Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"

This week’s blog is inspired by a co worker of mine asking me what I think of that very famous sports drink…the one that was born when a Florida assistant coach asked a team of physicians to find out why his players suffered so much from heat related illnesses. It is the official sports drink of Major League Baseball, the NBA, and the NFL, to name a few.

The ingredients of this very hydrating drink include: water, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose syrup, citric acid, natural flavor, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, modified food starch, red 40 and glycerol ester of rosin.

There’s that darn High Fructose Corn Syrup(HFCS) again…it is cheaper for manufacturers to make than plain old sugar and it is used to sweeten and preserve many many many of the foods and beverages that people eat. It is made up of fructose, the sugar that is found in fruit, and glucose, which comes from the corn. There’s nothing wrong with fructose…if you are getting it the natural way, from fruits, the fiber in the fruit helps to slow down the absorption of the sugar in your body. Since HFCS is not natural, your body doesn’t really know what to do with it. So instead of going through the pancreas to process sugar, it goes straight to your liver…which basically then turns it to fat and then your body stores it. HFCS has been in our food and drinks since the 1980’s….hmmmm, interesting that the obesity epidemic and diabetes rates have skyrocketed since the 1980’s isn’t it? Here’s how I understand the real danger of HFCS: it prevents your body from getting that feeling of fullness…it’s like your stomach and your brain don’t communicate anymore because they are in a HFCS fog! Over eating=bigger waist line=more health problems! HFCS also causes a sugar high then a sugar low….it’s a cycle that just keeps repeating itself, as long as you keep eating and drinking things with HFCS in it….and if that cycle repeats enough, it can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity!

Natural Flavor: Ok, what exactly is that? The FDA(Food and Drug Administration) defines it as: “any substance that is extracted, distilled or otherwise derived from plant or animal matter. It may be produced either directly from the matter itself, or after it has been roasted, heated or fermented.”  Now, IF the “flavor” comes from one source, like an apple…they can put on the label, “apple flavor, natural.” If the flavor comes from many sources it has to say, “apple flavor WONF (with other natural flavors).” Ok, I am confused….so apparently under the FDA regulations…a company could use beef to flavor chicken soup and only have to list on the ingredients label, “natural flavors.”  Hmmmm…

Modified Food Starch: is a CHEMICALLY ALTERED ingredient made from starch. It can be made from corn, potato, tapioca, rice or wheat. It is made by either treating it with acid, roasting it, treating it with sodium hydroxide(a chemical used for making cleaning and paper products)…you know how I feel about FAKE foods…and for me, the key word here is…MODIFIED, which by definition means to “change the form or qualities of; to alter”…start reading those food labels and notice how much MODIFIED stuff you are eating!
Glycerol Ester of Rosin: this is a food additive used as an emulsifier(molecules with a water-loving and an oil-loving end, used to help bind substances together)which basically keeps oils suspended in water.  We all know that oil and water don’t mix…so when flavoring oils are added to a water-based beverage, the oil would just float on top. Wood rosin, which by definition is “the powder remaining after the distillation of wood turpentine.” Some types are extracted with petroleum solvents and come from the stumps of trees. Mixed with other ingredients to form what they call ester gum. Then that is combined with glycerol(a colorless, odorless naturally occurring chemical) and mixed in with the soon to be hydrating sports beverage.

Now, this sports drink does have things in it that help keep you hydrated and keep athletes from having muscle fatigue. It’s just all the other ingredients that I don’t like! Again, this is something I say drink in moderation…as it does contain a lot of sugar and other FAKE ingredients. It is formulated specifically for endurance athletes, remember that. If you are not a true athlete, I say just drink a lot of water(remember, take your current body weight and divide that by 2 to get the amount of ounces of water you should be drinking every day!)…add a squeeze of lemon(citric acid) and a dash of salt for hydration!!

Have a healthy week!
DISCLAIMER: Delia is not a Doctor, Nutritionist, or Registered Dietitian. She is simply a person dedicated to eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle. She loves to help and inspire others to do the same!

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