Title Run Berry Sports Drink 1
Title Run Berry Sports Drink 1 (Photo credit: TheFoodJunk)

Food Tip Skip sports drinks. Unless you exercise for more than an hour, you don’t need extra electrolytes. Save yourself the sugar and sip water instead.

Skip sports drinks and sip water instead. Even though they may seem healthful — they have “sports” in their name! — electrolyte-enhanced drinks are also enhanced with sugar. On average, sports drinks and vitamin waters have 50 calories per eight-ounce serving; drink an entire 20-ounce bottle and you’re putting back 150 calories of added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 100 calories, and men no more than 150 calories, of added sugar per day. Not only does excess sugar contribute to weight gain, it can also promote tooth decay and elevated triglycerides — a type of fat in the bloodstream that raises your cholesterol. High triglycerides have been linked to heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes. Besides, unless you’re a hard-core athlete sweating for an hour or more at a time, you don’t need the extra electrolytes to rehydrate you — water will work just fine. If it’s flavor you’re craving, spruce up your agua with lemon, lime, orange slices, cucumber, mint or basil.

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