This article is authored by Doug Scott. Opinions expressed may not be that of SMARTER Team Training, STT sponsors or constituents. Coach Scott has been a member of the Pingry faculty since 1999 and has served as a Physical Education teacher and Strength and Conditioning coach since that time. Doug designs workouts for both male and female student athletes competing on a variety of Varsity and Junior Varsity athletic teams, including many county, state, and conference championship teams. Listen to Doug’s podcast on iTunes by clicking here.

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The next time you’re thirsty I want you to try this; first take 12 ounces of water. Next dump 10 teaspoons of table sugar into that water. Stir and drink. Yummy right? Well if you’re drinking soda or other sweetened drinks, that’s the minimum amount of sugar you are drinking with each meal. I say minimum since many drinks are 20 ounce bottles.

Americans are becoming addicted to sweeteners. Sugar or corn syrup is in everything we eat, from breakfast cereals, to beverages and even bread. In fact it is estimated that the average person consumes 100 pounds of sugar each year, with most of that coming in the form of refined sugars found in soda, pastries, candy, etc. Here’s another fun fact for you; if you drank one soft drink each day (12oz) for a year, think of your Snapple with lunch, you would drink about 54,750 calories or the energy equivalent of 15 lbs. of body fat. So much for the slogan “the best stuff on earth”.

Now, I’m not bashing the occasional soft drink, but regular consumption of sugary foods is a nutrition nightmare. Not only will your body fat slowly rise, but also your risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes. So when choosing your beverages, be smart, watch the sugar content and stick with water or unsweetened ice tea.

Doug Scott believes that strength training is a “means to and end” and should be a part of every athlete’s lifestyle; and it’s the coaches job to facilitate learning and put the athlete in the best position to get the most out of themselves and ultimately succeed. Mr. Scott has also worked as a personal trainer and has written a number of fitness-related articles and chapters. Coach Scott is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and hold the title of Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. You can contact him at [email protected].