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10 'Healthy' Things That Aren't


8
Sports Drinks
If you're consuming sports drinks but not participating in a high-intensity activity, you're likely gulping more calories than you're burning. © Getty Images/Jupiter Images/Thinkstock
If you're consuming sports drinks but not participating in a high-intensity activity, you're likely gulping more calories than you're burning. © Getty Images/Jupiter Images/Thinkstock

If you're trying to eat well, don't derail that healthy diet with sports drinks. Sports and energy drinks are popular among adults and teens, and in 2011, Americans spent roughly $9 billion on them [source: Johnson]. But what you're getting is more sugar and more empty calories -- for many of people it's more than what they're burning (and that's what leads to weight gain).

Let's look at two popular sports drinks. One bottle (20 ounces) of Powerade contains 125 calories and 34 grams of sugar, which is about 8 teaspoons of sugar. Compare that to 20 ounces of Gatorade, which contains 130 calories and 35 grams of sugar, about 8.3 teaspoons of sugar, and you'll begin to see why nutritionists recommend water over sports drinks. Just like energy bars, sports drinks are designed for replenishing the bodies of athletes; if you're not engaged in high-intensity activity, you can skip them.


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