Sport Energy Drink & Diabetes

Sport Energy Drink & Diabetes


Can Diabetics Drink Gatorade ?

Energy drink is large and big industry in US, predicted to reach sales around $21.5 bio in 2017.  That amazing sales are pushed by massive marketing strategies and budget toward youth and teenage.  Cans or bottles usually have catchy design and colourful graphics.  The ads are placed on network that are predominantly viewed by teenage such as MTV.  The industries also heavily sponsored extreme sports competitions like X Games that mostly watched by the young population.  Athletes also best endorsers for energy drinks, so teenage consumers see their favourite athlete drinking and promoting an energy drink and want to imitate their favourite athletes by drinking energy drink the superstar athletes endorse.  Data showed that in 2010 teenage saw an average of 122 soda ads and 124 energy drinks ads on television. To push sales in retailers, energy drinks placed in coolers near mineral waters, juices and sodas makes the consumer believe that these beverages are healthy to drink.

In US, companies that label their products as beverages have to comply with the Nutrition labelling and Education Act of 1990.  Others label their drinks as dietary supplements have to comply with the more tolerance Dietary Supplement Health and Education act of 1994.  So if there are no nutrients in a beverage, the company may choose not to insert them on the label.  In order the label won’t have 0% of certain ingredient on the beverages.  But there are ingredients on the label that don’t disclose the total amount contained in the beverages.  Producers are not obliged to show how much caffeine exist in these drinks.  The ingredients contained focus on stimulating the body and making the consumer feel more awake.  Following are the most common ingredients used :

  • Caffeine consumption increases body temperature, gastric secretion, speech rate, motor activity, attentiveness, blood pressure and heart rate.  Consuming caffeine everyday can cause addiction and dependence.  Studies suggest that It is acceptable for adults to consume < 200 mg of caffeine daily.  For adolescence the amount should less than 100 mg daily.
  • Guana contains 40 mg of caffeine per gram and functions as stimulant.  Guana could bring problematic for adolescence because it increases the amount of caffeine even though it is recognized as a safe ingredient.
  • Taurine is marketized as an amino acid that helps with cell metabolism and improves athletic performance.  These confessions are shown to be false and no benefits were revealed by a Mayo Clinic study.  It is a building block for protein and can be manufactured naturally by the body.  The adolescence should avoid energy drinks that contain amino acids.
  • Panax ginseng is claims to improve athletic performance, but it is not considered as a safe substance for adolescence. In adult it is recommended for use lasting only less than three months.  More than that can cause harmful effects and can interfere with hormonal balance.  Other side effect including increased heart rate, insomnia, changes in blood pressure and menstrual problems in women.
  • Sodium is important in keep electrolyte balance after sweating. Energy deinks have 3 times more sodium than soda per 8 oz.  This is too much especially for younger people, can cause high blood pressure, increased risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners. Companies avoid classifying drinks with artificial sweeteners as diet beverages, which would usually alert the consumers of these sweeteners.  Sugar consumption increases the risk for weight gain, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and most important is diabetes mellitus.  As a comparison a 16 oz can of energy drink has about the same amount of sugar as 6 donuts combined.  The body needs before, during and after exercise.  Energy drinks are consumed in an attempt to replenish the body of lost nutrients, but in most cases, the energy drinks contain too much of what is needed.  Nowadays in US there are no bans on energy drinks productions and distributions.  Turkey and Australia have banned highly caffeinated energy drinks, meanwhile Denmark banned energy drinks all together.

The Glycemic Index in Gatorade is 78 and categorizes as High Glycemic Index.  Meaning carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion, release blood sugar rapidly into the bloodstream, causing rapid fluctuations in blood sugar level (blood glucose level).  According to this explanation I hope you can make a decision on can you drink Gatorade, based on your own healthy condition including BMI, blood glucose level, HbA1c, LDL level, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.