Expensive marketing and pro athletes are the only thing selling Gatorade and other sports drinks, because the ingredients and side effects that uncover the real truth would cause many to stop guzzling down these horrible concoction.
I watch instructors, kids, coaches and parents on a daily basis open these colorful bottles of poison in an effort to “replenish electrolytes” – but the truth is, there is much more harm than good.
• Monopotassium Phosphate: used for a source of potassium (which is an electrolyte), and as a preservative. The problem with phosphates is that they cause an imbalance of phosphorus to calcium in the body. Too much phosphorus causes calcium to be drawn out of the blood, and in most cases our bones. Over long-term this can weaken our bones and increase the susceptibility of fractures.
• Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO): added as an emulsifier, to prevent the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface. It is banned for use in food products in Europe and Japan. It is additionally used to keep couches and carpets from catching fire! Bromines are common endocrine disruptors, it competes for iodine in the body which can affect the thyroid.
• Artificial Colors: these have a wide-range of health risks, and its purpose is only for superficial qualities. Health risks are not on labels in North America. In Europe their labels contain warnings for their associated risks. These include: allergy-like reactions, hyperactivity in children, and carcinogenic effects.
• Dextrose and Sucrose: simple sugars. These provide fuel during a workout. They are refined sugars, stripped of vitamins, and minerals found in natural sweeteners. And even worse are the ones containing artificial sweeteners such as sucralose.
Importance of Hydration
Staying hydrated is not only important for athletes but for everyone for several reasons.
• Water is the main component of blood. It helps deliver oxygen, nutrients, hormones and other substances to cells and rids them of toxins and waste products.
• Water also has a protective function by cushioning organs and joints from impact or injury, and by helping to regulate body temperature.
• Electrolytes are essential for muscle contractions, regulating fluid in the body, for general nerve function, blood viscosity (and therefore how hard the heart pumps), and for mental clarity.
• Staying hydrated means you can train harder and longer, keep focused, and prevent injury.
I have made my own version of a sport drink that is free of artificial colors, phosphates, bromines, and refined or artificial sweeteners. It is hydrating, full of electrolytes, vitamins and minerals, sweetened naturally and works for many athletes.
Water + Electrolytes (sodium) Drink:
1) 32 oz. water /coconut water
2) True Lime/True Lemon (2 packets – one of each)
3) Choice of citrus oil (optional 2 drops) – Wild Orange is my favorite
4) Stevia to sweeten
5) ¼-½ tsp. salt
6) 1 tsp Calcium + Magnesium
Per 8 oz. serving: 0-5 calories, 0-1 gram carbs, 75-150 mg sodium; Per hour @ 20 oz.: 0-12 calories, 0-3 grams carb, 187-375 mg sodium
Similar Commercial Drinks (in terms of carbs and sodium): NUUN Tablets, Camelbak Elixir
Do you make your own sports drink recipe? Share with us what you use!
Dr. Mercola: www.mercola.com