Most of us believe that sports drinks are actually good for us, and certainly better than soft drinks. But are they? Health and wellness expert Brenda Lee Reed is here to explain.
Information Nation: Good afternoon. Thank you for joining us today. Let’s get started. Sports drinks have become very popular lately. What are these drinks made of?
Brenda Lee Reed: They claim to be a proven mixture of fluid, carbohydrates, and electrolytes that aid in hydration.
Information Nation: What are some of the common statements made by the manufacturer on the health benefits of sports drinks?
Brenda Lee Reed: They claim this special blend of sodium, potassium and chloride replaces minerals that are lost through sweat.
Information Nation: Do you believe that these sports drinks are healthy?
Brenda Lee Reed: Well, if you check the ingredients listed on the labels, you will see that they are far from healthy.
Information Nation: So, what’s in them?
Brenda Lee Reed: The first ingredient listed is water, followed by high-fructose corn syrup, then sucrose syrup, which is another sugar solution, and then yellow 5, an artificial food coloring.
Information Nation: What’s wrong with these ingredients?
Brenda Lee Reed: Since these drinks contain high-fructose corn syrup, you might as well have a soda…
Information Nation: What is high fructose corn syrup?
Brenda Lee Reed: HFCS is a sweetener that many health professionals believe is actually worse for your health than regular sugar. In fact, many experts attribute HFCS to the growing obesity epidemic in the United States.
Information Nation: Wow. Why is it so bad?
Brenda Lee Reed: Fructose reacts on the body’s hormones that regulate weight much like fats do.
Information Nation: How does sugar react on the body?
Brenda Lee Reed: A set of reactions occurs when glucose is consumed that allows it to be used as energy. Also, there is a production increase of leptin which is a hormone that aids in controlling appetite and fat storage. The stomach hormone ghrelin is reduced. This hormone usually helps the body fight hunger.
Information Nation: Are there other side effects of sports drinks?
Brenda Lee Reed: Well, most sports drinks have additional sugar added, which will probably give you a short-term burst of energy but will be followed by a major crash. Also the yellow 5 can cause allergic reactions, especially for aspirin sensitive people. And according to research, sports drinks can erode tooth enamel more than carbonated cola drinks.
Information Nation: So are sports drinks ever appropriate to drink?
Brenda Lee Reed: Due to the extra calories, sugar, and electrolytes, sports drinks are occasionally fine for adults who are participating in extreme workouts or marathons.
Information Nation: What do you recommend for children and the average gym-goer?
Brenda Lee Reed: Plain water is best.
Information Nation: Any final words about sports drinks?
Brenda Lee Reed: I’d say to watch the labels. Too many of these drinks and you could wind up 13 pound heavier in one year – even if you only drink them while working out.
Brenda Lee Reed is the founder of the alternative treatment retreat Genesis Healing Center, located in Middle Tennessee. A mother and grandmother, Brenda Lee Reed has devoted her life to keeping herself and her family healthy and believes that the key to longevity is taking a holistic approach to health.
For more information about Brenda Lee Reed, visit www.genesishealingcenter.com