Many people have their own version of health drinks. They may prefer sports drinks or those colourful “vitamin waters”. However, we should be aware that health and sports drinks are not always healthy. There are a few ingredients that we need to properly avoid:
- Phosphoric acid: As it name directly implies, phosphoric acid is an acid. It is commonly used to vitamin water to provide the fresh taste, just like when we are drinking fresh, fruit juice. In reality, phosphoric acid is also used in detergents and fertilizers. At higher concentration, it is highly toxic and could cause irritation to our eyes and skin. This could imbalance our body pH level and it is possible that our body will become more acidic.
- High-fructose corn syrup: Corn syrup is essentially concentrated glucose. Consuming products with corn syrup could cause abnormal blood sugar levels and weight gain. Prolonged consumption may result in diabetes. Health and sports drinks shouldn’t contain high level of glucose.
- Artificial flavours: In many cases, manufacturers need to add artificial flavouring into their products, to make them more appealing when consumed. In this case, health and sports drinks could taste like an actual fruit juice, although the taste of many fruits can be simulated by specific chemicals. When consumed in larger amount, artificial flavouring could interfere with the balance of our body.
- Artificial sweeteners: They are probably the most unnecessary things that manufacturers add to health and sports drinks. It is often argued that artificial sweeteners have no calories and this could significantly reduce the amount of calories in any health and sports drinks. However, studies have indicated that artificial sweeteners seem to have correlation to various brain-related illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s diseases and dementia. We should be aware that when big corporations have started to market low-calories health and sports drinks, it could also mean that these products contain artificial sweeteners.
- Synthetic vitamins: Vitamins are essentially chemicals that we could found naturally in natural food. However, extracting them from natural sources would be expensive and too slow. In this case, manufacturers use artificially synthesized vitamins that can be added as bags of powders to large vats of health and sports drinks. However, we should be aware that these types of vitamins can be rather unstable and they may break down too easily. Vitamins and minerals should be obtained from natural, whole foods; not manufactured products with artificial ingredients and colourful dyes.
The next time we purchase a health drink with fruit flavouring, we should check its ingredients. It shouldn’t be too surprising to find out that no fresh fruit is added in these health drinks. The sweetener agent could be sucrose syrup, corn syrup or even artificial sweetener. Phosphoric acid could be added to give us the fake fruit-like sourness. Artificial food flavouring would be added to make these health drinks comparable to fresh fruits. Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 are commonly used to emulate the color of strained fruit juice.