Myths: Soft Drinks

November 10th, 2008

I promised to dispel some more myths and that is my goal for this week. There is a lot of knowledge floating around about the topic of health and fitness, some of it is right, some of it is partially right, and some of it is simply wrong. Today I am going to cover sports drinks.

Sports drinks such as Gatorade and PowerAde are full of slogans trying to get you to buy their product. A common selling point is that they contain essential electrolytes; this is true, but is nowhere near reason enough to buy the product. These products contain high amounts of sugar, which creates more harm than good. Electrolytes are nothing more than salts usually; so if you think you are lacking this nutrient, put some salt in some water and call it good, there are then no negative sugar effects. This might not be the best tasting alternative, but for most people there is no reason to consume extra electrolytes anyway because there are plenty of salts in our daily eating habits.

People who are training upwards of five hours per day should keep a careful eye on their salt content and will probably need to get some added electrolytes to their bodies. This is an extreme lifestyle and is not going to be done by the majority of us, so stop worrying about electrolytes.

Sports drinks are also known for their corrosive properties to tooth enamel, the protective layer covering your teeth. Most dentists detest these drinks and for good reason, the excessive amounts of sugar and artificial colors and other chemicals can wreak havoc on not only your body but also your teeth.

Vitamin water is another popular substitute for heavenly nectar, aka water. Vitamin water is a joke, an utter waste of money, unless you prefer the taste and added calories and spending money. For the lousy amount of vitamins actually contained in the water, you are basically paying for flavored water. In my opinion there is no better tasting drink on the planet than fresh mountain water. Now I realize that many people have to put up with city water, but here in Colorado even city water is fine.

Stop wasting money on drinks that live off of their advertising and good flavor; do not get caught up in the fad of thinking you are doing your body good by consuming these drinks.

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