water

  • Hydration: 92% water so it is excellent hydrating option…especially in hot water
  • Electrolytes: Provides essential electrolytes like potassium and magnesium critical for muscle and nerve function. Also contains \an amino acid called L-Citrulline that studies indicate may enhance athletic performance by improving the transportation of oxygen .
  • Antioxidants: Rich in antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, and lycopene shown to  support the immune function and heart health plus help  reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

3. Aloe Vera Juice

  • Hydration: Highly hydrating and boosts the water content in the intestines, promotes regular bowel movements and aids in  digestion.
  • Nutritional benefits: Contains a variety calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins B12, C, and E. that support overall health and recovery after exercising.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: may help reduce inflammation and support recovery after intense physical activity. Plus contains antioxidants that fight free radicals.

References:

RE: Sugar In Sports Drinks

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210834/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16895873/

https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/data-statistics/sugar-sweetened-beverages-intake.html

Information on Sports Drinks

https://www.drinknooma.com/

https://www.powerade.com/products/powerade

https://www.runningwarehouse.com/Tailwind_Nutrition_Endurance_Fuel_Drink_30-Serving/descpage-TWEFD30.html

https://www.gatorade.com/powders/gatorade-thirst-quencher/lemon-lime-powder-32-ounce-bag

Variety Pack: Sports Drinks

https://www.liquid-iv.com/pages/ingredients

https://www.coca-cola.com/nz/en/brands/powerade

https://www.coca-cola.com/ca/en/brands/vitaminwater/vitaminwater-flavours

https://www.foodandhealth.com/blog/sport-drink-comparison-chart

https://www.truelemon.com/blogs/tc/vitamin-water

https://www.poison.org/articles/is-prime-an-energy-drink

Pineapple Coconut

https://www.vitaminshoppe.com/p/prime-hydration-blue-raspberry-12-drink-s/prh0001

 

Essential Facts

Best Sports Drinks (2024): When Salty Sweaters Need to Rehydrate

https://www.liquid-iv.com/products/hydration-multiplier-lemon-lime-one-time?Size=16PK&Flavor=Lemon+Lime&selling_plan=6252658724

 

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