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Are Sports Drinks Bad for you?

Are Sports Drinks Bad for you?

Sweating is part and parcel of exercising. But when you sweat you lose electrolytes. We can’t stop ourselves sweating, but we can help to replace these minerals to boost performance.

Are sports drinks the best way to do this?

Electrolytes are minerals including sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, calcium, bicarbonate, phosphate and sulphate. You can either get electrolyte tablets which contain these minerals to add to a bottle of water, or you can simply add salt to your meal after a workout if you’re after a low-cost alternative.

Or there are the so-called sports drinks – Lucozade, Gatorade, Powerade, Accelerate, Revive, and so forth, containing added electrolytes, and a whole lot of sugar.

The problem can be that if you are not doing enough exercise to lose significant amounts of electrolytes, then taking on board too much salt and extra sugar can be bad for you, even causing cramping and the more obvious dental decay.

 Having said that, if you don’t replace lost fluids and electrolytes then your organs don’t perform efficiently and so performance athletes are encouraged to rehydrate with tailor-made sports drinks or electrolyte tablets.

It’s thought that unless you are doing around 90 minutes of exercise then you don’t need to take on additional sugars and salts. But if you are pushing your body beyond that, or performing at a higher level than your average gym-goer, it’s wise to take on board the extras that sports drinks can offer.

Often marketed as soft drinks they are consumed by many people who are doing no exercise whatsoever – and that is when it becomes a bad thing.

Like any sugars or salt, consuming too much is bad news.

So unless you’re pushing yourself to dehydration levels – steer clear of the sports drinks.

 

 

the author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running, strength training, Pilates and Yoga. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.

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