Let me back up to a few of the arguments I have been having with my boys. I have been really on my soapbox about a growing habit they seemed to be forming of reaching for a sports drink every day “just because it’s there”. They would choose a sports drink without having broken a sweat! I mean, getting out of the car, carrying a bookbag all the way to door after a long and challenging day of school just doesn’t seem to warrant a sports drink! Even on lots of their practice days they aren’t sweating profusely enough to loose enough electrolytes and glycogen to actually need to replenish it with a sugar loaded sports drink. So, now you get the drift of my most recent “health challenge” in my home. So, imagine my interest and inner “I told you so!” when I saw a table set out specifically showing the amount of sugar in one of the popular sports drinks . . .and from the shape of the bottle in the photo you can use your imagination to determine which it is.
Strong4Kids is an organization sponsored by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta with a mission to make kids better today and healthier tomorrow. Their main objective is to tackle childhood obesity which is becoming a crisis.
During this event they had banners, games, hula hoop contests and all sorts of fun “moving” activities for the kids. They had flyers available with their mission and tips for adults to help get our children more active and make healthier choices.
They could see what they were drinking, which is often where a lot of empty and sneaky calories are consumed.
I could go on for days about the dangers of eating and drinking too much sugar and you can google and read for yourself. We are surrounded by it everywhere and we are seeing the negative effects daily.
Right now I am focusing just a little bit more on the sports drinks as I think they have taken off and are definitely being abused.
Here is a bit of history and some of the NEGATIVES about drinking sports drinks:
Since its creation in 1965 at the University of Florida, Gatorade has been used by athletes to quench their thirst and refuel their bodies. Through extensive research the Gatorade Sport Science Institute created and recreated a variety of sports drinks that helps athletes to maintain peak performance. Gatorade is now a popular beverage that is the official sports drink of many organizations, including the NBA, PGA and MLB. The popularity and positive effects of Gatorade does not mean that it’s all good when it comes to this iconic beverage. There are cons to the use of Gatorade.
Gatorade and other sports drinks are highly acidic and as it passes over teeth it can cause decay of tooth enamel. This can eventually result in cavities. This process is exacerbated because most people consume Gatorade when they parched and have little natural saliva in their mouth, allowing the Gatorade to stick to the teeth. YUCK!
Many people participate in athletic activities to lose weight. For those one weight loss diets, Gatorade is not a good choice, because the drink contains a relatively high number of calories. Gatorade is designed to replenish the fuel used by the body in the way of carbohydrate replacement, particularly glucose and fructose. So while people looking to lose weight are cutting carbohydrates and calories from their diet, Gatorade contains significant amounts sugars and calories.
Lack of Protein
Although research is split in this area, there is a strong case for the addition of protein to any sports drink. Gatorade competitors that include protein in their formulas will cite research, such as that published in the December, 2008 “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,” which shows improved recovery with the inclusion of protein in a sports drink. Protein is not a primary source of fuel for activity but it is responsible for the recovery of lean tissue. Muscle, ligaments and tendons need protein to rebuild after activity. This is particularly important for those involved in intense strength-training workouts. I think this is for elite athletes or endurance athletes.
There is also research that shows that excessive use of these type of sports drinks reduced testosterone levels in males. (Now, maybe that’s what I should be telling these boys.)
Did you notice the bottle of water on the far right? Zero grams of sugar. Of course! The natural choice! It replenishes everything you need regardless of how sweaty you get!
ALSO, GIVEAWAY WINNERS ARE . . . drumroll please. . .
Mary Aden and Heather Jaeger. Contact me please ladies so I can get your goodies to you! Thanks for trying!
Have a great day! Grab a water and get going!