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9 Negative Effects of Sports Drinks (Slideshow)

9 Negative Effects of Sports Drinks (Slideshow)

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Just one 32-ounce bottle of Gatorade or Powerade can contain 200 calories and a whopping 52.5 grams of sugar. This means that chugging back a bottle of the stuff can add significant calories to your diet. So if you're drinking a sports drink as a casual athlete, you’re likely drinking more calories than you’re burning off.

High in Sugar

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Just one 32-ounce bottle of Gatorade or Powerade can contain 200 calories and a whopping 52.5 grams of sugar. So if you're drinking a sports drink as a casual athlete, you’re likely drinking more calories than you’re burning off.

Not a Thirst Quencher

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Sports drinks don’t actually quench your thirst as advertised. The reason that they may keep you more hydrated than water is because you’ll actually end up drinking more. A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that the taste of the drinks along with salt and other ingredients found in them actually cause people to drink more. So while you may be keeping yourself hydrated, you’re also consuming more calories than likely intended.

Tooth Erosion

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The acid in sports drinks erodes the teeth even more than soda, and the damage is irreversible. According to a study published in the journal General Dentistry, after just five days of consistent consumption, the acid starts destroying tooth enamel that you’ll never get back

Slows Dehydration

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Sports drinks’ biggest claim is that they can help prevent dehydration due to intense physical activity better than water. However, unless you’re an Olympic athlete, drinking water will more than adequately prevent dehydration during exercise. "High-sugar sports drinks can actually slow hydration," says Fiorentino.

Hyponatremia

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Hyponatremia is a serious condition that occurs when your blood has an abnormally low level of sodium. This can be caused by dehydration but more often is caused by overhydration. When Harvard studied a group of marathon runners, they found that 13 percent had some degree of hyponatremia and that those who had been drinking sports drinks were just as likely to have hyponatremia than those who had been drinking water.

No Protein

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One major goal of most athletes is to build muscle, but don’t turn to sports drinks if you’re looking to do so. Most sports drinks contain zero grams of protein, the nutrient that is an essential part of muscle-building.

Not Enough Electrolytes

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Even though sports drinks contain electrolytes, the sugar content often cancels out their benefits. The electrolytes you need will be replenished after exercise if you eat a healthy diet. Electrolytes in sports drinks don’t have enough of an effect to compensate for the other negative effects they bring.

Added Sodium

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On top of not being significantly effective in preventing dehydration and hyponatremia, the added sodium in sports drinks can actually be harmful to the casual drinker. Sodium is already abundant in the average diet, so adding more than necessary to the diet can actually raise blood pressure and be a risk factor for stroke and heart disease

Myriad Problems

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Once again the sugar in sports drinks can cause myriad problems. "High-sugar sports drinks can cause energy levels to plummet," says Fiorentino. With so much sugar in just one bottle, sports drinks raise blood sugar levels quickly, which inevitably can cause a sugar crash, killing your energy level.


Sports Drinks

Q: Everyone at my gym seems to be drinking energy drinks. Do they really give you more "oomph?" And are they healthy?

A: Energy drinks are all the rage among not just athletes but also young adults. And hundreds of varieties are currently available, including Rage, Pimp Juice, Red Bull, and Monster. These drinks claim to make you more alert or boost your sports performance -- or both.

But here’s the danger: Most energy drinks get their kick from stimulants, such as caffeine, guarana, ginseng, taurine, and ginkgo biloba. Some energy drinks have as much caffeine as five cups of coffee -- or 10 times as much as a can of cola. Many also contain large amounts of sugar.

Granted, stimulants may make you feel great while working out (or just plain working). But consuming too much of these substances can cause sleep problems, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, anxiety, heart palpitations, and seizures. They also can alter your perception of fatigue and pain, which means you might push yourself past your natural limits.

The best energy drink may very well be water, since staying hydrated can help you think more clearly, exercise harder, and stay healthier in the long run.


Sports Drinks

Q: Everyone at my gym seems to be drinking energy drinks. Do they really give you more "oomph?" And are they healthy?

A: Energy drinks are all the rage among not just athletes but also young adults. And hundreds of varieties are currently available, including Rage, Pimp Juice, Red Bull, and Monster. These drinks claim to make you more alert or boost your sports performance -- or both.

