Researchers now believe that so-called performance enhancing drinks may do more harm than good. That’s right, all those drinks that promise to give you energy and keep you going have little evidence to back up their claims. UK scientists believe that these drinks may cause more harm to the body due to their high caloric count, similar to juice drinks and soda.
The study which was conducted at the Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine in the UK, examined the science behind the marketing. The researchers viewed 1035 web pages and identified 431 performance-enhancing claims for 104 different products. Of the 104 products, they found that more than half made claims without providing any evidence to prove them. The researchers also stated that of the products that do provide “proof”, half of the evidence is not suitable for critical appraisal. According to the research published in BMJ Open, about 84% of the critically appraised studies were believed to be at high risk of bias.
Another issue with many of the performance enhancing claims is that drinks companies study elite athletes. While they may be helpful for these professional athletes, there is very little research into the effects on ordinary gym goers.
Lead researcher Matthew Thompson told The Telegraphin the UK that drinking such products “could completely counteract exercising more, playing football more, going to the gym more “in terms of losing weight.”
So until more research is done into the effects of sports drinks on ordinary people, you may want to ditch the calories and keep the hydration by sticking to water.