If you are from the sports industry, you must have known this name! Gatorade happens to be one of the biggest brands in the sports drink industry. However, the nutritional merit of this drink remains controversial. While some experts suggest it is healthy and safe for consumption of all, others have a varied opinion.
We tried to participate in this debate and extract our findings on this drink. Here’s everything about Gatorade in detail.
What is Gatorade?
Gatorade was a beverage exclusively created to help a small football team as an energy drink. In no time, it became a popular sports energy drink worldwide. It is well-known for its rehydrating capabilities and includes electrolytes and carbohydrates. The sports drink also improves athletic performance.
This drink majorly comprises carbohydrates that support your muscle activity. The composition helps restore salt, sugar, and water lost during strenuous physical activity like sports. Here is the breakdown of nutrients present in one bottle (609 grams) of Gatorade.
- Calories: 158
- Carbohydrates: 39.2 grams
- Sugar: 31.9 grams
- Potassium: 91.3 milligrams
- Sodium: 238 milligrams
- Phosphorus: 60.9 milligrams
- Calcium: 6.1 milligrams
It is vital to mention that your body does not need sports drinks with electrolytes unless you are excessively into fitness or are a professional athlete. Thus, we do not recommend the consumption of this drink on a random.
What does Gatorade Include?
This drink has many different beverage lines, including the original Gatorade and flavors like Fierce, Flow, Frost, G Organic, G2, and Zero. Aside from varying sugar content and intensity of flavors, the drinks share a similar composition of dyes, electrolytes, and other ingredients.
Listed below are the ingredients you will find in this beverage.
- Water that works as a fluid and helps to hydrate.
- Sugar fuels energy whenever you consume the drink
- Dextrose is another kind of sugar acting as a fuel for the drink
- Citric acid adds a tangy flavor to the drink
- Salt that works as an electrolyte replenishment
- Sodium citrate or sodium salt of citric acid helps to improve the taste of the drink
- Mono-potassium phosphate that adds potassium for electrolyte replacement
- Modified food starch that works as a stabilizing agent
- Natural flavor to make this drink more natural to your taste buds
- Food dyes for color
- Glycerol ester of a rosin that works as a stabilizing agent
- Caramel color and food coloring.
Is Drinking Gatorade Healthy?
Many experts and researchers claim that this drink is not suitable for daily consumption. Moreover, it is not healthy for all. Only athletes may use this product to get the much-needed bout of energy while engaging in sports. Drinking this beverage may harm your health in many ways.
High Amount of Sugar
Gatorade contains sugar in high amounts. One 12-ounce serving of this drink comprises 21 grams of sugar. The regular bottle of this drink contains 32 ounces. If you consume it, you will get 56 grams of sugar, which may be unhealthy for your overall health.
May Lead to Childhood Obesity
As a parent, you must keep your child away from consuming this drink because this sports drink may contribute to the child obesity epidemic as it increases their calorie intake.
May Lead to Tooth Decay
If you care for your teeth, do not consume Gatorade. According to researchers, such drinks may lead to tooth decay in children and adults.
High Amount of Sodium
Gatorade contains a high amount of sodium. It has 450 milligrams of sodium per liter. Such high content of sodium may be good for sportsmen, but not everyone. Giving your body unwanted sodium when you do not have an active lifestyle is not a great idea. When compared to other drinks, Gatorade comprises twice the amount of sodium.
Loaded with Food Dyes
To make the drink appealing to the eyes of the consumers, the manufacturers add food dyes of different colors. But do you know this marketing gimmick may take a toll on your health? Many studies have claimed that these artificial and colorful dyes are derived from petroleum and are linked to cancer.
Excessive Weight Gain
Too much consumption of this beverage leads to weight gain not only in children but in adults too. Even when you work out regularly and rely on this drink for energy, you may gain weight. Your body will store extra calories as fat instead of burning them as energy.
Too Much Vitamins May Lead to Toxicity
Gatorade is loaded with many vitamins and many people assume that drinking it will fulfill their vitamin intake. But do you know that when consumed in high amounts, this drink may lead to vitamin toxicity? You may suffer from the problems such as hypervitaminosis which may further lead to nausea, headache, fatigue, and blurred vision.
High Blood Pressure
The high sodium content present in this drink may lead to high blood pressure upon overconsumption. In the worst-case scenario, you may fall prey to strokes and heart attacks.
Can Gatorade be Consumed by Kids?
Most children do not need a sports drink, even when they engage in a sports activity. According to experts, parents should limit the reliance of their children on these drinks as they comprise sugar and artificial color in high amounts. High levels of sugar and sodium electrolytes in sports drinks may be harmful to children if they consume them in excess.
The consumption of this drink should be limited to adults and athletes only. If your child is a little more active, you may give them this drink occasionally.
What Should be the Best Replacement for Gatorade?
Why rely on energy drinks when you have so many natural alternatives to make you feel energized. Water is the best option that hydrates your body. And if you are bored of drinking water, you may rely on other beverages such as fresh fruit juice, lemon water, etc. Unsweetened fresh fruit juices make the best choice for those who do not want to consume sugar in high amounts.
Another excellent replacement for energy drinks like Gatorade is coconut water. This drink includes many electrolytes that you may need after a tiring day. Besides this, eating fresh fruits and vegetables may help you get the required amount of electrolytes and carbohydrates.
There are plenty of ways to replace Gatorade with natural and healthier substitutes. Keep in touch to read more about health and lifestyle.