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Surprising Science

Sports Drinks and Energy Bars Can Be Deceptively Unhealthy

Although ingredients in Gatorade and Powerbars may help intense athletes perform at their highest level, the rest of us ought to stay away.

What’s the Latest?

Central to the advertising campaigns for Gatorade, Powerade, PowerBar, and other sports-themed foodstuffs is the lion-like image of the athlete. Without the product being advertised, said athlete runs out of gas or fails to come through in the clutch. Although not all of us couch potatoes moonlight as marathon runners or long-distance swimmers, the appeal of Gatorade resonates in our feeble minds — athletes drink that, athletes are healthy and cool, I should drink Gatorade to be healthy and cool as well! It’s all rather brilliant.

As Alternet’s Jill Richardson writes, whether Gatorade and similar products are truly beneficial to athletes is debatable. Whether such products are beneficial to the rest of us is a much quicker conversation — they’re almost always not.

What’s the Big Idea?

As Richardson notes, Gatorade and the other sports products are designed to give a boost to endurance athletes. For those not participating in intense physical activity, sports drinks are no better than sugary sodas. The same goes for energy bars, which have seen quite the market boom during the past few years. Richardson points toward deceptive marketing once again, as manufacturers sell their products as a healthy alternative snacks. The ingredients listed on the label suggest otherwise.

If you’re heading to the gym for a quick workout, Richardson suggests skipping the sports drinks and energy bars; pack water and fruit instead.

Take a look at her article (linked again below) to learn about what your body really needs versus what the products on the market actually provide.

Keep reading at Alternet

Photo credit: oneinchpunch / Shutterstock


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