Is Gatorade bad for you?

We see all the great soccer players and sportsmen drinking it, and whether we know its flavor by name or simply by the color of the bottle, Gatorade has been around for years. And its sweet refreshing flavor appeals to both children and adults. We can find it at the local grocery store; or see that gym trainer carrying it around all day.

But the real question is, is it bad for you? Or is it good? And if it’s good then, is it good for everybody?

Here’s where we must read the fine print, literally, and go really into detail when it comes to what it is we are putting in our body. If we check the ingredients list, we will find it contains: Water, sugar, dextrose, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, monopotassium phosphate, sodium citrate, salt, gum Arabic, color, and ester gum. This may sound like a lot but what it translates to is a lot of sugar and salt involved. But this doesn’t mean that it’s bad, exactly.

When inside the human body, sugar and dextrose become glucose, which is the cell’s main power source; whereas salt comes to be used for the sodium that’s in it, which is an indispensable electrolyte (Electrolytes are minerals that help preserve the electrical charges and water volume of each cell in your body). And besides sodium, Gatorade also contains potassium; another essential electrolyte. So it’s good then… Not quite.

Gatorade is an energy drink made for sportsmen. So let’s focus on that: The decision to take it should be based on the amount of physical activity you will be doing, and the amount you do on daily basis. Its nutritional facts coincide with a need for fast absorbing simple carbs (sugar) necessary for endurance sports athletes.

Its original intention is to replenish the liquids lost with sweat and refuel the body in intense, high endurance sports or athletic routines.

Now, if you are an athlete, or training at home, or at the gym, looking to lose weight or just maintain your shape, then a sports drink won’t be necessary, in this case water is essential and more than enough to keep you through your workout.

Gatorade is an isotonic (which means it has the same amount of particles of solute as the liquids in your body) sports drink designed for high performance or competing athletes. So, if you’re just training at the gym or going for a walk or a run, or even do a sport but not at a professional level, water is enough to keep you hydrated. And the carbohydrates in a balanced diet should be adequate to provide your muscles with the glucose they need to function.

For example, a triathlonist will need fast absorption carbohydrates or sugars for intense exercise that lasts more than 60 minutes, because once the human body starts exercising, the muscles will use their reserves, and they will be depleted after 90 minutes, which is when your muscles will start burning fats as fuel, but it doesn’t function as efficiently as with glucose, so the quality of performance will start decreasing, and fatigue will begin, this is why athletes need a drink like Gatorade, because the fast absorbing sugars it contains, along with the water and electrolytes will allow them to keep up the intensity and the level of performance for a long period of time.

For people who work out because they are trying to lose weight, gain muscle or just tone up a bit, drinking Gatorade will just provide an unnecessary spike in blood sugar levels, and when there’s sugar in your body, it automatically stops burning fat and it will prefer the sugar as fuel because it will be easier to use than the fatty acids in body fat. So, you are not getting any weight loss or lose the belly fat.

So, what I suggest for you is unless you are an active sportsmen or you are involved in certain energy consuming works, its better not to use gatorade or any other energy drink on daily basis. Better drink some fresh orange juice or just drinks some water to rehydrate yourself.