Sport Drinks = Farts that Stink
A recent study compared the effects of athletes drinking a carbohydrate-based sports drink versus mineral water during an 18 kilometer run. In what will likely be a surprise to many Americans, the sports drinks led to higher incidences of GI complaints.
Specifically, the sports drinks led to significantly more incidences of flatulence (gas) and acid reflux. Adding GI insult to injury, there were no indications that sports drinks improved athletic performance (sorry, soft drink makers!).
There goes my dream of a carb-induced 30 laps. And while the simple carbs used in sports drinks promote GI tract problems, the sugar alcohols used in sugar-free drinks typically consumed by athletes on a diet can cause a far higher incidence of severe gas, bloating, and laxation.
More on the sugar alcohol connection in future posts.