Gatorade is an exercise enhancement drink that contains electrolytes but also has a high concentration of sugar. Electrolytes are minerals, such as potassium and sodium that impact positively on the brain, muscles, and nerves.
Since Gatorade is classified as a sports drink, people are now wondering if taking the re-hydrating drink is good for sports performance due to its high sugar content.
Scientists at the University of Florida developed the drink in 1965 to boost the performance of their football team, called the Gators. The Gators won Orange Bowl for the first time in years in 1967.
According to Healthy Eating Research in 2012, people’s consumption of sugary drinks has increased in the last 3 decades. Drinking sugary sports drinks, such as Gatorade, is linked with:
- Increased risk of obesity and diabetes
- poor diet
- weight gain
- switching from healthful drinks
If consumed in moderate quantity, Gatorade drink will cause no negative side effects.
What should an athlete drink after sports? Gatorade or water?
Gatorade and water will both help the body recover fluid lost through exercise and other physical activity. Though manufacturers add extra elements, such as sugar and electrolytes, to Gatorade and other sports drinks.
A person loses water and electrolytes through their sweat. Gatorade is normally taken after or during strenuous exercise to restore back the lost electrolytes and keep a person hydrated. It can also replace electrolytes, during times of illness, such as stomach viruses.
According to research review from the University of California, Berkley in 2014, most researchers are founding their results on the performance of serious athletes. Consequently, serious athletes competing for longer than an hour may discover Gatorade offers better benefits compared to water.
However, scientists do not recommend Gatorade or other sports drinks, in most circumstances, for the average person or child, exercising or competing for less than an hour.
Risks of drinking too much Gatorade
Gatorade was designed for serious athletes and those involved in prolonged, vigorous activities. Apart from the electrolyte added to a person’s fluid, it also adds sugar. So athletes involved in strenuous activities can handle the added sugar because they will burn it off, during their normal routines. Extra sugar is more likely to cause health difficulties in people who exercise less often or only for an hour or less.
READ ALSO: Why Should You Avoid Energy Drinks?
According to a 2014 paper from the University of California, Berkeley, children’s increase in sugary drink consumption, including energy drinks, may be causative to weight gain in adulthood. They also link this to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
The researchers suggest sports drinks may be using distorted labels and advertising to promote health benefits that has not been fully verified scientifically.