Being that it’s April 1 (April Fool’s Day), I just want to make sure you know this is NOT a joke. It’s true: A 12 oz can of Coke has almost the whole day’s recommended amount of sugar.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has drafted a guideline recommending that added sugars make up no more than 10% of a person’s calories, and ideally just 5%. If you consume 1800 calories a day, then only 180 should come from added sugars. Divide 180 by 4 to get 45 grams of added sugar per day. A 12-ounce can of cola has 40 grams of sugar. (from Fooducate)
Okay, okay — you’re an athlete in training and you know better than to put that poison into your system (soda, that is). You may not drink soda but your recovery drink of choice may be adding more sugar than you think at 20 grams for 12 oz. (and let’s be honest here — who among you is really only drinking 12 oz of anything whether it’s soda, Gatorade, PowerAde…whatever!)
And yes, you do, under specific hydration situation, actually need the nutrients in your recovery drink but are you drinking it only in those situations? It’s a fact, you can’t out-train a bad diet and too much sugar is hard on an athlete in a number of ways:
Obviously, too much sugar can cause weight gain.
And sugar, although it adds calories, does not add any nutrients.
Some of you may be thinking that sugar is the fuel our bodies run off of, and you’re right. BUT…for most of us, most of the time, we want to be efficient at converting our fat stores into the dominant fuel used for anytime we are within our aerobic zone. (which is actually most of our life spent working, doing homework, watching TV, and anytime we are training but not activity engaged in doing a strength exercises or sprinting at max speeds)
Our constant consumption of sugars (snacking, sipping, as well as, what we eat during meals) can cause us to become less efficient at burning fats to fuel our aerobic workouts. That is BAD news for athletes who spend most of their play in their aerobic zone.
So grab your food log and take a couple days to figure out just how many grams of sugar you’re consuming daily. You just may be surprised at how far above 10% WHO recommendation you find yourself.