There are two important things to remember when looking at the nutrition label:
That's right. Sodium, or salt, is good for you- so is fat!
Sodium helps your body perform many processes including helping bring materials from outside of cells into the cell via the sodium-potassium pump (diffusion). This is a highly important function and unfortunately due to the low-sodium craze of the past couple decades, many cells within your body may be missing out on important nutrients to keep them healthy.
Fats help your body to create strong cell membranes, make hormones, ant-inflammation, AND 70% of your brain is made of fat! Cutting healthy fat from your diet is detrimental to a healthy body.
What to look for
So how can you determine if a product is worth purchasing or not?
Look at the ingredients list.
This tells you everything that is in the product and tells you if the manufacturer is being honest or not. If the product claims to be made from coconuts but the first ingredient is water, second ingredient sugar, and there is likely several other ingredients before the coconut then the manufacturer is being dishonest in their labeling- which legally they can do because it is technically in the ingredients, the discrepancy and what they bank on is you expecting that to be the ingredient of highest concentration. Marketing at its finest.
Let's look at the ingredients list to see what the source of "superior hydration" is. First ingredient is filtered water. Ok, not bad for you but water is water and worth the extra money. Second ingredient- pure cane sugar. Sugar. This product is sugar water. There is coconut, that makes third on the list.
The way the ingredients list works is the item listed first has the highest concentration in the product. The further down the list you go the less of that item there is. Does this product sound like it is worth the investment? When it comes to a sports drink, most people aren't athletes and thus don't work hard enough to warrant the consumption of a special drink. If you are losing electrolytes (which is what most sports drinks or special waters claim to help replenish) you can easily replenish those by having some pink Himalayan salt or celtic sea salt on hand. Both of these salts contain the highest number of minerals, closest to what your body has (85 out of a 95 possible). Take a small dose and wash it down with regular water and you just gave your body a boost- way cheaper than investing in fancy sugar water drinks.
When you go shopping
Here is a quick vetting list for products when you go shopping:
If you want to learn more ways to choose healthy foods and optimize your health, join me September 20th for the Healthy You Master Plan. I will take you through 6 weeks of nutrition truth.
Registration is open, join today!
Kerry M. Davis LMT, CIMT, SFG