SPORTS DRINKS -
ARE THEY SAFE?
An excellent article by a well known and experienced professional
© Dr. William von Peters N.M.D. Ph.D
June 23, 2004
1. Blaming it on corn syrup,
Thirst Quencher - PowerAde or Gatorade?
The two top "sports drinks" in America both claim to hydrate
the body and replace electrolytes -- but which is healthier
not just for athletes, but us average Joes who just want a
Ingredients: water, sucrose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup,
citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, salt, sodium
citrate, monopotassium phosphate, ester gum.
Ingredients: water, high fructose corn syrupmaltodextrin
(glucose polymers), citric acid, salt, potassium citrate,
modified food starch, potassium phosphate, natural flavors,
glycerol ester of wood rosin, guar gum, niacinamide (B3),
coconut oil, brominated vegetable oil, pyridoxine
hydrochloride (B6), Cyanocobalamin (B12).
PowerAde appears to have the edge in nutrition here with its
extra minerals albeit synthetic, but there are possible
warning signs in the brominated vegetable oil, and glycerol
ester of wood rosin.
The big kick in the rear - PowerAde's high fructose corn
HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP - Simply stated: It is NOT good for you
Ever wonder why Americans are so fat? High fructose corn
syrup (HFCS) consumption closely parallels (causes?) the
fattening of America. And, HFCS has been linked to insulin
resistance and elevated triglyceride levels (a heart disease
FRUCTOSE vs. GLUCOSE
Why the problems? Unlike glucose, fructose is almost
entirely metabolized in the liver. When fructose reaches the
liver, says Dr. William J. Whelan, a biochemist at the
University of Miami School of Medicine, "the liver goes
bananas and stops everything else to metabolize the
Eating fructose results not only in lower insulin levels but
also lower leptin levels. Because both hormones are involved
in appetite control, eating lots of fructose "could increase
the likelihood of weight gain."
THE ANIMAL STUDY (don't skip this one guys and gals!)
"Sucrose is composed of glucose and fructose. When sugar is
given to rats in high amounts, the rats develop multiple
health problems, especially when the rats were deficient in
certain nutrients, such as copper. The researchers wanted to
know whether it was the fructose or the glucose moiety that
was causing the problems. So they repeated their studies
with two groups of rats, one given high amounts of glucose
and one given high amounts of fructose.
The glucose group was unaffected but the fructose group had
disastrous results. The male rats did not reach adulthood.
They had anemia, high cholesterol and heart hypertrophy-that
means that their hearts enlarged until they exploded. They
also had delayed testicular development. Dr. Field explains
that fructose in combination with copper deficiency in the
growing animal interferes with collagen production. (Copper
deficiency, by the way, is widespread in America.) In a
nutshell, the little bodies of the rats just fell apart. The
females were not so affected, but they were unable to
produce live young."2
Gatorade, unlike PowerAde, uses sucrose and glucose with
glucose-fructose syrup. Sucrose is glucose plus fructose
stuck together. Because the fructose in sucrose is bound up,
it is much safer for your body. In fact, glucose is a normal
body constituent and thus metabolized without problem.
Energy production therefore, should be higher and more
And, unlike HFCS glucose does not shut down the liver- which
is needed to cleanse the body and maintain it during and
after heavy activity such as sports.
Why drink sports drinks at all? To rehydrate the body faster
than with water. That is the supposed purpose of sports
Problems: The fructose in HFCS is not bound up in sucrose,
resulting in more of it getting into the system faster -
affecting the liver and bodily function. Not to mention that
fructose also depletes the body of its minerals faster than
glucose - causing exhaustion rather than relieving it. Is
that why PowerAde has some extra vitamins?
Note that these adverse effects of fructose are most severe
in the growing children consider what your child (and you!)
Gatorade seems definitely to be a better product to use as a
sports drink - both healthier and better utilized by the
To learn more about HFCS you can visit the Weston-Price
Foundation ( http://www.westonaprice.org ), and look at
numerous articles on the internet detailing the adverse
effects of high fructose corn syrup.
Dr. William von Peters, N.M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. von Peters, a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and
Alternative Medicine Specialist, since 1976 has helped many
people regain their health. Check out his website at:
2. The Murky World of High Fructose Corn Syrup,
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