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As the 2012 London Olympics winds down, it’s no surprise that advertisements for sports drinks are in full force. However, many nutritionists and athletes suggest more natural options for training and competitions. Yale University Nutritionist Expert David Katz says many of the advertised sports foods can actually dehydrate you, make you tired and add on a few extra pounds.

The sports nutrition industry claims that sports drinks contain electrolytes and minerals you can’t get from water. Brands such as GU Energy advise consuming one of its 100-calorie gel packs before workouts, then repeating every 45 minutes during the workout.

Katz warns that sports drinks generally aren’t much better than soda and the electrolytes in these drinks occur naturally in many other foods like fruits, vegetables, milk and coconut water. The sugar content of sports drinks is far more likely to cause unwanted side effects than it is to propel you to the finish line.

Read the full NPR Article