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Healthy Cane

Creepy dancing lizards aside, people have been going crazy over vitamin drinks such as SOBE Life Water, Vitamin Water and Propel Fitness Water. But have you looked at the caloric content of these tasty beverages?

Your mother always said if it tastes good, it’s bad for you. Well, this could hold true for your favorite fitness beverage. Everyone knows that it is important to keep hydrated during a workout or if living in a warm climate like Miami. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends flavored drinks when fluid replacement is needed during and after exercise to enhance palatability and promote fluid replacement.

But some of these flavored sports drinks can have up to 40 to 50 calories per eight ounces and more than enough sodium and sugar, too.You don’t want your sports drink to contain more calories than you burned off during your workout.

However, many of these vitamin and sports drinks contain vitamins and enzymes that help with metabolism. If you are drinking a sports drink to rehydrate, make sure it has vitamin B12, which promotes energy, metabolism and an all-around good feeling. Other things to look for are vitamins C and E, which are both antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals. Free radicals are produced when your body breaks down foods. They break down cells and play roles in heart disease, cancer and aging.

Vitamin and sports drinks can be good for you because they do include most of your daily vitamins and many antioxidants, but make sure you pay attention to calories, sugar content and sodium. If you already have a sports drink that you love but it has too many calories, try diluting it with water. Often the flavored drinks are quite concentrated so the flavor will be less intense but still yummy.

Ashleyann Gosselin may be contacted at a.gosselin@umiami.edu.

March 27, 2008

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