Sports Drink Supplements – Bulletin, Topic of the Month – June 2015

Article by Tyler Bastianelli
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Doctor Paul Kennedy
It is almost impossible to avoid the ubiquitous nature of sports drinks and their connection to fitness and exercise. I have watched for years while individuals “burn” 300 or more calories in a twenty or thirty minute exercise bout and then “re-hydrate” with a 300 calorie bottle of a “sports drink”. Most of these drinks are primarily sugar, water and coloring. But in recent years, even more ingredients have been added by the sports drink industry in an effort to provide a more complete replenishment of nutrients. Some sports drinks are worth the cost but, in my view, most are not.

Indeed, water is generally the best way to go with respect to “supplementation” on the run or during moderate to intense exercise.

But there are some ingredients that have no place in a sports drink or supplemental fluid. For example, a recent case report in the Annals of Internal Medicine (published online on May 12, 2015) suggested that an ingredient in a sports “drink” called “Jacked Power” contained an ingredient called beta-methylphenylamine (or BMPEA) that may have been responsible and/or related to hemorrhagic stroke. BMPEA is chemically similar to amphetamine. A previously healthy 53 year old woman, for example, suffered a “sudden onset of numbness” about 45 minutes into her workout. A subsequent diagnosis indicated that she was suffering from a stroke. She was hospitalized for five days and, thankfully, appeared to recover.

Many sport supplement drinks have additives, of course. But the fact is that many ingredients and additives like BMPEA are not always listed on the label. A similar sports drink additive called dimethylbutalymine (or DMBA) has been found in some sports drinks despite the fact that it (DMBA) has already been banned by the FDA. It appears that the manufacturer removed “Jacked Power” from the market recently. But the takeaway message here is to hydrate with water as much as possible (especially as summer approaches) and be wary of energy “supplements” that may or may not necessarily enhance performance, but could potentially cause adverse and/or allergic reactions.

A balanced and calorically adequate diet should provide all the electrolytes necessary for an active lifestyle and proper hydration should do the rest.

I’m Dr. Paul Kennedy and that’s the “Be Fit, Stay Fit” Topic of the Month for June 2015. Good luck with your program. I KNOW you can do it!

Remember to check with your doctor before beginning any fitness program especially if you have been inactive for an extended period of time.

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