Why Sports Drinks Are Bad

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been working heavily with a personal trainer, who advises me on my nutrition plan, as well – I strongly recommend personal training, if you’re trying to achieve results. I’ve lost 30 pounds in 4 months and still dropping weight, inches, and body fat.

About three weeks ago, my personal trainer and I were talking about my off-site workouts – typically at Planet Fitness. I mentioned that I drank a Gatorade and he bit my head off. Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but he was pretty worked up over the ordeal. Let me tell you why: SUGAR.

Although sports drinks were created to help retain certain nutrients during strenuous exercise regimens, their sugar content has many health professionals wondering whether they should advise their clients to drink or stay away from the product.

According to fitness guru Ben Greenfield, “… sports drinks are heavily laden with sweeteners as well, one of which is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), to make the beverages more appealing to the taste. HFCS has been associated with a host of negative health effects such as abnormal weight gain, decreased brain function, liver fibrosis, type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, among others” (Source: Superhuman Coach).

Greenfield adds that sports drinks contain citric acid, which contributes to dental erosion, to which the Australian Sports Commission agrees. In addition to the sugar content, many people consume higher levels of carbs than they need to, because of the drink’s tastiness and perceived health value.

I recently looked at a bottle of Gatorade Fierce Fruit Punch (20oz. bottle). Here’s the nitty gritty:

  • Calories: 130
  • Sodium: 270mg
  • Carbohydrates: 34g
  • Potassium: 75mg
  • Protein: 0g
  • Sugars: 34g

While that doesn’t look bad, 34 grams of sugar is MAJOR. That sugar turns into fat and the excess carbs are no good either. My advice as a normal health enthusiast: drink coconut water as a healthier alternative. There are natural nutrients in coconut water that will allow you to hydrate with less sugar and a clear conscious.

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