Sports drinks are good for you, truth or myth?
20th July 2012
Sports drinks such as Lucozade, Powerade and Gatorade that claim to increase energy levels and to help you exercise better have been called into question by researchers from Oxford and Harvard Universities. They warn that rather than being beneficial to our health, such drinks contain large amounts of sugar and calories which encourage weight gain. They also go on to accuse these companies of convincing gym-goers that they are on the verge of dehydration, and that the human thirst mechanism is not a reliable indicator for detecting and responding to dehydration. The sports drinks market rose 10% in Britain last year to £1 billion and it is little wonder because such marketing giants as Coca-Cola, GlaxoSmithKline and Pepsico are behind these products. This has seen them using athletes and footballers such as Wayne Rooney, Alan Shearer and Daley Thompson to endorse their products. On top of this an investigation by the British Medical Journal has found that these companies use sponsored scientists who have gone on to develop a whole area of science dedicated to hydration. These same scientists advise influential sports medicine organisations. The advice from these organisations has filtered down to everyday health advice and has spread fear about the dangers of dehydration. The researchers warned that despite such claims there is a worrying lack of evidence to support most of these claims. A spokesman for GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of Lucozade, said: “more than 40 years of research and 85 peer reviewed studies have supported the development of Lucozade sport and all our claims are based on scientific evidence that has been reviewed by the European Food Safety Authority”. Likewise Coca-Cola, who makes Powerade, said sports drinks have a wealth of scientific research that can be relied on.