There are a lot of misconceptions regarding nutrition for athletes. As Americans, we have been inundated with multimillion dollar ad campaigns over the years that say, “be like Mike” or ask “Gatorade: is it in you?” Others tell us to “power through with Powerade.” US sales of sports drinks are about $1.6 billion a year. Let’s take a closer look at commercial sports drinks and what they have to offer.
Gatorade Chemistry 101
In a 20 oz. bottle of Gatorade “thirst quencher” the ingredient list reads like this: water, sugar, dextrose (another type of sugar), citric acid, natural flavor (MSG), salt, sodium citrate, mono potassium phosphate, modified food starch, red 40 (linked to cancer), glycerol ester of rosin, brominated vegetable oil (flame retardant) and caramel color. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure which part of my training is made better by “glycerol ester of rosin.” The overall simple-sugar content of sports drinks is very high. In a response to heavy public outcry, in 2011, Gatorade removed high fructose corn syrup from its ingredient lists. Granted, muscle that is glycogen-depleted during exercise needs additional carbohydrates to maintain energy levels and recover. However, the matrix of nutrients and phytochemicals packaged in fruits and vegetables has so much more to offer the athlete than the chemistry of commercial sports drinks.
ediblend Sports Performance Optimizer
At ediblend, we offer our athlete-designed healthy version of the before and after-workout drink. The Pre-Workout blend on our made-to-order menu, is just what your body needs to energize your system and help you get the most out of your workouts. So, instead of multiple tablespoons of highly processed sugar, our formula is packed with immediate and sustained natural energy from grapes, oranges and dates which happen to also be loaded with vitamins, minerals and anti-inflammatory polyphenols. We also chose to load up on antioxidants from berries and chia seeds instead of laboratory derived flame retardant. Our “natural flavor” truly is the flavor and wholesome goodness from the fruit listed and nature’s wonder veggie, kale. Finally, instead of simple H2O, we opted for coconut water—nature’s über hydrator packed with electrolytes. After seeing the ediblend Pre-Workout blend compared to Gatorade, even I’m shocked at the blatant disregard for health by the big commercial entities.
Likewise, the ediblend Recovery blend is so nutritionally dense, that there is really no competition when looking at the other options out there. This blend has quickly become one of our best sellers—and for good reason. This drink contains some of the strongest anti-inflammatory and antioxidant fruits and vegetables known, including: dark sweet cherries, blueberries, strawberries, kale and spinach.Plus, we up the ante with hemp protein which contains all the essential amino acids and is also rich in alpha-linoleic-acid (a precursor to omega-3 fatty acids). And once again, our Recovery blend is also super-hydrating with coconut water as the base.
Fuel Your Body
The main question all athletes (and non-athletes for that matter) have to answer is simply this: Will I choose to pollute my body with overly-processed sugar and chemicals, or will I choose to fuel my body with what God has provided for us through nature? It doesn’t take a lot of scrutiny to see what really makes sense. We have to get beyond the marketing and get back to the basics of optimal nutrition for optimal performance. Don’t give in to the hype—make an educated and informed decision. Your body and your health are counting on it!