With the Olympics going on right now, many people are thinking more about exercise and diet. One aspect of living a healthy lifestyle is drinking the right liquids for proper hydration. While sports drinks have long been used by exercise enthusiasts, it is important to understand that much of the hype around these popular drinks may be just that – hype.
The Sports Drink Myth
If you are an avid exerciser and routinely work out for periods of longer than an hour, then gulping down a Gatorade or Powerade might seem like a good option for you. These drinks contain sugar, sodium and potassium. While these can help your body replenish needed nutrients that are lost while you are exercising and sweating, the most natural way to rehydrate is naturally through water, coconut water, fruits, whole grains and vegetables. Yes, it is true that your body actually needs to replenish sugar, but studies show that consuming natural fruit sugar is the better option. If you can, purchase a juicer and make your own natural sports drink.
If you are a more casual exerciser or are simply drinking sports drinks because you think they are healthy, you may be surprised to discover that the added calories and sodium actually counteract any benefits you get from drinking them. For a sedentary person, sports drinks are just as bad for you as soda.
Gatorade GSeries 02 Perform Original contains 50 calories, with 14 grams of sugar, 110 milligrams of sodium and 30 milligrams of potassium. GSeries Fit 02 Perform contains 10 calories, with 2 grams of sugar, 110 milligrams of sodium and 30 milligrams of potassium. Powerade drinks are also popular these days, but Powerade Energy drinks contain caffeine, which actually dehydrates your body and is counter to your goal if you are working out.
These products may be easier to buy, and you might be able to down them in a snap, but the essential nutrients have to be added artificially to the liquid, in contrast to your own juicing concoction made at home naturally.
If you are not working out or exercising rigorously, you may be better off simply reaching for a glass of plain water rather than drinking a commercial sports drink. Sports drinks are supposed to replenish electrolytes and needed nutrients in your body. However, many of these drinks are full of unnecessary calories and sodium and may actually be unhealthy for you. Take the extra effort and create your own at home.
– The Alternative Daily