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Kick Added Sugar In Sports Drinks

Added sugar in sport drinks may play a role in increasing your blood sugar level. Instead of sport drinks, water and healthy nutritious drinks should be the principle source of hydration.

Kick Added Sugar In Sports Drinks

Drink healthy drinks that don't make your blood sugar spike

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Athletes prefer drinking nutritious drinks than commercial sport drinks
  2. Instead of sport drinks, water should be the only source of hydration
  3. Sport drinks spike our blood sugar levels
Nike recently launched a Gatorade-coloured collection of Air Jordan sneakers in honour of the sports drink's famous 1991 "Be Like Mike" advertisement, which encouraged Americans to consume brightly hued sugar water if they wanted to emulate basketball star Michael Jordan. Plenty did. Gatorade is still paying big bucks to professional athletes, though it says it does not target advertising to children under 12. In 2004, it agreed to pay a reported $384 million for an eight-year advertising deal with the NFL. It also has been an official paid sponsor of the NBA, MLB, NHL and NASCAR.

But, recently, some professional athletes have begun to snub commercial sports drinks, favouring more nutritious vehicles for the hydration and replenishment of electrolytes - minerals such as potassium, magnesium and sodium that help water flow into cells - that they require. And parents can do the same for their kids by making healthful drinks at home.

Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady drinks a chef-concocted electrolyte drink (the recipe is classified). The Golden State Warriors have experimented with water mixed with Himalayan sea salt. In his biography, tennis pro Andre Agassi says for years he drank an electrolyte drink made by his trainer Gil Reyes. Other players swear by alkaline water, which has a higher pH than regular water and potential hydrating abilities, although many claims about it have not been proved through widespread studies. NBA player Jason Terry, one alkaline water fan, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that, "There's no supplement for water. People always say Gatorade, but it just doesn't work. . . . I don't really need Gatorade or any kind of sugar."

He's right about the sugar. He doesn't need it, and neither do our kids. (A 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade, for example, contains 34 grams of processed sugar, 270 mg of sodium, synthetic food dyes and other chemicals. A Gatorade spokeswoman points out that the company offers lower-sugar or sugar-free products, but some of those contain dyes or sucralose.) Commercial sports drinks were designed for college athletes in Florida who were training so relentlessly in high temperatures that they sufficiently depleted their bodies of fluids and minerals. No matter how athletic your children may appear to you, they are most likely not training to the degree of one of these athletes. Back when Gatorade asked us if we all wanted to be like Mike, it didn't suggest that we actually train like Mike.


My teenage boys coach baseball camp in the scorching summer heat, yet despite their claims that they are "dying from a lack of electrolytes," they do not need a sports drink with high-fructose corn syrup and food dyes. They could benefit from water and fruit, which will deliver the electrolytes they need. A 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade has 75 mg of potassium while a clementine has 131 mg and a banana has 422 mg; both fruits also deliver vitamins, and magnesium to help prevent cramping. (But let's be realistic, kids hankering for sports drinks don't always get excited about water and fruit, which is why these fruit-based, homemade drink might be more likely to win them over.)

The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees. It states that "routine ingestion of carbohydrate-containing sports drinks by children and adolescents should be avoided or restricted. . . . Water, not sports drinks, should be the principal source of hydration for children and adolescents."

Although it has as much sugar as traditional sports drinks, I find the new BodyArmor ad campaign featuring NBA player James Harden dressed in Colonial-era clothes quite funny - and a bit ironic. The narrator proclaims, "James Harden wouldn't go to the game wearing outdated fashion, so why would he choose an outdated sports drink?" The tagline: "Thanks Gatorade. We'll take it from here."

Actually, it's parents who should take it from here. In general, commercial sports drinks have had their day. Let's instead choose drinks that wholesomely hydrate and provide serious electrolytes, along with cancer-fighting antioxidants and natural carbohydrates and sugars.

