Health Drinks May Not Be What They Seem


July 15th, 2008

Next time you guzzle down a sports or health drink after your workout you may want to look at the label. Many drinks that claim to be healthy are loaded with calories and sugar and may not really live up to all the claims you’ll find in their advertisements. If you’re drinking one of these health concoctions to improve your health, you may want to stop and reconsider what you’re really getting from these drinks that you might not be better served getting elsewhere and more studies are showing that health drinks are rarely as healthy as they claim to be.

Health drinks have grown in popularity with consumers who are trying to get fit and feel healthier, partly in response to the growing obesity epidemic in the United States. Consumers don’t want sugary soda drinks and instead opt for beverages they think will help their health and well-being. With drinks claiming to do everything from raise libido to fight off cancer it’s no wonder many people are making the switch. What many may not realize, however, is that they may be being bamboozled when it comes to their beverage choice.

Some so-called health drinks are just plain unhealthy. They may spout off about containing vitamins and minerals but forget to mention just how high calorie they are and how much sugar they really contain. Others aren’t necessarily bad for you but just aren’t as good as they claim to be. Do you really think pomegranate juice will really cure all of your health problems from blood flow to prostate cancer? Is kombucha really a magic way to balance your digestive system? In many cases it’s hard to separate the real science behind these drinks from the hype and many consumers are getting caught in the middle.

If you’re wondering how all these health drink companies can make big claims about their products they can’t back up and get away with it, the answer is that they’re not. The Federal Trade Commission has sued drink manufacturer Pom for their health claims, Vitamin Water is facing a lawsuit from consumers and many others are under pressure from both the FTC and the FDA to change their labeling or pay the price. So while things are being done to make changes, there are still a lot of products out there making unsubstantiated health claims, meaning consumers will have to be smart and shop smart if they want to avoid purchasing health drinks that aren’t actually all that healthy.

What you drink can play just as big of a role in helping or hurting your health as what you eat, so make sure that those health drinks you buy and consume are really all that they appear to be before banking on them to be part of a better, healthier diet.

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