Sport Drinks Not Needed

A recent expose from 538 explains why sports drinks are unnecessary.

538: You Don’t Need Sport Drinks to Stay Hydrated

Key points:

  • Though sports drinks are highly marketed, there is little scientific evidence behind their claims
  • Water is generally better for most people
  • Hyponatremia can be provoked by drinking too much fluids

A few excerpts:

  • “As it turns out, if you apply evidence-based methods, 40 years of sports drinks research does not seemingly add up to much,” Carl Heneghan and his colleagues at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine wrote in a 2012 analysis published in the British medical journal BMJ. ..
  • There has never been a case of a runner dying of dehydration on a marathon course, but since 1993, at least five marathoners have died from hyponatremia they developed during a race.  At the 2002 Boston Marathon, researchers from Harvard Medical School took blood samples from 488 marathoners after the finish. The samples showed that 13 percent of the runners had diagnosable hyponatremia…Athletes who develop hyponatremia during exercise usually get there by drinking too much because they’ve been conditioned to think they need to drink beyond thirst

My take: Drink when you are thirsty.  Exceptional talent and hard work, not sports drinks, are the key if you want to “Be Like Mike.”

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Do You Think Fruit Drinks Are Healthy?

According to a recent report in USA Today, a large number of parents have been misled into thinking that sugary beverages and fruit drinks are healthy. Here’s an excerpt:

That’s the conclusion of a new study from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at University of Connecticut, published today in Public Health Nutrition.

Many parents believe that drinks with high amounts of added sugar — particularly fruit drinks, sports drinks and flavored water — are “healthy” options for kids, according to the report, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which focuses on improving health and health care…

The vast majority of parents give kids sugary drinks regularly…Equally significant, nearly half of parents surveyed rated flavored waters as healthy, and more than one-quarter considered fruit drinks and sports drinks to be healthy…

Parents said they were particularly influenced by nutritional claims appearing on the packages — such as claims that the items are “real” or “natural” or contained vitamin C or antioxidants, or were low in sodium or calories.

Bottomline: This information reinforces the fact that many parents do not realize basic nutrition information.

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