The sports drinks of the future are the ones you can make yourself (you don't even need a trainer named Gil). They're the ones that, without damaging our bodies, can help us be like Mike. Or Tom. Or Andre. Or as hip as James Harden. Or, more realistically, even if we can never really be like Mike, we can at least drink beverages that don't make our blood sugar spike. That's a healthy future.

- - -

Coconut Orange Energiser

Four 1-cup servings

Coconut water is high in natural electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium and calcium, with a little sodium, making it nature's sports drink. The natural sugar in the coconut water provides energy, yet coconut water is lower in sugar and carbohydrates than many commercial sports drinks. The citrus provides vitamins.

The drink can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Ingredients

3 cups coconut water

3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2-3 T honey or maple syrup or a few drops of stevia

1/8-1/4 t sea salt

Combine the coconut water, orange and lemon juices, honey (to taste) and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt in a blender. Seal and blend until smooth and well incorporated. Taste and add the remaining salt, as needed.

Serve chilled, or over ice in a glass.

- - -

Strawberry Breeze

Four 1-cup servings

This drink is full of vitamin C and antioxidants from the strawberries and the citrus. It also contains minerals such as potassium, manganese, and folate, and to a lesser degree magnesium, iron, and copper.

This cooler will stay fresh in the refrigerator for two days.

Ingredients

3 c water

1/2 c Freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup strawberries

2-3 T honey or maple syrup or a few drops of stevia

1/8 -1/4 t sea salt

Combine the water, orange and lemon juices, strawberries, honey (to taste) and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt in a blender. Seal and blend until smooth and well incorporated. Taste and add the remaining salt, as needed.

Serve chilled, or over ice in a glass.

- - -

Lemon-Lime Boost

About 3 1-cup servings

Most similar in flavor to a lemon-lime sports drink, this beverage provides vitamin C and potassium, and a little bit of magnesium and calcium. It is a refreshing way to re-hydrate without consuming too much sugar or any artificial flavors and colours. Store in refrigerator for up to three days.

Ingredients

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup lime juice

2.5 cups water

2-3 T honey or maple syrup or a few drops of stevia

1/8 -1/4 t sea salt

Combine the lemon and lime juices, water, honey (to taste) and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt in a blender. Seal and blend until smooth and well incorporated. Taste and add the remaining salt, as needed.

Serve chilled, or over ice in a glass.

- - -

Raspberry Calm

Makes 3 cups

This cold tea provides vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Red raspberry leaves are high in iron, B vitamins and alkaloids -- all shown to help reduce cramping and nausea and increase energy.

Make Ahead: The drink can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Where to Buy: The Calm brand calcium-magnesium powder works to promote magnesium levels and balance calcium intake, both important after a big workout. It is available online via Amazon.com, and at some CVS, Walgreens and GNC stores.

Ingredients

3 cups brewed, cooled herbal red raspberry tea

1 teaspoon calcium-magnesium powder, such as Calm brand (see headnote)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)

2 to 3 tablespoons honey (may substitute maple syrup or a few drops of stevia)

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Ice

Combine the tea, the calcium-magnesium powder, lemon juice, honey (to taste) and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt in a blender. Seal and blend until smooth and well incorporated. Taste and add the remaining salt, as needed.

Serve chilled, or over ice in a glass.

- - -

Watermelon Refresher

About 4 cups

July is National Watermelon Month, probably because watermelon is so cooling to the body in the month's hot temperatures. The fruit is 92 percent water, so this drink is incredibly hydrating.

The natural sugar in watermelon provides energy, and the fibre keeps that energy from hitting the blood system too quickly. This sports drink provides magnesium, potassium, calcium, lots of antioxidants, and vitamins C and A.

Make Ahead: This refresher can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Ingredients

2 cups seedless or seeded, cubed watermelon (no rind)

2 cups water

1 small lime, peeled and cut into chunks

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1 large mint leaf (optional)

Ice

Combine the watermelon, water, lime, salt and mint, if using, in a blender. Seal and blend until smooth and well incorporated.

Serve chilled, or over ice in a glass.



(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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