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

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 healthy drink?

Lets see:

GATORADE

Ingredients: water, sucrose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, ester gum.

POWERADE

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 syrup.

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 marker).

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 fructose."1

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

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 consistent.

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.

THOUGHTS

Why drink sports drinks at all? To rehydrate the body faster than with water. That is the supposed purpose of sports drinks.

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!) are drinking.

Gatorade seems definitely to be a better product to use as a sports drink - both healthier and better utilized by the body.

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.

Be healthy!
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: www.uncurable.com

Other sources:

1. Blaming it on corn syrup,
http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he- fructose24mar24.story
2. The Murky World of High Fructose Corn Syrup,
http://www.westonaprice.org/motherlinda/cornsyrup.html

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