Sports Drinks: Just Liquid Dessert

Sports Drinks: Just Liquid Dessert

Adults of a “certain age” (read: middle age) grew up with pretty much just one sports drink. And it wasn’t even classified as such—sports marketing wasn’t the big deal it is now. It was simply called “Gatorade.” Developed by researchers at the University of Florida (hence the “Gator” name), Gatorade dominated the market for decades.

(I remember drinking a lot of Gatorade in the early 1970s to collect NFL helmet bottle caps, but I wasn’t in their target demo. Yet.)

Today, sports drinks are big business. In fact, they represent a nearly $7 billion dollar market segment, and Gatorade now competes with brands like Powerade and VitaminWater (both owned by Coca-Cola).

There are a lot of companies now vying to quench your thirst, but are these drinks good for you or your kids?

According to The Washington Post, Gatorade and the like were originally designed for top-line athletes, who work so hard in extreme weather (think: pro football camp in August) that they need the calories and unique hydration that sports drinks supply. The rest of us? Not so much.

While high-performance athletes like those in the Olympics or those who work out intensely or for more than an hour at a time might lose electrolytes and actually need to recharge with a sports drink, we mere mortals typically only lose sodium (if anything). And most of us get plenty of that from our regular diets (looking at you, KFC). (continue reading at NewsChannel5)

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