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    Archive for the ‘Gatorade’ Category

    Bromine: Mountain Dew’s Dirty Little Secret

    One of my tweets yesterday regarded the arrival of the latest Dunkin’ Donuts beverage — the Mountain Dew Coolatta.

    It’s certainly a tweet-worthy item.  A small (16 oz.) one contains almost 13 teaspoons of added sugar, while a large (32 oz.) contributes no less than 25 teaspoons of sugar.

    The 25-ingredient list also caught my eye.  Check it out:

    Frozen Neutral Base [Water, Neutral Base (Sugar, Glucose, Fructose, Silicon Dioxide, Malic Acid, Xanthan Gum)], Mountain Dew Coolatta Concentrate [Treated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Orange Juice Concentrate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate (to protect flavor), Xanthan Gum, Ethyl Alcohol, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Caffeine, Sodium Benzoate (preserves freshness), Gum Arabic, Sodium Citrate, Glycerol Ester of Rosin, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor), Erythorbic Acid (preserves freshness), Yellow 5, Brominated Vegetable Oil].

    It is that last ingredient — brominated vegetable oil — that most people aren’t aware of.  And, in this case, what you don’t know may indeed hurt you.
    Continue Reading »


    Dehydrated? Reach For A Coconut

    onecoconutYou just finished a thirty minute outdoor run in 85 degree weather.  What started out as beads of sweat is now a torrential downpour down the sides of your face.

    Hydration — and electrolyte replenishment — is top priority.  Any type of solid food is out of the question; you prefer liquid nourishment, especially on a hot day like today.

    Which of these three beverages are you most likely to reach for in your quest for ultimate replenishment?  A sports drink, a cold bottle of water, or a cold pouch of coconut water?

    Coconut water, you said?  Good job — you pass hydration 101.

    Most sports drinks are glorified sugar water.  Their electrolyte values (particularly potassium, which is under-consumed in the United States) are paltry, and the artificial dyes and added sugars don’t do them many favors, either.

    Although plain water is a great way to hydrate, it does not deliver on the electrolyte replenishment front, a priority after strenuous exercise.  While that can easily be solved by accompanying water with some food, that is not always possible.

    Enter coconut water.  An 11.2 ounce pouch contains 50% more potassium than a medium banana.  It’s also a good source of magnesium and phosphorus, and is free of added sugars, artificial dyes, stabilizers, and preservatives.

    Unlike coconut milk, coconut water is fat free and low in calories (an 11.2 ounce pouch contains 60 calories).

    This can be an acquired taste for some, so for better palatibility, I recommend consuming it chilled.  VERY chilled.  Be sure to buy brands that ONLY contain 100% coconut water.


    A Mighty Tiger’s Weak Roar

    You can’t accuse the folks at Gatorade of resting on their laurels.

    However, their new products often leave me furrowing my brow and asking, “Why?”.

    No, I take that back. I shake my head, grunt, and THEN ask “Why?”

    Case in point — the new Gatorade Tiger, inspired by hotshot golfer Tiger Woods.

    According to the beverage’s press release, Tiger embodies “mental strength, physical power, and technical perfection.”

    What these three qualities have to do with drinking a sports drink beats me. I think Tiger’s success is better attributed to a unique mixture of hard work, genetics, ambition, and practice?

    Anyhow, Gatorade executives heart Tiger so much that they formulated this drink especially for him. Tiger even underwent sweat analysis testing at the Gatorade laboratory facilities.

    I would also spend countless hours sweating profusely for a bunch of scientists if I was pocketing a cool $100 million for this five-year development deal like Tiger did.

    In any case, this is the same mostly unnecessary product repackaged for a new campaign.

    Oh, I’m sorry, Gatorade Tiger has 25 percent more electrolytes. Wow, then it MUST be better, right?

    Not quite.

    This simply means that a 16 ounce, 100-calorie bottle contains 270 milligrams of sodium (more than a one-ounce serving of Lay’s potato chips) and a negligent 80 milligrams of potassium (remember, the daily requirement is set at 4,000).

