Are sports drinks good for your health?


Manufacturers of sports drinks tell us through carefully created marketing campaigns that to be an elite athlete and maintain a healthy body we should consume their products.

But is the consumption of these designer sports drinks good for your body, or is damage being done over the long term? How much damage is being done to our children who see these products as a replacement to water.

Dentists are so concerned that they are warning their patients about the harmful effects that the contents of these products are having on their teeth.

I was recently offered a bottle of one of the more popular sports drinks at a bike rally, I took one sip of this terrible tasting drink and said to the company representative that I may as well drink straight salt water as to consume that and promptly tipped it out.

Basically what I was putting in my body was a very acidic drink, full of questionable ingredients which may contribute to the increase in the accumulation of lactic acid in my body, which is exactly what I aim not to do if I want to maintain a peak performance.

Now I don't profess to be a sports scientist but after many years in various forms of sport including long distance motor racing both as a competitor and later as a team manager, I have some idea about the physical and mental strain on the body.

No drugs or caffiene stimulants were ever used by our team, but a combination of foods such as nuts, fresh green vegetables, bananas, certain salami and pure water was consumed to keep our energy levels high.

We were told by a former international weight lifting coach that natural high alkaline foods had a better effect on the body than consuming acid generating products.

How many high performance athletes do you know that don't seem to heal from injuries such as hamstrings?.

Could their problems be associated with the over consumption of these acidic beverages!

The body needs to maintain a pH level of 7 and above to survive. If these levels fall below that the body starts to cannibalise itself and takes nutrients away from tendons, muscles, joints and bones to maintain the correct pH.

So as you are at an age where you may be competing as a senior elite athlete in the Masters Games be very careful not to get dragged along with marketing hype about how wonderful these drinks are, but take time to seek out the most effective way of replenishing the fluid in your body.


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