Every year, people across the country spend millions of dollars on flavored sports drinks. While they often believe they are making a healthful decision, these beverages contain high levels of sugar and may blunt the effects of otherwise healthy eating, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center examined the connection between sports drink consumption, food choices and activity levels among 8th and 11th grade students in Texas. They found that individuals who are active and choose healthy food also consume high levels of flavored sports drinks.
Nalini Ranjit, who led the study, said that there is a popular misconception about sports drinks suggesting that they are a healthy alternative to sodas. This may contribute to the high rates of obesity that exist in most parts of the country.
"Sports drinks have been successfully marketed as beverages consistent with a healthy lifestyle, which has set them apart from sodas," said Ranjit, "However they have minimal fruit juice and contain unnecessary calories."
Ranjit added that high levels of consumption of sports drinks may negate the benefits of eating healthy and exercising.