Youve Been Sold A Myth About Sports Drinks And It Could Be Slackening You Down

Youve Been Sold A Myth About Sports Drinks  And It Could Be Slowing You Down

Youve Been Sold A Myth About Sports Drinks And It Could Be Slackening You Down

Youve Been Sold A Myth About Sports Drinks And It Could Be Slackening You DownFrom eight glass of water a day to protein shakes, were bombarded with messages about we should beverage and when, especially during exercise. But these drinking dogma are relatively new. For instance, in the 1970 s, marathon runners were deterred from drinking liquids for fear that it would slow them down.

Now were obsessed with biding hydrated when we exercising , not just with water but with specialist drinkings that claim to do a better undertaking of preventing dehydration and even improve athletic performance. Yet the evidence for these drinks benefits is actually quite limited. They might even be bad for your health in some instances. So how did athletics drinks come to be seen as so important?

Much of the emphasis placed on hydration can be traced to the boom in road running, which began with the New York marathon in the 70 s. Athletics and drinkings manufacturers spotted a growing marketplace and launched expert products for would-be athletes. The first experimental batch of Gatorade athletics drink cost 28 to produce but has spawned an industry with sales of around 260 m a year in the UK alone. And intake is increasing steadily, stimulating it the fastest-growing sector in the UK soft drinks market in recent years. What started life as a mixture of simple kitchen food stuffs has become an essential piece of sporting equipment.

Marketing victory

The key behind this huge rise in athletics drinkings lies in the coupling of science with creative marketing. An investigation by the British Medical Journal has found that drinks companies started sponsoring scientists to to be implemented by research on hydration, which spawned a whole new area of science. These same scientists advise influential athletics medicine organisations, developing guidelines that have filtered down to health advice from bodies such as the European Food Safety Authority and the International Olympic Committee. Such advice has helped spread anxiety about the dangers of dehydration.

One of industry greatest successes was to pass off the idea that the bodys natural thirst system is not a perfect mechanism for detecting and responding to dehydration. These include claims that: The human thirst mechanism is an inaccurate short-term indicator of fluid wants Regrettably, “were not receiving” clear physiological signal that dehydration is occurring.

As a outcome, healthcare organisations routinely give advice to ignore your natural thirst mechanism. Diabetes UK, for example, advises: Beverage small amounts often, even if you are not thirsty – approximately 150 ml of liquid every 15 minutes – because dehydration dramatically affects performance.

Youve Been Sold A Myth About Sports Drinks And It Could Be Slackening You Down

Water just as good? Shutterstock

Drinks producers claim that the sodium in athletics drinks construct you feel thirstier, promoting you to devour a higher volume of liquid compared with drinking water. They also claim these drinks enable you to retain more liquid once youve ate it, based on the observation that the carbohydrates found in the drinks aid water absorption from the small intestine.

This implies that your thirst mechanism needs improving to encourage you to drink enough. But research actually proves natural thirst is a more reliable trigger. A review of research on time trial cyclists concluded that relying on thirst to gauge the necessity of achieving liquid replacing was the best strategy. This meta-analysis presented for the first time that drinking according to how thirsty you are will maximise your endurance performance.

On top of this, many of the claims about sports drinks are often recurred without reference to any evidence. A British Medical Journal review screened 1,035 web pages on sports beverages and identified 431 asserts they enhanced athletic performance for a total of 104 different products. More than half the sites did not offer any references and of the references that were given, they were unable to systematically identify strengths and weaknesses. Of the remaining half, 84% referred to analyses judged to be at increased risk of bias, only three were judged high quality and none referred to systematic reviews, which give the strongest kind of evidence.

More harm than good ?

One of the key problems with many of the studies into the benefits of sports drinkings is that they recruit highly trained volunteers who sustain workout at high intensity for long periods. But the great majority of athletics drink users train for very few hours per week or exercise at a relatively low intensity( for example walking instead of operating during a race ). This entails the current proof is not of sufficient quality to inform the public about benefits deriving from athletic drinks.

Even more importantly, as athletics drinkings rise in popularity among children, they may be contributing to obesity levels. A 500 ml bottle of a athletics beverage typically contains around 20 g of sugar( about five teapsoons worth) and so represents a large amount of calories entering the body. But endorsements by upper-class athletes and claims of hydration benefits have meant sports drinkings have shrugged off unhealthy associations in many peoples eyes. One examine discovered more than a one-quarter of American mothers believe that sports drinkings are healthy for children.

Thats not to tell hydration research into different beverages isnt useful. For example, it could help identify which drinks help the body retain liquids in the longer term. This would be of real benefit in situations where athletes have limited access to fluids or cant take frequent lavatory breaks.

But the current evidence is not good enough to inform the public about the benefits and harms of sports products. What we can be almost sure about is that athletics drink are not helping turning casual runners into Olympic athletes. In fact, if they avoided these sugar-laden drinkings they would be probably be slimmer and so faster.

Alberto Dolci, Course leader MSc Sport& Exercise Nutrition, Lecturer in Exercise& Environmental Physiology and Exercise Immunology, University of Westminster

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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Youve Been Sold A Myth About Sports Drinks And It Could Be Slackening You Down
Youve Been Sold A Myth About Sports Drinks And It Could Be Slackening You Down
Youve Been Sold A Myth About Sports Drinks And It Could Be Slackening You Down
Youve Been Sold A Myth About Sports Drinks And It Could Be Slackening You Down
Youve Been Sold A Myth About Sports Drinks And It Could Be Slackening You Down

Youve Been Sold A Myth About Sports Drinks And It Could Be Slackening You Down

Youve Been Sold A Myth About Sports Drinks And It Could Be Slackening You Down

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