Assuming having plain water and sports drink on a table, many prefer the latter. Some people take sports drinks on a regular basis even if they are not exercising strenuously. So, is this a safe practice?
Before jumping into the conclusion, first, let’s understand what sports drink does:
- The main idea behind sports beverages is to help keep people hydrated and supplied with energy throughout the exercise. These drink contains carbohydrate, sodium, potassium and other substances. The carbohydrate in these drinks provides energy, especially when we have used up much of our glycogen (stored carbohydrates).
- Since we also lose some electrolytes (like sodium and potassium) from sweating during physical activity, including them in a sports drink makes sense.
However, during normal hours, do we need this drink? Certainly not if we are sitting around watching TV, surfing Internet, reading books. These calories add up significantly if we are drinking a lot of sports drink every day. Many of these fluid replacement drinks come in bottles which will total between 150 and 300 calories if the entire bottle is consumed.
The added sugars in sports beverages are unnecessary for our bodies too. If we are exercising less than an hour time, we would fare better by drinking water or unsweetened flavored seltzers. If you need the extra calories, fresh fruit juice is a much better option. Milk is a good choice too.
Some sports beverages are fortified with additional vitamins. Read food and beverage labels carefully to see what may have been added to them.
Last but not least, sweetened beverage is not good for our teeth. So, the next time you grab the sports drink, think about several points I mentioned and decide whether you really need it.
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