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Sports Drink Do Not Boost Energy but are Harmful: Study

Update Date: Jul 20, 2012 11:39 AM EDT

According to a latest research, energy drinks that claim to boost up energy are nothing more than a waste of money could also be harmful.

Researchers from Oxford and Harvard universities warn that these sports drinks, rather than being beneficial for health, are highly concentrated with sugar and calories and encourage weight gain.

The drinks, through targeted towards gym goers, are also bought by office goers for energy boost.

The academics claim that the manufacturers "mislead" gym-goers by convincing them they are on the verge of dehydration. They further warn that drinking too much of these liquids could cause a fatal brain condition where brain cells swell up. The condition is known as hypernatremia.

Last year, the sports drinks market saw a rise of 10percent in Britain, and around 440million litres of the drink is annually consumed by people, which is enough to fill 400 Olympic-sized swimming pools, says the report.

For the study, researchers studied 104 products, which included sports drinks, protein shakes and trainers. The researchers studied the 400 plus health claims made by the products in their ads and found that there is a "striking lack of evidence" the drinks do any good.

"These misleading messages filter down to everyday health advice by company-sponsored scientists who advise high-profile sports bodies. For instance, fear about dehydration has become gospel and influences what we drink when we exercise. It's a triumph of marketing over science," Deborah Cohen, investigations editor at the British Medical Journal was quoted as saying by Mail Online.

The study authors say that Protein shakes do no better than drinking Milk.

However, the manufacturers of the energy drinks have a completely different story to tell and still say that the drinks are effective and their claims are valid.

"More than 40 years of research and 85 peer-reviewed studies have supported the development of Lucozade Sport and all our claims are based on scientific evidence that has been reviewed by the European Food Safety Authority," a spokesman for GlaxoSmith-Kline, which makes Lucozade said according to the report.

"Sports drinks are among the best-researched beverages in the world. There is a wealth of scientific research that can be relied upon," claims Coca-Cola, manufacturer of Powerade.

The study published in the British Medical Journal on Wednesday.

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