Sports drinks are commercially manufactured beverages available in practically every grocery store out there. These beverages are marketed mainly to sports professionals and enthusiasts, hence the name. Though we’ve been conditioned through paid advertisements on mainstream media about the benefits of sports drinks, reasonable consumption of these beverages is still advised for a host of considerations.
Read further and discover more about the pros and cons of sports drinks and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends moderate consumption of these sources of hydration to help in your quest to Become Superhuman.
Sports Drinks’ Benefits:
The foremost feature of sports drinks is its enhanced levels of electrolytes. Electrolytes play a crucial role in the optimal hydration of the body. Electrolytes help in the maintenance of balanced pH levels of the blood as well. Since the levels of electrolytes can decrease measurably during physical exertion, as is what occurs during exercise, one’s performance becomes affected as well. By taking sports drinks moderately, this condition can be mitigated.
Sports drinks are formulated to contain higher levels of carbohydrates as well. Carbohydrates, as you probably already know, is crucial as its main role is to provide energy for the body. Since recreational and professional athletes burn up more energy during exercise, they then need higher carbohydrate intake – something which sports drinks can conveniently provide.
Sports Drinks’ Risks:
As was mentioned, these beverages are promoted heavily in the mainstream media. And so far, the marketing strategy utilized, which is that of promising improved performance by drinking ahead of thirst, continues to be very effective. This, along with misguided hydration practices, contribute to the increasing incidence of hyponatremia during sporting events.
Popular brands of sports drinks are heavily laden with sweeteners as well, one of which is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), to make the beverages more appealing to the taste. HFCS has been associated with a host of negative health effects such as abnormal weight gain, decreased brain function, liver fibrosis, type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, among others.
Sports drinks are also added with acidic compounds like citric acid to counter the sweetness of the beverage. Citric acid contributes to dental erosion and in fact the effect can occur instantaneously upon consumption of any citric acid-containing food or beverage.
As was mentioned, many brands of sports drinks have boosted levels of carbohydrates, which is why most athletes who take this stuff do so well before a sporting event. However, the easy availability of commercial sports drinks make it readily accessible to individuals who do not need to take in such high levels of carbohydrates. Kids, for instance, can easily buy these beverages from their school cafeterias.
Sports drinks sold in plastic bottles likely have Bisphenol A or BPA in them as well. A persistent environmental pollutant, BPA can pose deleterious effects to the body. Constant exposure to this industrial chemical has been linked to a host of conditions such as obesity, early onset puberty in American girls, low testosterone levels, dental problems, diabetes, breast cancer, reproductive disorders, behavioral changes, among others. Sports drinks contain unnecessary food colorings as well, which have long been proven to cause conditions like cancer as well as behavioral changes in children.
Instead of commercially manufactured sports drinks, why not opt for healthier hydration choices like coconut water and good old filtered water? You can concoct your very own greens drinks at home with the use of your trusty blender as well. Not only will this be cheaper in the long run, but you’ll also get to control what goes into your drink as you can always put in healthier ingredients like fresh apples or bananas.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the pros and cons of smoothies with natural ingredients and why you should drink them moderately to help in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of drinks to avoid as well as consume regularly and moderately on the Superhuman Food Pyramid:
- Non-Caffeinated Teas
- Coconut Milk
- Raw, Grass-Fed Cow or Goat’s Milk
- Sports Drinks
- Smoothies (With Natural Ingredients)
- Arabica Coffee Regular and Decaf
- Caffeinated Tea (includes Green Tea)
- Anti-Oxidant Drinks or Powders
- Rice Milk
- Almond Milk
- Red Wine
- Energy Drinks
- Flavored Waters
- Soy Milk
- Regular Cow’s Milk
- Instant Coffee
- Blended Coffee
- Mixed Drinks
- Hard Alcohol
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the pros and cons of sports drinks, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the pros and cons of sports drinks.