I have just spent the last hour reading more about sports drinks than I ever cared to. But if anything, I would say it’s been quite informative. My interest in sports drink came about yesterday after hanging out with my fabulous neighbors. They too are runners and so we often have those runner’s conversations. How was your 18 miler? How are you fueling? Any good post run tips? Being the nosey person I am, I started reading the labels on their GU, G2, Muscle Milk Light, Salt Tablets, and anything else I could find. And it all came back to my oh so favorite topic – fake sugar. G2 – sucralose. Muscle Milk Light – sucralose AND aspartame. I started to wonder what is the best, natural, sports drink out there? Can you make your own? Are there certain ingredients to be looking for and others to avoid? Well this can get into a lengthy discussion so I just want to highlight a few things I learned.
First, NUUN, which I often hear positive things about, uses the artificial sweetener acesulfame K. Accelerade Hydro: Hydration Drink also uses sucralose as an artificial sweetener. The All Natural Accelerade does not contain artificial sweeteners. Cytomax, which is used by Mr. Ryan Hall himself, is sweetened with Stevia – a natural no calorie sweetener. Powerade, although it uses glucose and fructose, also uses sucralose and acesulfame K. In other words both natural sweeteners and artificial sweeteners. Propel Zero – both sucralose and acesulfame K. G2 by Gatorade – again both sucralose and acesulfame K. Those two seem to be the most popular artificial sweeteners. And then I became exhausted looking at labels 🙂
There were two that I found to be more along the lines of natural. First, Vega Sport electrolyte hydrator. The label has more words I can pronounce than the other drinks and it uses stevia extract for a sweetener. The second drink I found but can’t find the exact ingredient list for is Delta-E. I had never heard of this one but I found it via my favorite fitness guru – Mr. Ben Greenfield. Apparently it has a significant amount of L-theanine, which is good for concentration and helping you deal with stress. You can read more about it here but I’m emailing the company tomorrow to see if I can get the exact ingredient list. This is what Ben Greenfield says on his website about the product:
For the past two years, I have used delta-E to achieve that same successful feeling over and over again, with zero “tolerance build-up”, afternoon energy slump, or compromised immune system health. Perhaps even more impressively, I have double-dosed with delta-E prior to my intense athletic competition in Ironman triathlon, and experienced the greatest athletic success of my life.
Well I think that is my intro into sports drink. I know there are SO many more out there, but this is just what I found tonight. If I learned anything, my biggest take away would be read the label! Tomorrow, I’m going to see about making my own energy drink 🙂
I hope everyone has a fabulous week and I’m sending many positive running vibes your way!
Happy trails and happy running,
Oh and this is what Ben Greenfield had to say when I asked him about sucralose and Red #40: