Many of us are creatures of habit…Wake up, stop for gas and grab a sports drink; rather it be a Gatorade, Powerade, vitamin water etc. but does our body really need them in the sense that we think it does?

The truth behind sports drinks are relatively simple…Sports drinks are to drinking what Hummers are to driving — the effective marketing of a fantasy. You generally don’t need a Hummer to navigate the streets of your average suburb, and you don’t need a sports drink for the energy exerted getting up off your barker lounger to change the channel on your television or a brisk walk on the treadmill.

I have no doubt about the science shown that these drinks may be uniquely beneficial for hydrating someone at risk of being dehydrated. But unless you are at risk of being dehydrated, there is no benefit here. When elite athletes exercise for extended periods of time, they deplete their bodies of water and electrolytes. Sports drinks are specifically designed to replenish the body in such situations. However, most consumers don’t use these beverages for their intended purpose.

There is an abundance of multi-colored sports drinks available in every mini-mart, and quick stop along every highway in the country, the truth of the matter is, how many ultra marathoners and Tour de France riders are rushing into those mini-marts on a routine basis. Although, while these drinks may serve a purpose during exercises; they are nothing more than a “glorified soda”, providing majority of societies population with an abundance of extra sugar and unwanted calories!

As many news channels are quick to point out, we live in a society where obesity and diabetes are much bigger problems than rampant dehydration. If you are just looking for a refreshing beverage, water, natural fruit juice and fruit-flavored seltzers are healthier alternatives to sports drinks.

However, if you are engaged in a high-intensity sport like, for example, being on the Arizona Wildcats football team and training in 100-degree heat, you are actually at risk of dehydrating and a sports drink may really help you out!

If you want to learn more about nutrition call me or stop in and ask!

To your Health!

Matt Carroll

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