Last March, we said sugar-sweetened sports drinks were next on our list to remove from our fridges. True to our word, you may have already noticed their disappearance in centre. Here’s why we want water to be the first choice for our customers.
Sports drinks are sugary drinks in disguise, cleverly marketed as a refreshing and hydrating drink that will aid recovery more effectively than water. In reality, with 9 teaspoons of sugar per 600ml bottle, they may in fact undo all your hard work and do your health harm. Despite what sports drinks brands and the sports stars who promote them might tell you, for most of us sports drinks simply provide unnecessary sugar and salt.
What’s really in the bottle?
Sports drinks contain 36g (9 teaspoons) of sugar per 600ml bottle. This is one and a half times the World Health Organisation’s daily recommendation for ‘added’ sugar. Added sugar adds excess kilojoules (calories) in your diet that in turn can lead to weight gain and other health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Sports drinks also contain artificial flavours, colours and food acids, which combined with sugar make these drinks highly acidic, leading to dental enamel erosion and tooth decay.
Sports drinks and kids
Don’t be fooled by the claimed recovery benefits of sports drinks for kids. They just don’t need them, and, in fact, these drinks may do them harm. Not only are they harmful to their teeth, the 9 teaspoons of added sugar in each 600ml bottle of sports drink is one and a half times the recommended daily sugar limit for kids! If they’re thirsty, kids will drink water and if you have a fussy drinker, try adding sliced lemon and some mint or even berries for a flavour burst.
Water is the best way to rehydrate after a gym class, basketball game or swim; it’s free and comes without the chemicals and 9 teaspoons of sugar. It is essential to stay hydrated with water during physical activity. Water is vital for your body to maintain a healthy temperature as well as to replace any lost fluids from sweating. If you do not consume enough water, your exercise performance, and health, can be adversely affected.
You can fuel your recovery with a simple nutritious snack like a banana, glass of milk, tuna or avocado sandwich.
The bottom line
Water is all we need to rehydrate and perform at our best.
At the Y we are particularly concerned about kid’s exposure to the marketing of unhealthy foods, which is a big reason why we have taken the step of removing sugar-sweetened drinks from our fridges. If you have any questions about the changes at your Y, please speak to our friendly customer services team.