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Consuming sports energy drinks at desk blamed for rising obesity levels


April 4, 2012 - London

An increasing number of people are making themselves vulnerable to health problems by downing sports energy drinks - meant to be used with intense exercise - while sitting at their desks, researchers say.

These drinks can include high levels of sugar and up to 270 calories in each bottle - in addition to potentially harmful levels of caffeine, which has been linked to seizures, heart problems and behavioural disorders.

According to the European Food Safety Authority, only "active individuals performing endurance exercise" should use the drinks.

Yet a survey has found that more than 11 million adults in the UK - and over a quarter of men - take sports drinks while at the office, the Daily Express reported.

An additional third of "low-intensity exercisers" consume sports drinks when exercising for "extra energy".

The survey, by the Natural Hydration Council, revealed that over 19 per cent consume the drinks when they are "tired" and 18 per cent when they have a "hangover".

It is believed that 160 million litres of sports drinks are consumed in the UK each year.

Nearly 80 per cent forget to drink water before they exercise, which is the optimum form of hydration.

Around 60 per cent said that they do not remember to consider their hydration levels after exercise and almost 30 per cent do not pack water in their sports bag.

According to the guidelines, for mild to moderate exercise, and for any physical activity lasting less than 45 minutes, water will rehydrate adequately.

Yet water stands at the bottom of the priority list, being ranked below "nice sportswear" and "specialist trainers".

About 35 per cent said that they opt for sports drinks during exercise for "extra energy", 21 per cent for "better hydration" and 20 per cent as they "prefer the taste".

"The consumption levels and situations in which people are consuming these sports drinks are worrying," Dr Paul Gately, Professor of Exercise and Obesity at Leeds Metropolitan University, said.

ANI

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