    Let’s not forget the 28 grams (7 teaspoons) of added sugar.

    Sugar water with salt — Tiger Woods’ secret!


    You Ask, I Answer: Sports & Fitness Beer (!)

    I’ve stumbled onto a Bavarian non-alcoholic beer that the brewer calls “The Sports and Fitness Drink “

    I’d be very interested to hear what you think about their claims.

    Is it all a crock or might they truly be onto something?

    — Kevin L. Mickle
    Las Cruces, NM

    PS: Over the last 2 1⁄2 months, I’ve lost over 15 lbs fat, 4.5% body fat, 3” off my waist, and gained about 6 lbs muscle (a guess) all from daily exercise and eating right.

    A good portion of “eating right” comes from following your recommendations. Thank you again!

    First of all — congratulations on achieving your health and nutrition goals.

    I know it takes a lot of effort, commitment, and hard work — especially achieving it in a healthy way.

    Onto your question.

    Wow, what a bizarre — and funny — product.

    Erdinger’s “lively, tasty, healthy fitness drink” is a 125 calorie alcohol-free beer that “contains all B-group vitamins and offers high levels of potassium, magnesium, phosphorus” along with all nine essential amino acids and soluble fiber.


    The manufacturer is very skimpy on details.

    The only numbers the website mentions are the 2 grams of protein and 25 percent of the daily folic acid requirement.in each half liter bottle.

    The fiber claim strikes me as particularly odd for two reasons. Firstly, I doubt the fiber content in this beverage is high; wheat beers — regardless of their alcohol content — are not good sources.

    Besides, whatever amount is present is most definitely not in the form soluble fiber. Remember, wheat fiber is exclusively insoluble.

    Lastly, fiber is not something that needs to be replenished after strenuous exercise. It is irrelevant to muscle recovery.

    Verdict? This drink has nothing to do with sports or fitness.

    It’s just a regular non-alcoholic beer with a few vitamins and minerals sprinkled on top for gimmick purposes.

    Feel free to drink it with a meal if you enjoy the taste and can afford the calories, but consider it just another alcohol-free beer.


    Same Sugar Water, Different Name

    I must say, the executives at Gatorade deserve an award for repackaging and rebranding the exact same beverage under different names.

    Say hello to its new product — G2.

    Marketed as a beverage for “athletes off the field,” it is basically regular Gatorade with half the calories and carbs (25 calories and 7 grams of carbs per 8 oz. serving).

    The electrolytes — sodium and potassium — appear in the same laughable amounts (110 and 30 milligrams, respectively).

    Remember, 30 milligrams of potassium is equal to 0.6% of the daily requirement! You could get that same amount by eating a quarter of a small apple, a quarter cup of blueberries, or just one twelfth of a medium (9 inch) banana.

    According to the press release — which comes in a very sturdy and creatively designed box — “G2 is a… beverage designed to help athletes hydrate when they are off the field, so they will be better prepared for competition and training.”

    Hydrating off-the-field can be easily accomplished with water, or most other liquids, really.

    Sodium, meanwhile, is a mineral present in everything we eat. If anything, a large percentage of adults in the United States need to drastically reduce their intake. Adding 110 milligrams through a flavored drink to your day before engaging in physical exercise is truly unnecessary.

    And, again, the 30 milligrams of potassium this drink provides are not hard to come by in food (more examples: a tablespoon of peanut butter has 110 mg, a mere ounce of poultry provides 60 mg, and a cup of brewed tea clocks in at 86 mg).

    I understand the purpose of business is to sell products and make money, but many times I’m left scratching my head, asking, “why?”.


    You Ask, I Answer: Water/Dehydration

    Sometimes I’m really thirsty in the summer and feel weak from the heat. What’s the story on fitness waters and flavored sports drinks?

    — Antoinette Moore
    Austin, TX

    Good, plain old water is undoubtedly the most important nutrient. Not only is 65% of our body made up of it, we also need it to regulate bloodflow and keep all systems and internal organs running smoothly.

