Many people see Gatorade commercials of the top athletes in the world competing and high levels and being dominant in their sport. In every advertisement, they make it seem as though the only difference between your performance level and theirs is that they drink Gatorade. Here is an example of a typical commercial. We obviously know that if you drink Gatorade you can not automatically perform at the same level as some of the top athletes in the world, but does Gatorade actually help your body while working out or playing sports?
Gatorades claim to fame is that the drink helps replenish electrolytes. Electrolytes are sodium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate and phosphate. The reason gatorade hydrates you so quickly is because water is attracted to electrolytes so when the electrolytes enter your body and go through your digestive system at fast rate, the water follows and rehydrates you. Also, your body uses up electrolytes when you’re working out or putting your muscles through strenuous activity.
Sodium is the main reason doctor’s believe drinking energy drinks during intense workouts is better than water. According to New York Giants and Knick’s team nutritionist Heidi Skolnik, “sodium holds helps hold onto water and get fluid to the right places in your body, muscles and blood.”
Now that we understand what electrolytes are and how they rehydrate your body while it is going through physical activity, we must know if you are doing enough physical activity to find it necessary to drink gatorade.
A twenty fluid ounce gatorade contains 150 calories. Burning off 150 calories is equivalent to running eight miles per hour for ten minutes. So it is evident that if your goal is to lose weight, drinking Gatorade is not a wise decision if you are only running barely over a mile. According to nerdfitness.com, “if you are doing a work out of 45 minutes or less, water throughout the workout and after will keep you hydrated perfectly.”
In conclusion, unless you are doing an intense workout or in desperate need of quick rehydration, sticking with nature’s beverage is probably your best bet.