Several years ago while out hiking I was inexperienced enough to forget to bring fluids to replenish myself from the hike. I was lucky enough that I was hiking with friends who had brought some bottled sports drinks with them.

So not having a choice, I took the bottle offered to me and cautiously drank it. Not only was the drink so sweet that it made me thirstier, it was downright foul tasting. Plus, for the remainder of the hike, I found myself even more dehydrated than what I had started off to be.

Now I wonder how is that possible? I’ve read so much information on how drinking sports drinks claim to replace electrolytes in our bodies. Yet, if that’s true, why did I feel even worse than I did before I started hiking?

The truth is, they’re not much better than soda. Sure, they may be less in calories, but they’re loaded with high fructose corn syrup and sodium. Not to mention that they contain artificial color and preservatives. It’s no wonder I was so dehydrated after drinking one of those.

And after doing a little research, I learned that high fructose corn syrup is very harmful to our bodies. This nasty stuff can lead to tooth decay, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and even arthritis.

What’s even worse is the fact that this type of drink is being allowed in schools. I thought schools were supposed to watch out for the health of our kids. But, at least there is some good news. There are a few public health advocates that are trying to ban them from schools because they are affecting the health of our children.

We can also offer alternatives at home. Water can quench a child’s thirst just as easily and is so much healthier. If your kids don’t like the taste of water, try adding a slice or two of citrus fruit to their glass. There’s no reason why we need to purchase a drink that is not only unhealthy, but also expensive. Let’s fatten our wallets, not our bodies.