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Are sports drinks really good for you?

Are sports drinks really good for you? There’s always some guy at the gym clutching a massive neon-colored sports drink. Maybe that guy is you! The ads show that athletes NEED this stuff. You might even see people at work sipping on it at their desks. Here’s how to tell if you really need sports drinks, or if they’re just a waste of calories (and money!)

Sports drinks like Energade and Powerade have been around since the sixties. They’re a common sight in gyms, but do you really need them? And are they good for you?

Sports drinks and the electrolyte question…

The original sports drink, Gatorade, was designed by studying the sweat of football players and making sure the drink replaced all water and trace minerals lost through sweat, reports Yahoo Voices.

When you sweat, you lose water, calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium. Sports drinks are designed to replenish these lost elements better than water alone, so you don’t’ end up fatigued.

But the truth is, a 20 minute treadmill session doesn’t lose enough minerals to warrant replacing them with a sports drink. WebMD says you only really need to worry about replacing electrolytes when you work out for 90 minutes or more.

Extra calories in sports drinks make them a bad idea for dieters…

The sugars in sports drink are a major con for athletes. Though the glucose gives you an energy boost, if you want to lose weight, there’s no point in consuming a 200 calorie sports drink during your workout.

Save money by making a natural sports drink at home…

You can get all the benefits of a sports drink without the price tag by making your own at home. The Huffington Post suggest simply mixing water with some fresh orange juice, a spoon of maple syrup and a pinch of salt (for sodium) and you’ve got yourself a natural home-made sports drink.

So while sports drinks replace much needed minerals, you don’t really need them if you’re not working out super hard. And of course, you can get those minerals without the extra calories, price and artificial flavorings of commercial brands by making your own at home. 

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