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Student Study Examines Healthy Alternatives to Sports Drinks

Student Study Examines Healthy Alternatives to Sports Drinks

Posted: December 23, 2011

Alexander Ford, a senior in the Dietetics and Nutrition Department, recently discovered that diluted fruit juice serves as an adequate alternative to Gatorade during physical activity.

Through the Buffalo State College’s Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship, Ford enlisted the help of 10 participants, a mix of Buffalo State students and friends from the Albany area. They rated the taste, tolerance, fullness, and satisfaction of Gatorade, diluted fruit juice and water that they consumed at each session. Also during the sessions, Ford monitored the participants’ heart rate, performance on a treadmill, and perceived exertion while exercising.

While Gatorade was preferred only slightly in the taste category, in the categories of satisfaction and fullness, the 50 percent diluted apple juice scored higher and was tolerated significantly higher than Gatorade.

“I was very pleased with the results,” said Ford, who plans to either attend the exercise science graduate program at the University of Buffalo or the graduate business program at the University of Albany upon graduation in May. “My objective was to show that there are healthier alternatives to the sports drinks than the public is familiar with, and they are equally as effective during exercise.”

Ford shared his findings in the December 2011 issue of Nutrition Provision, the Dietetics and Nutrition Department newsletter that included other interesting updates. For instance, in November, juniors in the Dietetics Coordinated Program raised $330 for the Food Bank of Western New York through a chili sale. They also organized a health fair and bake sale in October that attracted a large number of students, faculty, and staff. Participants learned what the Buffalo State Fitness Center has to offer, where to find the best local produce, and what markets, shops and restaurants close to campus serve ethnic and alternative foods, among other things. 

To see the entire newsletter, go to

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