Posts Tagged ‘Sports Drinks’

Need more energy? Have this energy drink. If you are playing a sport, you need a sports drink. Really, do we need sport or energy drinks, vitamin waters, or fruit flavored drinks? The advertisers claim we need them. What is truth and what is hype? sports beverages

• Sports drinks are not necessary unless you are engaging in continuous, vigorous activity for more than 60 minutes in hot weather. Most sports drinks have lots of sugar and calories. Most of us don’t need the extra nutrients, electrolytes and/or protein as your diet usually provides what is needed. Water is the best drink for rehydrating, which is what your body needs. Sports drinks increase the risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, dental caries and cardiovascular disease. Low-fat or fat-free milk can be a better option to drink when engaging in sports or physical activity to regain what you have lost.

• Energy drinks are not needed and may over-stimulate the cardiovascular and nervous system causing some detrimental effects. Most energy drinks have high amounts of caffeine and other stimulates. Energy drinks can be dangerous for people with unknown heart issues. Energy drinks are not safe for youth. In fact, studies have shown youth who drink energy drinks are less able to concentrate and may have a slower reaction speed. Extra vitamins in energy drinks do not really help your body. Energy drinks have been associated with many health concerns such as increased blood pressure, sleep problems, seizure activity, heart arrhythmia and others. Avoid powdered caffeine which is very dangerous.

• Vitamin waters have added vitamins which are better obtained by eating vegetables and fruits. These drinks also contain added sugar and sodium. Don’t pay the high price tag for these which also increase the risk of obesity. Eat a healthy diet and drink water.

• Fruit flavored drinks tend to be high in added sugar and other ingredients. Some of the herbal fruit flavored drink ingredients have not been researched on children. These drinks also increase the risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, dental caries and cardiovascular disease.glass of iced tea

• Sweetened teas and coffee drinks have added sugar and carry the same health risks as sports drinks. They also can cause sleep disturbances and nervous problems in youth and adults.

Beverage manufactures are trying to convince us that they are providing us with “ready-to-go” attractive beverages. Most of the health claims on the bottles cannot be proven true and the added sugars increase the risk of diabetes and obesity.

Drink water!
It is the best drink. Other recommended choices include nonfat or low-fat milk and 100% fruit or vegetable juice in small amounts. Eat a healthy diet, and you will have the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy.

Writer: Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension
Reviewer: Susan Zies, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

Center for Weight and Health, (2014). Hiding Under a Health Halo, University of California at Berkeley, Available at: http://www.publichealthadvocacy.org/healthhalo.html
Nelson, J. and Zeratsky, K. (2010). Milk Joins the Roster of Sports Drinks, Mayo Clinic, Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-blog/sports-drinks/bgp-20056125
Nutrition Action, (2014). Caffeine in Food – Caffeine Content of Drinks Revealed! Available at http://nutritionaction.com/daily/caffeine-in-food

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With nicer weather we spent more time outside being active.  Perhaps, you are on a sports team, and as the temperatures get hotter you need something to drink.  Water is the best drink, but there are times we may need something else or think we do.

The American Insitute for Cancer Research (AICR) checked with sports dietitians about sport drinks and what they would recommend.  Their recommendations were:

1.      If you are doing low to moderate intensive activity such as walking, that lasts less than 60 minutes, water is a best choice to drink before, during, and after exercise.

2.      If you are participating in moderate to high intensity activity lasting longer than 60 minutes, sport drinks are a good option, especially when you need to replace carbohydrates and electrolytes.

3.      Following physical activity you should always drink enough fluid to replace fluid you lost during exercise (water is an excellent choice).  After long, intense activity, you may need to replace fluid and sodium losses with watery foods that contain some salt such as soup or vegetable juice.  You can replace fluid and potassium losses by eating fruits and vegetables.

Try making your own sports drink by using ½ cup of 100% juice and adding 1 cup of water.  You will have a drink with less calories, more potassium, and less sodium than a sports drink.  You will also not have any added sugar which is in sports drinks.

Reference:  “Replenish and Refresh:  Top Thirst Quenchers for Summer Workouts”  American Institute for Cancer Research eNews from at http://aicr.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=19317&news_iv_ctrl=2303

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