People say sports drinks, but what they’re really saying is Gatorade, although there really are a lot of other sports drinks on the market. So what are they anyway? And could they be doing you more harm than good? Let’s find out.
Gatorade and other sports drinks – What’s in them?
Gatorade is much more popular compared to other sports drinks and this probably because it was the first product of its kind to be created. The credit goes to James Robert Cade, a physician who worked at the University of Florida where he invented the drink in 1965.
It was to help the University’s football team stay hydrated and perform well while training and during games. The players were losing too many fluids and too many electrolytes through sweating, plus were experiencing low energy levels, all aspects that led to poor health and poor performance. They needed help, so Dr. Cade invented a liquid meant to replenish all those losses.
The initial mix was rather foul-tasting, but an improved recipe containing some lemon juice and sugar made it more appealing, at least according to team members back in the day. Other ingredients included sodium and potassium salts.
The list of ingredients in Gatorade today is water, sucrose, dextrose, citric acid, natural flavor (?), salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, modified food starch, Red 40 – food coloring, glycerol ester of rosin, and caramel color.
The majority of sports drinks contain more or less the same ingredients and scrutinizing the list a little bit, some don’t get the green light for being all-good.
One Gatorade drink every so often is okay, but drinking too much of it can have undesired effects on your health. Some of the ingredients aren’t health-positive.
Let’s start with sugar.
An 8-ouce serving of Gatorade packs 14 grams of sugar, more specifically sucrose, which is refined sugar syrup that adds more sugar to the sugar. Also, since many people consume an entire bottle of the drink at an average 32 ounces, the amount of sugar increases.
High sugar content could lead to high blood sugar in the cells, so high sugar content alert right here!
Sodium content is high too.
At 800 mg of sodium, one bottle of Gatorade provides 33 percent of the daily recommended value. Drinking too much sodium isn’t very good for your health if you are also eating a lot of salty foods. It could trigger heart conditions.
Then there’s Red 40.
Red 40 is a food coloring that needs to be consumed with caution simply because it is unhealthy. If you drink several bottles of Gatorade per week, your chances of developing particular health issues sky rocket.
We also have caramel color.
It may sound delicious, it may even make good sports drinks, but caramel color is by far one of the most dangerous food colorings.
And wait, there’s more.
While containing vitamins and minerals, which are generally good to consume, drinking too much Gatorade leads to accumulating too much of these nutrients, which comes with side effects. Vitamin toxicity can occur as a result of ingesting too much Vitamin A, for example, found abundantly in Gatorade. If you’ve been experiencing nausea, headaches, and blurred vision, this may be the cause.
Safe to say the sports drinks does come with side effects, and it is a drink that should be consumed with moderation.