Sports Drink Breakdown and the Connection to Poor Athletic Performance

How do you hydrate your body? What happens when you are an athlete and need those very important “ELECTROLYTES” as a lot of coaches recommend. What do you drink?
So lets break the drinks down and discuss….


Powerade and Gatorade are high glycemic index foods which means they spike your blood sugar super fast, which in turn raises your insulin level very high, and this leads to sugar crash within 30-45min. The insulin, as we discussed in a previous post, shoves all this sugar into fat cells and your body cannot access these fat cells for energy. Thus sugar crash and more cravings for sugar. The electrolytes, advertised so impressively in the media, are man made fake chemicals that take hours to get into your blood stream because the body has no idea what to do with Mono-potassium Phosphate, Food Starch, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Sodium Citrate and such. I cannot even pronounce these. Furthermore, these Sugar Ladened Sports drinks have 11-12 teaspoons or 11-12 sugar packets per bottle.

The colors added in sports drinks = inattention, lack of focus, distractibility, hyperactivity (great news for coaches)

** Side Bar** – a recent study done on triathletes and marathon runners showed that those who regularly trained using sports drinks to rehydrate had much higher rates of gum and tooth disease then those who trained using water, fruits, and other natural foods.


cereal pack
cereal pack

Your body and liver can only process 4-6packets of added sugar a day. Each packet is 3gms of sugar = 1 tsp. Anymore then the 4-6packets of sugar get stored in cells where they cause inflammation which leads to tiredness, headaches, low focus, hyperactivity, poor memory, and poor athletic performance.

Sugar found in fruits, veggies, and milk is natural sugar and does not apply to the above. If we look at apples, bananas, or raw coconut water they contain more potassium then either of the sports drinks, which we all know helps with cramps and sports performance. They contain Sodium so you can retain water into your blood stream to prevent dehydration. These electrolytes come naturally from food so the body access them immediately and provides your muscles with instant power. The sugar and carbohydrates from these foods is balanced by fiber and protein and leads to a much smaller but longer sugar spike and thus more even distribution of energy. Instead of 30 min of sugar high, then crash, you get 1-2hrs of controlled sugar elevation and sustained energy WITHOUT the crash.

** Side note** Beware of coconut water, not all coconut water is created equal. There are plenty on the market from concentrate and pasteurized (boiled for hours to maintain freshness, thus turning the coconut water into just sugar). My post refers to a fresh, non processed coconut water.

The natural color of foods, well its natural. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant in foods help muscles repair stronger and faster, and helps power up the brain for more focus, better concentration, and increased memory.

Allow me to explain one last thing:


Muscles are made up of fibers. When you work out, practice a drill, run, do sit ups, do pushups, etc, your muscle fibers rip apart. When you rest after your workout, your muscles rebuild. They rebuild by using the food you put into your body. Most of the added sugar generally cannot be used by your muscles to rebuild as discussed above. The sugar it can use will be irritating to the muscle fibers. The added man made electrolytes can barely be used by your muscles, because the body does not know how to process them. So after you work out and drink gatorade, you manage to repair your muscles with sugar + chemicals + food coloring = garbage. Therefore, your performance does not improve at all.

If you feed your body fruits/veggies, raw coconut water, milk, and protein, your muscles repair using natural sugar, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. So your stamina increased, your recovery time shortens, and your strength doubles.

Its up to you how you treat your body after putting hard work into workouts.


In Good Health

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