Just because it’s called a sports drink, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. We might read the word, “electrolytes” on the cover of a sports drink and we assume it’s as wholesome and healthy as can be. The Pros are drinking it – so it must make you a better player, right?
Hate to deflate the ball here, but this isn’t the case. A sports drink company will a sponsor team, athletes, or an entire organization, and in turn, we see billboards, commercials, and magazine ads, of an athlete satisfying his or her thirst with a brightly colored drink. Hey, how did it get that color, anyhow? From real oranges, I imagine? Our smart brain will then put two and two together: amazing athlete + sports drink = I can improve my game if I drink what they drink.
- Know what you’re drinking.GMO corn is often added into sports drinks, in the form of other names such as Maltodextrin, lengthening the shelf-life and enhancing the flavor. Read the ingredients list – don’t understand a word? It’s worth a google. Chances are, it’s not natural and your body won’t recognize it as a nutrient. Often times we’re not getting the suggested nutrition that we think we are, and are in fact lacking essential vitamins and nutrients the body requires. Moral of the story – if you need a chemistry expert to translate the ingredients for you – you’re not on the right path.
- Just because a sports drink is sponsoring your favorite athlete, doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest choice…for you or for them. This also goes for other products like protein bars, supplements, athletic-enhancing gear, shoes, etc.
- Get the information to make smart decisions. The primary goal for marketing strategies and advertisements is to increase sales. Simple enough. Yet this is their goal whether they are selling healthy or unhealthy products. For example, McDonalds is a sponsor for the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games, the biggest athletic event in the world! In fact, McDonalds sets up their restaurant inside the Dining Hall of the Athlete Village. Does this mean that a McDonalds BigMac or Chicken McNuggets are healthy for elite athletes, or anyone for that matter? I hope you know the answer to this one.
Put the power in your hands by doing the research and finding out for yourself. Isn’t a little extra research worth it if you knew your choices will improve your health, sports performance, quality of life, longevity of playing, and then some? Ya, we think so too.