Sports Drinks – Diabetics and Dieters Beware

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  • Over 80 million Americans are Pre-Diabetic and 30% are considered obese.
  • Americans have doubled their intake of sugar sweetened drinks in the past 40 years.

The Marketers of our world do an amazing job. They know what we like, what we need and how to get that emotional response that will make us want their product. There is also a certain amount of “lie by omission”. They give us facts just not all of them.

Sports drinks are an excellent example of this. They show amazingly fit athletes, dripping sweat and tell us that if you want to get the most out of you workout, you’d better fuel up on their product.

Reality check. These drinks are packed with calories and sugar and few of us need what they offer during or after our workouts.

Sports drinks have 3 main components.

  • Water: For hydration
  • Electrolytes: Replenishes minerals such as sodium and potassium.
  • Sugar: to replace calories

Gatorade G has 130 calories per 20oz bottle and 34 grams of Sugar. All the calories are from sugar. This is a nightmare for those that suffer from high blood sugar or are trying to lose weight.

How many grams of sugar should I have?
The American Heart Association says the daily allowance for an average male can is up to 150 calories of sugar and the average women should keep their sugar calories to 100! That’s 39 grams for men and 26 grams for women.

So that one bottle of sports drink will put you near or over your limit for the day and good luck avoiding any more sugar if you eat anything out of a box, can, bottle or go out to eat.

What if you are Diabetic or Pre-Diabetic? While a few sips of sports drinks can help you out in a pinch if your blood sugar has crashed, it can also be a real problem if you are using them for hydration. These drinks are specifically designed to hit your system fast, spiking your blood sugar. This can be a disaster if you are insulin resistant so be careful. In fact, just avoid them altogether.

If you are dieting, that one bottle of sugar can easily put back 1/3 or the calories that you are working so hard to shed during your hour workout.

The bottom line:

  • If you are working out for 60 minutes or less at any intensity, you only need water
  • If you are sweating hard for more than an hour you may some CALORIE FREE electrolytes such as Nuun Tabs, Active Hydration, Zym Endurance Tablet, Elixir.
  • If you are doing and endurance event and the effort will be longer than 3 hours, you will need calories and electrolytes and sports drinks MAY be appropriate.
  • Never drink sports drinks during the day for hydration. They are barely better than a soda. Do your body a favor and grab some water.

For more tips on reversing Pre-Diabetes and weight loss go to www.TruChoiceFitness.com and like us on FaceBook to make sure you receive our weekly tips.

As always your questions and comments are welcome.

Eric Soderlund
TruChoice Fitness & Nutrition

Fitness From The Inside – Out

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