Soda in the Schools

So I log onto the computer this morning, my eyes weary from extensive reading the night before, my left hand curled around an iced latte. I’m still sleepy, and I’m looking for something to jolt me awake.

I then come across an article in the New York Times, talking about how the American Beverage Association announced a new policy curbing sales of sodas (LI: accidental PW:hedonist) in schools last week in order to address the youth obesity problem.

I then came across this line:

Beverage companies say that bottles of Coke and Pepsi will be replaced by healthier products like juice drinks, sports drinks and iced tea.

Umm…errr…

BWAH-HA-HA-HA!!! Healthy?? Sports Drinks?!? Oh you guys cannot be serious, can you??

Lets compare Coke’s Powerade with their soda shall we?

Powerade:

Ingredients: water, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin (glucose polymers), citric acid, salt, natural flavors, potassium citrate, potassium phosphate, niacinamide, yellow 5, pyridoxine hydrochloride, blue 1, cyanocobalamin

Nutrition Facts:

  • serving size 8 fl oz
  • calories 70
  • fat 0g
  • sodium 55mg
  • potassium 30mg
  • total carbs 19g
  • sugars 15g
  • protein 0g
  • vitamin b6 10% RDA
  • vitamin b12 10%RDA
  • niacin 10% RDA

Coca-Cola:

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sucrose, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavors, Caffeine

Nutrition Facts:

  • Serving Size 12 oz.
  • Calroies 140
  • fat 0g
  • sodium 50mg
  • total carbs 39g
  • Protein og

Doing some quick math, 12 oz of Powerade translates to roughly 105 calories and 28.5 g carbs. Of course doesn’t sell either 8oz nor 12oz versions of their product, choosing instead to sell 20 oz (170 calories 47.5 g carbs) and 32 oz (280 calories and 76 g carbs). I don’t think they sell 16 oz bottles, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Are sports drinks a “healthy alternative”? Not likely. Sports drinks have electrolytes and sodium that are beneficial to professional athletes and marathoners, but have little value to the average user. Shame on the American Beverage Association for trying to convince us otherwise.

And for the record? According to the article ” Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid juice drinks, which contain only 10 percent actual juice”. So they aren’t much of a “healthy alternative” either.


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