You've heard people say it thousands of times: organic products are healthier than their non-organic counterparts. So you probably think the organic sports drink you've been downing after your workout is better for you than the regular stuff. But that couldn't be further from the truth.
Most sports drinks contain sugar. But your body can't tell the difference between organic sugar and regular sugar because, well, sugar is sugar. There is no difference in the molecular structure of organic and non-organic sources. In fact, organic sports drinks generally tout the same amount of sugar as non-organic ones. (For an easy-to-follow eating plan that fits into your schedule, check out the Metashred Diet from Men's Health.)
Organic sports drinks also contain natural colorings and flavorings, and while you may think these are better for you than artificial additives, they aren't. Why? Simply because there is no significant health impact from artificial or non-artificial flavoring.
Unless you are intensely exercising for more than 60 minutes while sweating profusely, you probably don’t need a sports drink, organic or otherwise—they're calories you don't need. Just drink water instead. (Here's how much you should have.) Eating a quality meal of protein, vegetables, and some grains or starches will easily provide your body with all the electrolytes your body needs (and then some) after a workout.
Mike Roussell, Ph.D., is the Men's Health nutrition advisor. He holds a degree in biochemistry from Hobart College and a doctorate in nutrition from Pennsylvania State University. His research has been published multiple times in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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