Sports drinks: how to choose the right one!
Sports drinks and energy drinks are convenient ways to fulfil energy requirements and replenish electrolytes and potassium during exercise. Sports drinks are also handy for maintaining energy levels if your job involves a lot of energy output (e.g. construction worker or landscaper), or if you’re simply doing chores in and out of the house. However, you need to be aware that what you put into your body determines the quality of energy you’ll get out of it. The well-known saying, “Garbage in, garbage out,” absolutely applies to sports nutrition, and it is worth keeping it in mind when selecting energy drinks. Don’t consume anything that won’t benefit you!
1) No artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners
Some sports drinks and energy drinks have “seen the light” in actually benefiting sports nutrition by formulating their products without the inclusion of artificial ingredients. However, there are still plenty of energy drinks out there that are loaded with this junk - just check the label and you can bet that there are absolutely no health benefits to be had from consuming these artificial ingredients (but plenty of potential negative effects), so it’s guaranteed that there aren’t any athletic performance-enhancing benefits to be gained either.
HEED sports drinks contain no artificial ingredients, only healthy sweeteners—stevia and xylitol—and natural flavors. That’s it.
2) No simple sugars.
There are two primary problems with fuels comprised of simple sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose, etc.), including a so-called “healthy sugar” like cane sugar, which is simply sucrose (table sugar):
Simple sugars have severe limitations when it comes to the number of calories that can be efficiently digested and utilized for energy.
Simple sugars typically cause wild fluctuations in energy levels, a “flash and crash” type of energy that you definitely want to avoid.
For ease of digestion, even at a more calorically dense concentration—which means more calories available for energy production— HEED sports drinks are gluten-free and contain only complex carbohydrates (maltodextrin), with no added simple sugars. Unlike simple sugars, complex carbohydrates like maltodextrin provide fast-acting, long-lasting energy.
3) No citric acid
When teeth are regularly bathed in a citric acid solution that’s often found in other energy drinks - whether it’s added to stimulate saliva production and provide a tart taste, or chelated to a mineral (e.g. calcium citrate) - permanent damage usually results. Citric acid isn’t necessary or helpful in energy drinks and it certainly doesn’t contribute to overall sports nutrition, so it’s not in HEED.
4) Appropriate amounts of sodium.
Nearly everyone is consuming far too much sodium in their daily diet, and it negatively impacts athletic performance, and, more importantly, overall health. That’s why it’s a mystery that companies continue to hike up the sodium content in their energy drinks, touting that “it’s replenishing your electrolytes.” It’s not - there aren’t enough quality electrolytes in energy drinks in general – that is until HEED sports drinks came along. Sufficient, not excess, amounts of sodium are included in HEED. Equally as important, HEED sports drinks contain a full-spectrum electrolyte profile that more adequately and completely replenishes electrolytes. In energy drinks such as HEED, you will find the superior fuel required for peak performance.
5) Mild taste
Unlike the strong, sweet taste of many energy drinks (yuck!), HEED sports drinks are noticeably subtle and pleasant tasting. Courtesy of the maltodextrin, natural sweeteners, and lack of citric acid, HEED easily delivers your required calories and electrolytes in energy drinks that you will love drinking. All this without overwhelming your taste buds, damaging your teeth, or upsetting your stomach.
6) No unnecessary vitamins, minerals, and auxiliary nutrients.
Why put any “extras” in an energy drink if the amount isn’t enough to make a difference? For example: having 2% of the Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C (a minuscule 9 mg) isn’t going to provide much of a health benefit but it will increase the product cost. If we include any vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients in HEED energy drinks, they are in there for specific reasons (e.g. chromium polynicotinate for stabilizing blood sugar) and in effective amounts.
Since 2004, HEED has been and continues to be, the deliciously healthy, gluten-free, and highly effective alternative to the syrupy swill so often disguised as energy drinks. Containing only beneficial ingredients (in effective amounts!) that support your sports nutrition, devoid of all the earlier-mentioned junk and full of beneficial maltodextrin, potassium, and electrolytes, HEED is exactly what you want and need!