Sports drinks have gained a lot of popularity these days among both athletes and the general populace.
If you’re looking for a sports drink that’s both convenient and nutritious, Gatorade might be a good option.
Whether it be to refresh themselves during their daily gym routine or just because their favorite sportsperson endorses the brand, Gatorade has become one of the most widely used energy drinks worldwide.
The beverage is available in many flavors and can help stave off dehydration and fatigue.
Gatorade is a popular beverage choice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, but is it really good for you?
Some people believe that Gatorade can make you fat. Is this true? What are the risks of drinking Gatorade?
We’ll discuss the answers to these questions at length below. But before we dive into all that, let’s brief out what Gatorade actually is for those of you who are unfamiliar with it.
Gatorade was developed as an energy drink in 1965 for the Florida Gators (hence the name), the varsity sports team for the University of Florida, by a team of in-house researchers led by Dr. Robert Cade.
The aim was to replenish the electrolytes and carbohydrates the team members lost during their training drills and games.
The Gators went on to win the Orange Bowl for the first time in years in 1967.
Gatorade is now a global brand of sports-themed drinks and edibles, with its products being sold in over 80 countries.
At its inception, it was manufactured by Stokely-Van Camp, then by Quaker Oats Company in 1983, and was finally acquired by PepsiCo in 2000.
Its main competition in the market is Vitaminwater and Coca-Cola’s Powerade worldwide, and Lucozade in the UK.
Since 2010, Gatorade has been PepsiCo’s 4th largest brand in terms of annual worldwide sales and commands nearly 75% of the sports drinks market share in the US.
Apart from replenishing your carbs and electrolytes, Gatorade is also high in sugar content.
So despite being sold as a performance-enhancing drink, the question remains, is Gatorade actually beneficial in improving your prowess, or is it detrimental to your health.
According to research conducted in 2012 by Healthy Eating, the consumption of sugary drinks has increased exponentially in the last 30 years.
Excess intake of these substances results in increased exposure to diseases like diabetes and obesity, poor dietary habits, weight gain, and a tendency to leave more healthy drinks in favor of unhealthy ones.
But, when consumed in moderate amounts, there are no adverse side effects attributed to Gatorade.
On the flip side, when not taken in excess, Gatorade may even benefit athletes who undergo rigorous exercise regimes.
Another question that might arise is whether it’s more beneficial to drink water instead of Gatorade after sports.
The fact is that both water and Gatorade will help you restore bodily fluids, but Gatorade has added elements such as electrolytes and sugar, which aren’t present in water.
To make a long answer short, no, it does not.
On the contrary, it might make you gain a few pounds due to the sugar present in the drink.
There has been a lot of research on the impact sports drinks have on a person’s body.
There are more than 300 articles on the subject, according to SugarScience by the University of California, Berkeley.
Of these, though, a vast number are funded by the stakeholders in the industry, including Gatorade, and so they are prone to industry bias.
An independent study in 2007 found as much, indicating that industry-funded research tends to gravitate toward the benefits of using the products in question rather than their cons.
It is relevant to point out that most studies draw conclusions based on the performance of professional athletes who exercise more than an hour at a time, as pointed out by the University of California, Berkeley.
While in these circumstances of intense workout, Gatorade may provide benefits not seen in the water, researchers hardly recommend Gatorade for adults or children who do not partake in such rigorous activities.
This is because the athlete’s workout routines and miscellaneous activities are capable of burning the excess sugar that sports drinks contain.
But for people who do not have such active lifestyles, the sugar buildup can cause problems like weight gain.
This is a natural question that occurs in many athletes’ minds: whether the sports drinks that they consume to aid in their exercise regimes are fattening them up or preventing them from getting any leaner?
A lot of research has concluded that inappropriate consumption of said drinks can cause weight gain, as they contain the same calorific profile as many sugary drinks on the market.
They all contain around 14 grams of sugar and 50 calories per ounce.
But if you follow a simple set of rules regarding sports drink consumption, they will help you attain your weight goals.
This is evidenced by the fact that some of the most avid drinkers of these products are also some of the fittest people in our society, owing to their sensible intake and intense exercise regimes.
The most obvious of these rules is not to use sports drinks outside of training and physical activities.
This is because the sugars present in sports drinks are stored in varying ways in your body depending on whether you are working out or just chilling in front of the TV.
Despite the constant feed from advertisements claiming sports drinks like Gatorade are great at replenishing and rehydrating your body, there are a lot of downsides to their consumption if taken in unhealthy amounts.
One bottle of Gatorade contains about 270 mg of sodium.
The American Heart Association recommends that people should not consume more than 1500 mg of sodium per day.
This means that just one bottle of Gatorade accounts for about 11 percent of your daily sodium intake.
The sodium can be used to replenish what the body loses during exercise in the form of sweat.
But if the consumption of sports drinks is more than what you burn during exercise, the sodium begins to accumulate.
Research shows that the human body only needs 500 mg of sodium to function, but the average American consumes more than 3500 mg.
This high level of sodium in Gatorade, when combined with the daily routine sodium intake from your diet, can cause many complications in the long term.
These include heart disease, high blood pressure, and even kidney damage.