But here’s the danger: Most energy drinks get their kick from stimulants, such as caffeine, guarana, ginseng, taurine, and ginkgo biloba. Some energy drinks have as much caffeine as five cups of coffee -- or 10 times as much as a can of cola. Many also contain large amounts of sugar.

Granted, stimulants may make you feel great while working out (or just plain working). But consuming too much of these substances can cause sleep problems, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, anxiety, heart palpitations, and seizures. They also can alter your perception of fatigue and pain, which means you might push yourself past your natural limits.

The best energy drink may very well be water, since staying hydrated can help you think more clearly, exercise harder, and stay healthier in the long run.


Sports Drinks

Q: Everyone at my gym seems to be drinking energy drinks. Do they really give you more "oomph?" And are they healthy?

A: Energy drinks are all the rage among not just athletes but also young adults. And hundreds of varieties are currently available, including Rage, Pimp Juice, Red Bull, and Monster. These drinks claim to make you more alert or boost your sports performance -- or both.

But here’s the danger: Most energy drinks get their kick from stimulants, such as caffeine, guarana, ginseng, taurine, and ginkgo biloba. Some energy drinks have as much caffeine as five cups of coffee -- or 10 times as much as a can of cola. Many also contain large amounts of sugar.

Granted, stimulants may make you feel great while working out (or just plain working). But consuming too much of these substances can cause sleep problems, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, anxiety, heart palpitations, and seizures. They also can alter your perception of fatigue and pain, which means you might push yourself past your natural limits.

The best energy drink may very well be water, since staying hydrated can help you think more clearly, exercise harder, and stay healthier in the long run.


Sports Drinks

Q: Everyone at my gym seems to be drinking energy drinks. Do they really give you more "oomph?" And are they healthy?

A: Energy drinks are all the rage among not just athletes but also young adults. And hundreds of varieties are currently available, including Rage, Pimp Juice, Red Bull, and Monster. These drinks claim to make you more alert or boost your sports performance -- or both.

But here’s the danger: Most energy drinks get their kick from stimulants, such as caffeine, guarana, ginseng, taurine, and ginkgo biloba. Some energy drinks have as much caffeine as five cups of coffee -- or 10 times as much as a can of cola. Many also contain large amounts of sugar.

Granted, stimulants may make you feel great while working out (or just plain working). But consuming too much of these substances can cause sleep problems, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, anxiety, heart palpitations, and seizures. They also can alter your perception of fatigue and pain, which means you might push yourself past your natural limits.

The best energy drink may very well be water, since staying hydrated can help you think more clearly, exercise harder, and stay healthier in the long run.


Sports Drinks

Q: Everyone at my gym seems to be drinking energy drinks. Do they really give you more "oomph?" And are they healthy?

A: Energy drinks are all the rage among not just athletes but also young adults. And hundreds of varieties are currently available, including Rage, Pimp Juice, Red Bull, and Monster. These drinks claim to make you more alert or boost your sports performance -- or both.

But here’s the danger: Most energy drinks get their kick from stimulants, such as caffeine, guarana, ginseng, taurine, and ginkgo biloba. Some energy drinks have as much caffeine as five cups of coffee -- or 10 times as much as a can of cola. Many also contain large amounts of sugar.

Granted, stimulants may make you feel great while working out (or just plain working). But consuming too much of these substances can cause sleep problems, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, anxiety, heart palpitations, and seizures. They also can alter your perception of fatigue and pain, which means you might push yourself past your natural limits.

The best energy drink may very well be water, since staying hydrated can help you think more clearly, exercise harder, and stay healthier in the long run.


Sports Drinks

Q: Everyone at my gym seems to be drinking energy drinks. Do they really give you more "oomph?" And are they healthy?

A: Energy drinks are all the rage among not just athletes but also young adults. And hundreds of varieties are currently available, including Rage, Pimp Juice, Red Bull, and Monster. These drinks claim to make you more alert or boost your sports performance -- or both.

But here’s the danger: Most energy drinks get their kick from stimulants, such as caffeine, guarana, ginseng, taurine, and ginkgo biloba. Some energy drinks have as much caffeine as five cups of coffee -- or 10 times as much as a can of cola. Many also contain large amounts of sugar.

