Gatorade is a sports-themed sports drink that is manufactured by PepsiCo. Marketed as a sports drink and positioned as an exercise enhancement drink, Gatorade is known for its rehydrating and reenergizing properties. It is designed especially for athletes who need a lot more than just water on an everyday basis. Gatorade is full of electrolytes like potassium and sodium that aims to replenish the lost supply during strenuous activities.
These all sound like great positives, don’t they?
So, can this drink can be used by people who are not into sports or intense exercise as well? Many people tend to use Gatorade when they are sick. So can you drink it when you’re sick?
Well, yes and no. Gatorade also comes with a high concentration of sugar. However, sugar isn’t inherently bad for health. If consumed in high amounts, this drink can be associated with several health risks.
Let’s look into how it can benefit or harm you if you consume it during sickness.
Gatorade vs. Stomach Problems
Most of us are familiar with the pain of suffering from stomach flu. Vomiting and diarrhea lead to losing too many fluids. This is exactly where Gatorade comes in.
Gatorade can bring in large amounts of sodium and potassium that is lost during stomach problems. Similarly, sugar can make up for the glucose that you are losing. Other caffeinated beverages such as coffee or orange juice can actually add to the acidity in your stomach. This can further worsen your stomach irritation problems.
Similarly, water might not be enough to refill your energy supply lost during this time. It can bring in the hydration, but it lacks the electrolyte potential. Gatorade can, thus, be quite effective in maintaining your energy for a faster recovery.
Gatorade vs. Fever
Another common sickness we encounter is a fever. This can be a result of common cold, flu, respiratory problems, or other reasons. A research conducted by Mayo Clinic, says that a high-grade fever is likely to dehydrate you. You lose an extra 100 to 150 ml of water for every degree that your body temperature rises above normal.
This is why Gatorade can be a good go-to when simply water is not sufficient to keep your energy up. This is especially suitable as you may be feeling an aversion towards typical foods. In this case, Gatorade can be a reliable and tasty substitute.
Benefits of Gatorade
Electrolytes are essential for our cells to function correctly. Lack of electrolytes in the body can cause fatigue, lethargy, irregular heartbeat, and other complications. Especially during sickness, when you are losing a lot of these through fluid loss.
Gatorade can help combat this. It can provide you with the rehydration that your body needs while flaunting flavors like citrus cool, lemonade, mango extreme, and much more. Gatorade can be a better option as you may not feel like consuming the bland soups that are common during sickness. It is also great for combating dehydration as it will rehydrate you faster than regular water.
Is There Such a Thing as too much Gatorade?
Every coin has two sides. While the positives are excellent as Gatorade provides you with much-needed electrolytes, it also adds to your sugar level. Gatorade has been designed especially for serious athletes. These athletes can handle this excess sugar. Moreover, they will most likely burn it off quickly in their normal routine. However, the average population is not active enough to say the same.
This is why, when you exclusively replace water with Gatorade, it can cause health complications. The downside of Gatorade can include weight gain, which leads to an increased risk of diabetes and obesity. It is also not a good idea to depend entirely on the electrolyte replenishment during sickness. You must use the correct medicines or visit a medical professional.
Comparison of Gatorade with Other drinks
This short table can give you an idea of how much sugar you are consuming with the listed common drinks. You can also calculate how many calories you are adding to your daily consumption depending on the amount of Gatorade you drink.
|Drink (20-ounce)||Calories||Sugar (grams)|
Conclusion: Gatorade or Water?
Gatorade is an excellent choice for physically active people. It is also good for reenergizing yourself when you are losing a significant amount of fluids during sickness. However, you have to remember that there is quite a lot of sugar and food dye that goes into making this a tasty enhancement drink.
People who are susceptible to type 2 diabetes or other weight-related problems should be careful regarding their intake. Gatorade is not a healthy option compared to other drinks. When consumed in moderation it can have benefits. However, for the most reliable hydration- it is always recommended to reach for a glass of water. This no-calorie, no-additives drink definitely wins as the go-to drink.