Correct Way For Athletes To Hydrate

During sporting events growing up the 2 drinks that everyone would drink was either Gatorade or water. There has always been the curiosity whether Gatorade or water actually does the better job at getting you hydrated and ready to get back on the field.

According to, “Gatorade controls 46% of the worlds sports drink market” this is obviously a statistic that jumps out to us, but is it really the best drink for our bodies? Gatorade contains carbohydrates which is a dietary component who’s duty is to give your body energy which is much needed when competing in sports. Carbs in a very large amount such that Gatorade offers is not always the best, large intake of carbs can cause bloating and weight gain and that is absolutely not what us athletes need. Gatorade also is known for having electrolytes which is crucial for replenishing potassium and sodium. Potassium and sodium are depleted when sweating and working out for periods of time so having a large amount of electrolytes in an athletic drink is definitely an advantage for Gatorade over water. Gatorade has many pros for athletes but also has some cons, which spark the question on why not just drink water?

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Water, one of the necessities of life. There are many reasons for athletes to drink water while preforming. Water contains 0 sodium which helps the body hold onto the water in your body a lot better, Gatorade contains a lot of sodium and what your body will do with that is sweat is out a lot faster which will actually dehydrate yourself a lot quicker. Water is also a lot less filling and will not lead to as much of a bloated or full feeling in your stomach after drinking.

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The battle of Gatorade and water might not be as easy as just saying one is better for athletes than the other. According to David K. Spierer playing a sport or lifting for a shorter period of time water is the go to drink but after an extended long game or match the body starts to become depleted in sodium, potassium, and magnesium and what can help to replenish them is the Gatorade since it has more electrolytes and carbohydrates.

In conclusion, both water an Gatorade have their benefits in specific categories when it comes the the athletic world. Water is the better way to hydrate in a shorter period of time and Gatorade over a very long extended period of time playing a sport will be the better choice for your body. The shorter time period it would be a waste to have all the excess sugar and carbs sitting in your body when your body actually does not need them yet. Everyone’s body is different and everyone has their preferences when it comes to hydrating themselves during athletic events but clearly their is a smarter way to go about choosing Water or the Gatorade as your drink.

8 thoughts on “Correct Way For Athletes To Hydrate

  1. Marissa Dorros

    Before reading this post I had also heard the theory that Gatorade is better for long workouts, and reading this post made me wonder why. In your post you mentioned that a downfall of Gatorade is the excess amount of carbohydrates, but these actually help the body during long workouts. According to this website, carbohydrate and electrolyte replacement, which result from Gatorade intake, allows the body to use carbohydrates better.

  2. dms6679

    Being an athlete all my life, I really enjoyed this post! While competing, my logic was that if I was sweating out water, why would I drink anything else besides water? I noticed that even though I was never totally depleted after a track meet, or a basketball game I wold often times feel light-headed, or over-heated. I never linked this to my habit of only drinking water before reading this post! I now know that a drink containing electrolytes is actually more beneficial to athletes. I found this article that notes the best and worst drinks for young athletes

  3. Emily Fiacco Tuite

    I played softball in high school and I used to have three and half to four hour practices everyday in the spring. They were very tiring and very fast paced. I would always drink water and never felt satisfied after drinking it. This caused me to drink more and more water. From your post I understand why water never fully helped me through practice. Here is an article talking about what is best for you to drink when you are exercising.

  4. tmv5147

    Great post bro, I liked everything about it especially how you took both views on each side. You discussed the pros of Gatorade and when we drink that what gives our bodies and then you mentioned what happens when we “overdose” on Gatorade. Then you took on the view of only drinking water and the pros and cons of those by stating how in-game water is the go to drink. Honestly I will have to say and I am a very strong believer in this no matter what it may be about, but there needs to be balance in everything that you take part in, for example, your social life, school work, athletics, and time by yourself. In this case there needs to be balance in what you put in your body before, during, and after exercising at high levels. In my opinion water is always the go to beverage during and before sports just because Gatorade has so much sugar in it but I always rehydrate with it after games.

  5. Anthony Michael Calligaro

    Hi Jacob. I like the question you discussed in your blog as I have debated whether to drink gatorade or water numerous times in my life during sporting events. I played soccer in high school and wanted to have the best drink at my disposal before games and at halftime, in order to finish the game strong without getting tired or cramping up. Personally, I would bring a frozen gatorade (glacier freeze) and a water to each practice and game. I thought, if I don’t know which one will help me more, I might as well drink both. However, according to Patrick Skerrett (link below), Former Executive Editor of Harvard Health, water is the better choice for athletes. Not only do sports drinks provide unnecessary calories, but they do not quench thirst as well as water does. Nevertheless, I get tired of water and like the taste of gatorade during practices and games. In my opinion, I don’t think the consequences of drinking gatorade instead of water are damaging enough to stop drinking gatorade.

  6. sjb6039

    I found this interesting as I always went back and forth between drinking water and gatorade during soccer games. While I preferred Gatorade over water due to taste, I found that drinking Gatorade made me even more thirsty. My research on found that my increased thirst while drinking Gatorade is due to the fact that Gatorade, as well as other sports drinks, contain salt and sugar. However, it also found that Gatorade contains carbohydrate and electrolytes which then help in delaying muscle fatigue. Gatorade has pros and cons to it, so to be safe, water is the way to go for hydration.

  7. Emma Murphy

    This blog had some interesting points. As an athlete all through high school I was always the first to advocate hydration before a workout, but I always wondered whether I should be drinking gatorade because I know that it has electrolytes that replace what we loose during the exercise. I stuck with water but there were times that it would be hot or the workout would be long and I would feel light headed and drink some gatorade to feel better. The gatorade would definitely help with some of my symptoms and after reading this article I know that it is because of the extra electrolytes and carbohydrates that it has.

  8. Hannah Marni Stern

    I thought this was very interesting, as I was always curious when reading Gatorade nurtition labels if it was truly the best performance drink. I would like to see more sources, as I doubt you know all of those facts off the top of your head. Even if its not a direct transfer of info… link it! I was curious where Powerade comes into play, so I found this which says that Gatorade is the better drink over Powerade (besides if you’re talking sodium, then Powerade is better). I think I agree with you – stick with a good old bottle of water!

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