Food, Good to Know

Are Sports Drinks Good For You?

April 16, 2013

Whew! What a day!

I’m going to jump right in…with dinner! It was quick, easy, and extremely delicious! This meal will definitely be in the “make-on-our-super-busy-nights” rotation. I got the recipe from another blog that I love- Carrots N’ Cake and here’s the recipe Cheesy Garlic & Herb Brussels Sprouts with Sausage.

First, let me say, I do not like brussels sprouts. Well, until now. I might have found my secret to eating a new vegetable– put some Laughing Cow cheese on it! 🙂

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dinner

 

I had to keep Mark from licking the pan….so I distracted him with watching last Sunday’s DVR’d Celebrity Apprentice and snacking on grapes.

During commercials, I usually do small chores elsewhere in the house, however, a Gatorade commercial caught my eye and I actually sat there and watched it! I think Gatorade does a superb job of branding themselves to athletes. According to their commercial, Gatorade has been a part of every major sports victory over the past 50 years thus leading you to believe that by drinking Gatorade, you will be a victorious, world-class athlete.

Now, I don’t truly believe that if I drink Gatorade I will become the world’s best Fit Camper, but I do understand why their drinks have been so successful. The idea is that by drinking Gatorade (or, just to be fair, all “sports drinks”) you will replace lost water, calories, carbohydrates, sugars, and electrolytes (ions of calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and chloride). While all of these electrolytes are important to healthy bodily functions, sodium is the major salt in sweat and is known to improve the small intestine’s ability to absorb water and carbohydrates, which, ultimately, aids in rehydration and delays muscle fatigue.

I can see why, when used during strenuous, prolonged exercise (120 minutes or longer), sports drinks would be beneficial. But, for the average person working out at the gym or in Crossfit for an hour or less, all sports drinks do is pile on more calories, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. Every sports drink on the market has artificial coloring and flavorings, high fructose corn syrup and lots of other fake additives. In my opinion, if I’m working so hard to “eat clean,” the last thing that I want to do is trash it all by downing neon-colored sugar-water.

In our house, me make a homemade alternative. Because we live in Florida and sweat A LOT (especially during workouts), Mark and I feel that from time-to-time we need to replenish our electrolytes. Here’s what we do:

Add the juice of 1 lemon (or more, if you want!) and 3 small pinches of natural sea salt (I like this brand!) to 1 gallon of distilled water. Chill this mixture and drink, drink, drink!

After both of these races, we re-hydrated with our homemade sports drink!

 

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After both races pictured above, Mark and I rehydrated with our homemade concoction. We both agree that once properly rehydrated we have almost no soreness and can bounce back much more quickly than if we only drank water. <—-Neither of us is actually what most people would consider “a runner.” We take part in local 5k’s for fun and to support organizations in our community.

My bottom line is this:

Unless you’re doing strenuous training for multiple hours per day, you don’t need “the extras” in sports drinks. Throw a small amount of quality sea salt in a naturally flavored glass of water and you’ve got all the good stuff and none of the bad. And, above all, listen to your doctor and your body and take what I say with a grain of salt…. get it…ok, I’ll stop….

 

Goodnight, sleep tight! xo

 

***Disclaimer: This post is my opinion on sports drinks. I am not a doctor and cannot recommend what is best for your personal situation.***

 

 

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  • This is an interesting take on sports drinks and so true! I think advertisements lead us to believe we need a lot of things we don’t. When I was pregnant with Savannah and extremely nauseous the midwife told me to drink water and gatorade. When my kids have been sick they are much more willing to take gatorade than pedialyte. I’ll have to take a closer look and compare the two!

    • amyjba

      I think that if you and your kids (and anyone else) are only drinking sports drinks on occasion, it’s not a big deal. Plus, you are diluting them– which is the best thing you can do!

      I’m more against the sports drinks replacing water or a “healthier” alternative in daily use.

      I think if Gatorade is the only thing that eases your nausea or is the only thing that your child will drink when they’re sick–you just gotta go for it. Both are only temporary situations!

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