The benefits of consuming sport drinks during and after a tough workout are still open to debate.
One camp like those found at bestproducts.com relate, “When you start to sweat during a workout or when summer temperatures start to rise, your body loses essential minerals and electrolytes. Replace and replenish those vital nutrients by taking along one of these ultra hydrating sports drinks or mixes wherever you go.”
They seem to be pro sports drinks.
Another camp at health.harvard.edu reports, “Nicely timed for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has published several articles revealing the “truth about sports drinks.” That truth is this: drink when you are thirsty and don’t waste your money or calories on sports drinks—choose water instead.
Sports drinks are flavored beverages that contain carbohydrates (usually sugar) and minerals such as sodium and potassium. Those minerals are generally referred to as electrolytes.”
As a female student athlete, how do you feel about hydrating with sports drinks?
We have a visiting female speaking who lends a more comprehensive approach.
Sports Drinks – Should Teen Girls Be Drinking Them?
By Maggie Ayre
Where ever you look there is an increasingly wide variety of drinks available – flavoured water, sports drinks, energy drinks – they sound healthy enough but what is really in them? Each drink makes its own claim to “do” something – increase energy and alertness, boost nutrition, enhance athletic performance. Each claims to be far better for us than water. But what is the reality?
It is widely accepted that unless you are exercising for at least 90 minutes the best drink is water. You don’t need the additional energy provided by sports drinks and it will have one of two effects:-
- You will begin to put on weight – you are simply not using the additional calories you are consuming from the drink
- You will find that you are eating less – calories from food are far more beneficial to your body – sugar calories from drinks are essentially empty calories. It is estimated thatthe average American now consumes 25% of their calories from drinks and I’m sure the UK isn’t too far behind them.
If you are exercising you may consider Isotonic drinks, such as Gatorade, Powerade and Lucozade Sport. These have a fluid concentration similar to that of the blood. Therefore they are quickly absorbed into the blood stream, helping to prevent dehydration and also providing energy in the form of simple sugars. These drinks can be beneficial in exercise but only if you are exercising for over 90 minutes.
Hypertonic drinks are often advertised as suitable for use when exercising. They have a higher fluid concentration than the blood, and this causes water to move out of the blood into the stomach to dilute them. This can cause dehydration. Generally these are drinks with a carbohydrate content of greater than 8%. Examples include Lucozade Energy and other fizzy drinks.
Flavoured water is a drink consisting of water with added natural or artificial flavours, herbs and sweeteners. There are a huge range of manufacturers all adding different vitamins and minerals to their drinks through the incorporation of fruits in order to better market their products and enable them to charge a premium price. All flavoured waters are different and it is important to read the nutrition information to see what you are getting.[adToAppearHere]
Vitaminwater, made by a well known beverage manufacturer, is currently being sued in the US because each 8oz bottle of water contains a staggering 33g of sugar. In their defence the company have stated; “no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking Vitaminwater was a healthy beverage.” (Source)
But Vitaminwater is not alone, in the UK a 500ml bottle of one of the most popular brands, Touch of Fruit, by Volvic, contains 27.5g of sugar (or nearly seven teaspoons), almost a third of the guideline daily amount of sugar for adults. That is almost as much as a can of Coke, which contains 35g (just over eight and a half teaspoons). Waitrose’s own brand of flavoured water is loaded with 25.6g of sugar in its 500ml bottle (or six and a half teaspoons of sugar). A new line of flavoured water, This Water, from Innocent, a company more famous for its smoothies, lists that it has “some sugar” on its labels. Actually, it has eight teaspoons.
So are they right or do we assume that these are healthier alternatives?
Sugar is universally accepted as the main cause of obesity. The sugar levels can also damage teeth.
Strawberry Splash, a flavoured water from Buxton which is marketed to children, contains 12g of sugar, or three teaspoons. In the (very) small print, Buxton recommends that you “enjoy Buxton Strawberry as a treat. Throughout the day and at mealtimes, choose Buxton natural mineral water”.
Advice we could all do with following.
Maggie Ayre is a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Adviser for Teenage Girls. Her goal is to get every teen girl active. Not only does fitness and good nutrition lead to a healthy body it also has been proven to increase self-confidence, self-esteem and even lead to better exam results![adToAppearHere]
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OPENING PHOTO FOUND AT stackliving.com
Maggie’s blog http://www.maggieayre.com offers advice and guidance for parents, teenage girls and fitness professionals.
Sources: brainyquote.com, Wikipedia, fciwomenswrestling2.com, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.
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