The Truth About Sports Drinks

August 5, 2014

What do you usually drink when you’re playing sports or need to stay hydrated?  Each Monday night when I show up for tennis matches I am reminded how many people drink sports drinks while playing tennis (and other sports for that matter)!  Also, when I see what kids drink at sports practices and games, I want to shout from the rooftops–DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH SUGAR IS IN THAT DRINK?!

If you’re like most people, you have NO idea how much sugar is in Gatorade or Vitamin Water.  Check out the nutrition facts for 1 bottle of regular Vitamin Water: 120 Calories, 32g Sugar and 33g Carbs. Not to mention fructose and cane sugar are the first few ingredients listed (meaning they are the most) and 32g is your total daily sugar intake!! That’s like drinking straight sugar water and expecting it to help you play better during your game and stay hydrated.  Not so much–it’s probably dragging you down and making you more thirsty by the minute!  Long distance cyclers don’t drink this stuff and I don’t think you should either.  Go check out all of the fancy waters and see if they stack up any better.

Vitamin Water Zero or Sobe LifeWater may be a better option since it is sweetened with stevia.  These “Zero” drinks usually are sweetened with Sugar Alcohols (which is another topic to be discussed in another post) and stevia. Stevia is a natural sweetener and comes from leaves of a plant so it’s a better alternative to other sweeteners like Splenda/Sucralose or Aspartame.  These Zero drinks have 0 calories and much lower carbs, yet they still have several added ingredients (not just vitamins)!

The real question is why not just drink water?!  It is what our bodies crave and we are designed to survive on pure water.  Try adding your own lemon, lime, cucumber or berries to your water.  Save yourself all the calories and excess sugar and stay refreshed with your own flavor-infused water!

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