Have you grabbed a sports drinks to help hydrate yourself after a good workout? Have you ever looked at the bright blue and orange concoctions and wonder if it's natural?
You're not alone, lots of people ask questions about sports drinks and wonder if they're as good for you as they claim.
After all, they're used at all the big sporting events. So they got to be all right, don't they?
Maybe not. Let's take a look at what's in most of the popular ones and you can make up your own mind.
Let's Look At Why You Are Drinking A Sports Drink In The First Place
Throughout history, various drinks helped people rehydrate and stay healthy. One of the most popular ones was a watered-down mix of whey and over-boiled oats or rice. This provided a lot of protein, fat, and vitamins and minerals. But, it also provided a lot of electrolytes: sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride.
Different versions of this drink emerged over the years, and in recent years, based more on chemicals. Now, purified water has sugar and salts added to it to create hydrating sports drinks.
But, why drink it to begin with?
During any kind of strenuous activity, you sweat. It helps cool your inner body temperature and get rid of toxins. But, if you sweat too much, you can dehydrate yourself or make yourself sick by losing too many of these electrolytes that are necessary for muscle contraction, nerve impulses, and your mental health.
A hydrating sports drink replaces the sugars you burned up and the electrolytes. And it helps rehydrate your body faster than plain water.
Today, these sports drinks aid hydration during sporting events, before medical procedures like a colonoscopy, and to rehydrate after an illness. But, because far too many people drink them regularly, modern sports drinks might be doing more harm than good.
What's Really In Sports Drinks – It Will Gross You Out
One of the first marketed sports drinks was the brand name Gatorade. It was a fabulous innovation that easily got a proper hydrating drink to many sports events and military operations. When dehydration occurs, the body craves sugars and salts.
However, as time went by, people began drinking it for fun. And then they complained about the taste. A sugary-salty fluid doesn't taste the best when you don't need the hydration. So, various manufacturers started adding flavors. And these flavors came from chemicals.
And then they tried to attract people with color. Most sports drinks are generally a cloudy sort of white naturally. So, manufacturers began adding colors such as blue, orange, red, and purple. These colors come from chemicals, as well.
As more people began drinking sports drinks for entertainment and daily use, the sugar content went up to compete with soda and the chemical flavorings went up to match. As a result, the actual reason to drink a sports drink – the electrolytes – became secondary, with most of the drinks only providing negligible amounts of the electrolytes.
The vast majority of sports drinks on the market are chemical-flavored sugar-waters.
How Do You Drink Something Rehydrating Without All The Chemicals?
What do you do if you want a good sports drink and want to avoid all the chemicals? Well, there are a few of them on the market that are more natural, you'll just have to search out organic varieties
You can also make your own, focusing on fruit juices and adding a bit of electrolyte salts to it. Many times, you can find the salts in the pharmacy section of stores or ordered online.
You can also structure your diet and lifestyle to center around being properly hydrated and having a good amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet. That way, you don't have to worry about short durations of exercise and activity.
If you're consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and lots of water, a full day of activity in the sun should not be a problem if you're healthy and drink plain water. By the evening meal, you'll be able to restore yourself through food.
However, if you're doing multi-day or work a job exposed to heat or the outdoors, choosing an organic electrolyte drink could be helpful. Drinking popular, chemical-based sports drinks is not healthy regularly.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will give you that upper edge. The idea of drinking a sports drink to rehydrate yourself is a good idea, however. Choosing a good one or making sure you're diet and lifestyle include lots of water and fruits and vegetables will keep you healthy overall.