London: You might want to throw out your stock of sports drinks after reading this.
According to researchers from Oxford University, claims of sports drinks to boost energy not only lack evidence, but high intake of these drinks can also cause weight gain.
The study published in the British Medical Journal assessed the evidence behind 431 performance enhancing claims in adverts for 104 different sports products including sports drinks, protein shakes and trainers.
In case where evidence from adverts was not clear, researchers asked for information from various manufacturers. It found only 2.7 per cent of the information supplied to be of high quality and at low risk of bias.
"This absence of high quality evidence is worrying," researchers said.
Also, no substantial evidence was found to suggest that liquid is any better than solid carbohydrate intake.
"As sports drinks rise in popularity among children, there is concern their consumption is contributing to obesity levels," researchers said.
"Far from sports drinks turning casual runners into Olympic athletes, if they avoided the sports drink they would get thinner and run faster," Professor Tim Noakes, Discovery health chair of exercise and sports science at Cape Town University said.
"No one single food or drink alone is responsible for people being overweight or obese. All foods and soft drinks can have a place in a sensible, balanced diet, as long as over time you do not take in more calories than you burn," a soft drink company said.