Are Enhanced Waters Good for You?

Colorful bottles of sports drinks. New Heights talks about why enhanced waters aren't healthy for you.

Reaching for a sports drink or electrolyte-enhanced water might seem like a better choice than a soda, but are they really any healthier? In this blog post, we’ll talk about what enhanced waters are and why they may actually be bad for your health.

Enhanced Waters

Enhanced waters come in a variety of brands: Gatorade, Powerade, Vitaminwater, Smart Water, and more. They were designed for elite athletes to help replace electrolytes and carbs lost during intense exercise. The keyword here is elite. Researchers say the average person exercising for less than an hour may not need sports drinks to re-hydrate or improve their performance.


This is a big one. You may be surprised to learn most enhanced waters contain about the same amount of sugar as a can of soda. A typical can of soda contains about 40 grams of sugar, while a 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade, for example, has 36 grams of sugar. Vitaminwater isn’t much better. It contains 32 grams of sugar in a 20-ounce bottle.

Doctors say too much added sugar puts you at risk of several health issues including obesity, fatty liver disease, diabetes, and cancer. And if you think drinks labeled as “zero-calorie” are a safe bet, think again, doctors say those contain artificial sweeteners– which have been linked to cancer.


Vitamins like vitamin B and C are another component of enhanced waters, especially for Vitaminwater. Researchers say most people already get enough of these vitamins from their diet and consuming more will not provide you with any added health benefits.

Some enhanced waters contain vitamins A and E. Research has shown excess amounts of these have been associated with the risk of premature death.


Electrolytes are minerals that help regulate and control fluids in your body. They help keep your brain, nerves, and muscles functioning properly and they can be lost from perspiration, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some of the main electrolytes include magnesium, potassium, calcium, chloride, and sodium. Most if not all enhanced waters contain electrolytes, even SmartWater. And just like anything else, too much of a good thing can be bad. Doctors say having too much of a certain electrolyte can cause an electrolyte imbalance. Too much sodium, for example, can lead to dizziness. While too much calcium can lead to joint and bone pain, fatigue, and seizures.

So before reaching for enhanced water. Read the label to ensure what you are consuming. Just plain water is a safe bet. And if you need carbohydrate and electrolyte replacement, doctors recommend fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy alternatives.

The Importance of Rest and Recovery

New Heights Physical Therapy gives advice on why recovery is important in Portland OR and Vancouver WA.

We so often hear about the health benefits of exercise, but another important part of any exercise program, and for life in general, is recovery. For some it’s one of the hardest things to do but taking time to rest can help prevent an injury and create a healthier body.

What is Recovery?

Recovery in exercise is taking a day or two off to allow your muscles to repair themselves for your next exercise. It also engages muscles that are sore from your previous workouts. Weightlifting, sprinting and endurance runs stress your body so it needs to adapt to these stresses. When you don’t let your body rest as much as it should, you can end up with an injury. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests people take a rest day at least one to two times per week.

Ways to Recover

  • Sleep: The most important part of recovery is sleep! Your body needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep everyday for chemical, hormone and anti-inflammatory responses to happen. Sleep is also very important for your immune system. If you don’t get quality sleep, you may be at a higher risk of getting sick.
  • Staying hydrated: Water plays a vital role in the recovery process. Water helps nutrients repair muscles damaged during exercise, aids in digestion and reduces fatigue. Here’s a fun fact: muscles are actually made up of 75% water.
  • Stretch: After a tough workout, consider stretching. This simple and fast method can help your muscles recover quicker.
  • Massage: Massages not only feel great, they improve circulation allowing you to fully relax. You can self-massage or use a foam roller on tight muscles.
  • Take an ice bath: Some athletes swear by these. An ice bath causes your blood vessels to constrict pushing the blood away from your muscles. Then once your out and your body warms up, the vessels open up and blood flows back into the muscle, bringing more oxygen to help you recover.

Taking time to give your body a rest can be challenging mentally, but it has significant benefits including preventing injuries. The most important thing you can do to recover quickly is listen to your body. At New Heights Physical Therapy, you can get the help and advice that you need to recover especially after an injury. Call us today to schedule an appointment!

Summer Safety Tips For the Whole Family

Summer Safety Tips for the Whole Family in Portland OR and Vancouver WA

Summer Safety Tips for the Whole Family

June is National Safety Month, and it is a great time to remind people of all ages about how to stay safe especially in the outdoors where there are so many dangers. Many people often underestimate the power of the sun and the heat. Here are a few ways to stay safe from the top four summertime dangers while still enjoying the beautiful weather with the family.

Stay Safe from the Sun

The sun is incredibly powerful, but it can be dangerous when individuals do not protect themselves from its strong rays. In fact, just one sunburn that leads to blisters as a child can double an individual’s chances of developing melanoma in adulthood.

Sunscreen should be applied across the body every day and should protect against UVA and UVB rays. In addition, sunscreen should be applied at least 30 minutes before going outdoors and should be reapplied at least every two hours or more frequently when individuals are in the water.

Stay Safe in the Heat

Not only can the sun burn the skin, but also it can be incredibly dehydrating. Just a half hour in the sun during very hot weather can lead to dehydration. Water should always be available, and individuals should re-hydrate with non-caffeinated drinks every 20 minutes when outside. Young children and senior citizens are at particular risk in hot weather and should stay in air-conditioned spaces if possible on hot or humid days, particularly during the afternoon, which is usually the most dangerously hot part of the day.

Stay Safe in the Water

Drowning deaths happen every year in oceans and even in backyard swimming pools. Parents should install fences around their in-ground pools or use pool alarms to keep the littlest members of their households safe. In addition, children should never be alone when swimming but should always swim with a parent or lifeguard present.

Very young swimmers should always wear life jackets approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Parents must also beware of secondary drowning, which is a life-threatening condition that can occur following a near-drowning.

Stay Safe around Bugs and Bees

Staying away from clothing and scents that can attract flying insects can be huge in keeping them from stinging. Solid-colored clothing can stop bees and wasps from approaching. Those who are planning to be outside during the day should use unscented shampoos and soaps and refrain from applying perfume. If a bee or wasp does sting, the stinger can be removed using a scraping motion with a credit card.

Also, choose insect repellents with 10 to 30 percent concentrations of DEET for everyone older than two months. However, it should never be applied on the face of the hands.

Of course, there are many other dangers that can be found in the outdoors during the summer:

  • Broken bones and sprains from bicycling and skateboarding
  • Burns from fireworks
  • Bruises from playground falls
  • Accidents with boats, water tubes and lawn mowers

By keeping a vigilant eye over all members of the family will ensure that everyone stays properly hydrated and protected from the sun. It is important to recognize when professional help is necessary so that any injuries or conditions can be promptly and correctly resolved.