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Is It Healthy to Drink Gatorade?

Gatorade is a popular sports drink endorsed by a variety of sports teams. Sure, it does a good job of replacing electrolytes, but is it really good for you?

The popular sports drink Gatorade is no longer just a single drink; you can now get it in a variety of different flavors and formulations. The original Gatorade, one of the most popular in the line of Gatorade drinks, has been re-branded and is now called Gatorade G. Some people enjoy the taste of this drink that’s been around for almost fifty years and is the official sports drink of several sports teams – but is Gatorade good for you?

Is Gatorade Good for You?

The original Gatorade, now called Gatorade G, is one of the most popular Gatorade choices. An eight ounce bottle of Gatorade G in the original orange flavor contains 50 calories and fourteen grams of sugar – along with 30 milligrams of potassium and 110 milligrams of sodium. This may not sound like a lot of calories and sugar, but you don’t get a lot of liquid in a small eight ounce bottle.

By the time you chug down two of these bottles, you’ve taken in twenty-eight grams of sugar. This isn’t so bad if running a half-marathon, but if you’re relaxing by the pool sipping on a bottle of Gatorade G, it’s probably not the best choice since you have adequate glycogen stores and don’t need the extra sugar – as you would if you were exercising for long periods of time.

Another thing that makes Gatorade bad for you are the artificial colorings and flavorings that give it that rich orange color and keep it from tasting bland. Some artificial colorings come from petrochemicals and coal tar derivatives and are suspected of causing cancer and contributing to ADHD in children.  

Is Gatorade Good for You?: Too Much Sugar?

Athletes who doing two hours or more of moderately intense exercise can benefit from the extra carbohydrates and sugars in sports drinks, but people who exercise for shorter periods of time will do just as well drinking water unless they’re forced to exercise in a hot environment where they can lose lots of sodium and potassium. In this case, the electrolytes in Gatorade G are a good replacement.

A recent study showed that one of the best sports drinks is plain old chocolate milk and it contains no artificial colors or flavorings. A glass of chocolate milk is also a good source of the electrolytes lost through sweating. Chocolate milk is also less likely to cause dental erosion which can be a problem with sports drinks like Gatorade.

The Bottom Line

When you’re exercising for two hours or more at a stretch, drinking Gatorade G provides a good source of carbs to help replenish glycogen stores and electrolytes that are lost through sweating. On the other hand, it’s too high in sugar to sip when you’re just sitting around. Gatorade now makes Gatorade G-2 with half the calories and half the sugar, but it’s still artificially colored and flavored. Save your money and buy low fat chocolate milk instead – and skip the sports drinks.

References:

Gatorade website

Web Md website. “Study Shows Carbohydrates and Protein in Chocolate Milk Help Muscles Recover From Exercise”

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  1. I have always like this drink for my kids. They are active. I don’t get it now because I don’t trust the new labals.

  2. mmm nothing like drinking low fat milk after a workout

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