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.jordan 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.

cartoon-weight-lifterA 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, “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.


Picture 1

Picture 2

Source 3

7 thoughts on “Nature’s Beverage vs. Gatorade

  1. William Joseph Robbins-cole

    I love Gatorade as much as the next guy, but as it is mentioned in the blog it should only be used in situations where your body is under extreme physical strain. This is evident when you trace back Gatorades roots. Gatorade was originally made by the University of Florida gators to help their football rehydrate in the taxing florida weather. If you are interested here is a link to Gatorades history.

  2. Dominic DeCinque

    Learning about the science of Gatorade and what exactly electrolytes are was fascinating. I was never a huge Gatorade person while playing sports. I was always okay with drinking water to hydrate before and after games with the occasional yellow Gatorade mixed in. My mom was never a fan of Gatorade. She never liked when I drank it because of the sugar that was involved with it. Today, I still don’t drink Gatorade that often. Maybe once or twice a month, partially because I know it is unhealthy for you to drink if you aren’t participating in physical activity. Here is a link that talks about the good and bad of drinking Gatorade.

  3. Arianna L Del Valle

    State College has an obsession with Gatorade. I see people buying them by the pound at work. It’s nice to know that unless I plan on doing exercise equivalent to running over a mile, I don’t really need Gatorade in my life. Gatorade is targeted for sports audiences, yet people use it for other things. These include hydrating the body when sick or hungover, among other things. Here’s an interesting article on Gatorade’s wacky uses, it’s worth a read (!

  4. Jen Malespina

    I really found it interesting finding out how Gatorade can help to replenish you when working out or playing a sport. Though I usually stick to drinking water, it is clear that Gatorade is much more beneficial to your body. One thing that I’ve found to be similar is Pedialyte. It restores electrolytes just as Gatorade does. In particular, I’ve heard it works great for helping hangovers. You should check out this article!

  5. Nicholas E Schneider

    As a kid who grew up eating, sleeping, and breathing sports, Gatorade is everywhere you turn. When an NFL team wins the Super Bowl, the team’s coach is doused with the celebratory Gatorade bath. During basketball games, I’d run to the bench during a timeout and fill up my Gatorade brand cup from the Gatorade cooler, and when the game ended and I returned home, LeBron James would be on TV advertising the new flavor of Gatorade. My experiences being surrounded by Gatorade while playing sports are times that many athletes can probably relate to, which is part of the reason Gatorade is so popular. I’m currently enrolled in Nutrition 251 this semester and we’ve discussed in class that, similar to your findings, the amount of sugar and electrolytes Gatorade are extremely high and unless you are an athlete enduring intense training or physical exertion when you exercise/compete, your body can replenish itself just as effectively by drinking water post-workout as compared to Gatorade.

  6. Trevor Dennehy

    I had always heard of the fact that gatorade wasn’t as helpful as it claimed to be, but I never really knew why until I read your post. When I ran cross country in high school, there was always a parent who brought a cooler full of gatorade to meets, and that was always the thing I looked forward to most during the race. I guess it probably wasn’t as helpful as we all thought it was back then, although admittedly, races typically took at least 18 minutes. (although for me it was more like 22) So, running three miles in this time burned more than the 150 calories in a bottle. According to this study I found, natural fruit juice may also have the edge on Gatorade, as it has many of the same benefits as the popular sports drink, but it is overall healthier.

  7. Chris North

    Thanks for the post, did not know there was a tipping point between water and gatorade being the best choice. If gatorade contains sodium, wouldn’t that be better at replenishing us when we sweat? It seems like gatorade should always be the drink of choice as soon as we break a sweat. Also, do you know if any of the other electrolytes in gatorade are beneficial when we are not working out?

Leave a Reply