Is Gatorade Good For You?
What Is Gatorade?
Gatorade, currently produced by PepsiCo, is a refreshing beverage created with active individuals in mind. The drink combines water, carbohydrates, and electrolytes into one beverage as a means of ultimate replenishment. Distributed in over eighty countries, Gatorade is one of the most popular beverages of all-time. The line of sports drinks was created in 1965 by researchers at the University of Florida as a beverage to replenish the university’s athletes. Florida’s mascot is the Gator, short for alligators. The concept behind the name “Gatorade” is that the beverage was meant to aid the Gators, which is the nickname for the athletes competing for the University of Florida. Aiding the Gators turned into “Gator Aid” and ultimately resulted in “Gatorade.” Currently, Gatorade accounts for roughly ¾’s of the sports drink market in the United States.
What Is An Electrolyte?
Gatorade is a combination of water, fruit flavoring, calories and electrolytes. Electrolytes keep your body, muscles, and nerves functioning in a proper manner. The best electrolytes are sodium, chloride, potassium, bicarbonate, calcium, and phosphate. Sodium is great because it increases water retention. High sodium content results in less water being lost through sweat or urination and keeps the body hydrated. While working out, vital electrolytes are lost as part of the sweating process and Gatorade is used to replenish them.
Gatorade Versus H2O
Gatorade’s main benefits are its ability to rehydrate (water) and replenish (electrolytes). While water is great at rehydrating, it lacks the ability to replenish anything other than just H2O. The electrolytes found in Gatorade help you rehydrate for two reasons: 1) electrolytes are absorbed faster than water and 2) water follows electrolytes. So not only do the muscles and nerves benefit from the quick absorption from electrolytes but also the water absorption process is expedited and helps the body become rehydrated quicker. If you’re working out briefly, drinking water before, during and after the workout will keep the body plenty hydrated. But if you’re exercising vigorously for an extended amount of time then Gatorade is preferred.