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Liquid Sugar Keeps on Flowing

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As the dangers of drinking too much soda (diabetes, obesity, etc.) become increasingly known to the public, sales continue to drop, but it seems we are simply replacing one nutrition villain with another. According to the marketing firm Packaged Facts, sales of sports and energy drinks are rocketing upward—hitting an estimated $25 billion in 2016 with an annual growth rate of 7%.

Unlike soda, these beverages are marketed as having performance and mental benefits, but in the end, they are often just another delivery system for high amounts of sugar to people who don’t need more. Teens and young adult males seem particularly susceptible to the sales pitch. Bottom line: Unless you’re exercising vigorously for 90 minutes or more, you can ditch the sports drink in favor of standard, sugar-free water.

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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