Granted, stimulants may make you feel great while working out (or just plain working). But consuming too much of these substances can cause sleep problems, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, anxiety, heart palpitations, and seizures. They also can alter your perception of fatigue and pain, which means you might push yourself past your natural limits.

The best energy drink may very well be water, since staying hydrated can help you think more clearly, exercise harder, and stay healthier in the long run.


Sports Drinks

Q: Everyone at my gym seems to be drinking energy drinks. Do they really give you more "oomph?" And are they healthy?

A: Energy drinks are all the rage among not just athletes but also young adults. And hundreds of varieties are currently available, including Rage, Pimp Juice, Red Bull, and Monster. These drinks claim to make you more alert or boost your sports performance -- or both.

But here’s the danger: Most energy drinks get their kick from stimulants, such as caffeine, guarana, ginseng, taurine, and ginkgo biloba. Some energy drinks have as much caffeine as five cups of coffee -- or 10 times as much as a can of cola. Many also contain large amounts of sugar.

Granted, stimulants may make you feel great while working out (or just plain working). But consuming too much of these substances can cause sleep problems, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, anxiety, heart palpitations, and seizures. They also can alter your perception of fatigue and pain, which means you might push yourself past your natural limits.

The best energy drink may very well be water, since staying hydrated can help you think more clearly, exercise harder, and stay healthier in the long run.


Sports Drinks

Q: Everyone at my gym seems to be drinking energy drinks. Do they really give you more "oomph?" And are they healthy?

A: Energy drinks are all the rage among not just athletes but also young adults. And hundreds of varieties are currently available, including Rage, Pimp Juice, Red Bull, and Monster. These drinks claim to make you more alert or boost your sports performance -- or both.

But here’s the danger: Most energy drinks get their kick from stimulants, such as caffeine, guarana, ginseng, taurine, and ginkgo biloba. Some energy drinks have as much caffeine as five cups of coffee -- or 10 times as much as a can of cola. Many also contain large amounts of sugar.

Granted, stimulants may make you feel great while working out (or just plain working). But consuming too much of these substances can cause sleep problems, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, anxiety, heart palpitations, and seizures. They also can alter your perception of fatigue and pain, which means you might push yourself past your natural limits.

The best energy drink may very well be water, since staying hydrated can help you think more clearly, exercise harder, and stay healthier in the long run.


Sports Drinks

Q: Everyone at my gym seems to be drinking energy drinks. Do they really give you more "oomph?" And are they healthy?

A: Energy drinks are all the rage among not just athletes but also young adults. And hundreds of varieties are currently available, including Rage, Pimp Juice, Red Bull, and Monster. These drinks claim to make you more alert or boost your sports performance -- or both.

But here’s the danger: Most energy drinks get their kick from stimulants, such as caffeine, guarana, ginseng, taurine, and ginkgo biloba. Some energy drinks have as much caffeine as five cups of coffee -- or 10 times as much as a can of cola. Many also contain large amounts of sugar.

Granted, stimulants may make you feel great while working out (or just plain working). But consuming too much of these substances can cause sleep problems, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, anxiety, heart palpitations, and seizures. They also can alter your perception of fatigue and pain, which means you might push yourself past your natural limits.

The best energy drink may very well be water, since staying hydrated can help you think more clearly, exercise harder, and stay healthier in the long run.


Sports Drinks

Q: Everyone at my gym seems to be drinking energy drinks. Do they really give you more "oomph?" And are they healthy?

A: Energy drinks are all the rage among not just athletes but also young adults. And hundreds of varieties are currently available, including Rage, Pimp Juice, Red Bull, and Monster. These drinks claim to make you more alert or boost your sports performance -- or both.

But here’s the danger: Most energy drinks get their kick from stimulants, such as caffeine, guarana, ginseng, taurine, and ginkgo biloba. Some energy drinks have as much caffeine as five cups of coffee -- or 10 times as much as a can of cola. Many also contain large amounts of sugar.

Granted, stimulants may make you feel great while working out (or just plain working). But consuming too much of these substances can cause sleep problems, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, anxiety, heart palpitations, and seizures. They also can alter your perception of fatigue and pain, which means you might push yourself past your natural limits.

The best energy drink may very well be water, since staying hydrated can help you think more clearly, exercise harder, and stay healthier in the long run.