    Dehydration is the direct result of fluid loss, which mainly occurs through urination and sweat (which is why our dehydration risk increases as temperatures rise).

    One good way to tell if you are dehydrated is by looking at your urine. If it is a very dark, yellow color – and if your urine output is very low – you may be at risk for dehydration.

    As far as fitness waters and flavored sports drinks go, please read the following posts to see what I think of Gatorade and Propel Fitness Water.

    Vitamin Water, as healthy as it sounds, has as much sugar as soda. In my mind, it should be viewed as popping a vitamin and downing it with a soft drink.

    In short, nothing beats water for combating thirst.

    That being said, you should only drink water when you feel thirsty. Chugging down bottle upon bottle of water because “you have to” will do nothing but place unnecessary stress on your kidneys and bladder.

    The often-quoted recommendation of eight glasses of water a day is the misinterpretation of a report that recommended said amount of total liquid (including that found in our foods as well as drinks other than water) daily.

    If, however, your only sources of fluids are coffee and soda, I would encourage you to add in a two or three glasses of water to your day.


    You Ask, I Answer: Gatorade

    Is it a good idea to have Gatorade to replenish body fluids if you are doing a long workout (more than 2 hours) at high intensity? I think it definitely helps. What do you recommend?
    — Anonymous

    Great question! My main issue with sports drinks is that many people believe – mainly due to marketing tactics – they are always necessary.

    If you are exercising moderately for less than 45 minutes, water will do just fine.

    Now, if you are exercising at high intensity for more than 2 hours, then yes, a sports drink would be a good idea, mainly to keep fatigue at bay and replenish lost electrolytes.

    More casual exercisers need to realize that the 90 calories burned during 20 minutes of speed walking don’t mean a thing when followed by a 110-calorie bottle of Gatorade!


    You Ask, I Answer: Propel Fitness Water

    I saw you weren’t a fan of regular Gatorade. What about the Propel line of products?
    – Nydiva

    At just 10 calories and 2 grams of sugar per bottle, Propel distances itself from the sugary concoction that is regular Gatorade. My only issue lies in it being billed as “fitness water”. Seriously, why? Because it contains 10% of our recommended calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin E intake and a measly 4% of our vitamin B12 suggested consumption?

    I can’t help but find it ironic that a product whose second ingredient is “sucrose syrup” (a fancy name for “syrup made from sugar”) is linked to fitness.

    According to the Propel website, “research shows you’ll drink more and hydrate better when your beverage is lightly flavored.” I don’t know what study they are referring to that researched this phenomenon (I get the feeling it was an informal poll). But, couldn’t Diet Cherry Coke also use that same ‘research’ to support their products?

    I would much rather you get 10% of your vitamin C needs from an actual food. It’s really easy – any of these will do the trick: 2/5 of an avocado, 1 banana, 1 cup of carrots, or ½ a cup of watermelon or pineapple.

    Similarly, 10% of our vitamin E recommended intake is better coming from 1 ounce of peanuts or one mango.

    Again, if you find the taste of Propel satisfying, there is nothing inherently unhealthy about it, but I also would not call it a health product.

    Plain water accompanied by a fruit will hydrate you just as well while providing many more nutrients.



    Gatorade and Powerade have spent millions on advertising campaigns to make us believe that their products are synonymous with fitness, health, and well-being.

    Their entire selling point is that their products offer some of the precious minerals we lose when exercising heavily, among them potassium. Keep in mind that we should be getting approximately 4,000 milligrams of potassium a day as you read the following.

    When looking past the smoke and mirrors, we find that:


    * 90 calories
    * 22 grams (5 1/2 teaspoons) of sugar
    * 47 milligrams of potassium (a measly 1%!)



    * 75 calories
    * 21 grams (5 1/4 teaspoons) of sugar

    * 45 milligrams of potassium (again, just 1%!)

    In other words, don’t buy the hype.


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