Gatorade is an electrolyte replacement drink.
Electrolytes are mainly calcium, sodium, and potassium.
When a person exercises and sweats or suffers from certain illnesses, they will lose these crucial electrolytes, and they must be replaced for the body to function optimally.
Gatorade can serve this purpose for athletes and anyone with any condition that depletes these minerals.
It is not, however, meant to be a regularly ingested drink for the general public despite its mass production in the public sector.
Can Gatorade Make You Sick?
Gatorade, when taken under certain conditions, has the potential to cause illness that can range from minimal to life-threatening.
One of the lesser noticed ingredients in Gatorade is sugar.
The sodium content, which is essentially salt, doesn’t help in large quantities, and neither do minerals.
Your body has a very delicate balance and it’s important to understand what electrolytes do for the body, at least on a basic level, which we will explain here.
Electrolytes, scientifically named ions, essentially run the electrical system of the body.
This is a serious job because if the ionic pressure in the cells of your body isn’t in correct balance, you could put your body in serious trouble.
Simply put, if the electrolyte function is either too low or too high, the organs go into failure.
At what rate and what the result will be will depend largely on the uniqueness of the circumstances and the person’s body chemistry.
How Can Gatorade Make You Sick?
Gatorade can cause or worsen some common conditions that should be taken into consideration.
Gatorade can be pushed into the grouping of sugary, energy drinks rather than a health drink.
In that light, it can be said that regular Gatorade consumption contributes to several common health conditions with varying degrees of impact on the body.
Then, taken a bit further, it can be lethal, which we’ll get into shortly.
Below are the various issues that drinks with this type of content will support.
It’s frustrating when you think you’re doing everything right, especially exercising, and then gain an inordinate amount of weight over time.
Some will give up, thinking that it’s hereditary or that they’re doing something wrong.
Continuing to drink this sort of beverage will cause weight gain and has the potential to cause obesity.
Why does this happen?
Insulin resistance and cortisol are two big players in the weight gain issue.
Belly fat is one of the most common areas to gain weight when your organs are not functioning optimally, and your hormones are also out of balance.
Electrolyte balance plays a major part in that.
As in the first issue, weight gain and obesity, diabetes follows suit in many cases where the balance of the body has been disrupted by sugar and other factors.
3. The Urge To Dump Healthier Drinks
Sugary drinks under the guise of a healthy food can encourage people to stop drinking the more expensive and not-so-good-tasting healthy drinks.
It’s a natural step.
After all, why would you continue to pay a premium and torture yourself with some green-tasting vegetable drink when you think you can get away with buying a cheap case of Gatorade in all your favorite flavors?
4. Contribution To Already Existing Health Conditions
All of the health conditions in the aforementioned list can develop or get worse.
The imbalance in your organs caused by Gatorade and other sugary drinks can affect unknown underlying conditions as well.
5. Cell Lysis
Mixing shots of alcohol and Gatorade or comparable drinks to make shots can cause cells of the body to rupture and possibly result in death.
The bottom line on how Gatorade can make you sick is that it’s a drink that, despite the mass production, was invented for an intended purpose: to replace the electrolytes lost in the body through sweat or illness through dehydration.
Is Gatorade Dangerous?
As a drink, Gatorade is not dangerous in and of itself.
It does, however, have to be used in moderation and not as a daily beverage to binge on.
That way, you are gaining the positive side of Gatorade and avoiding the bad of it.
Those physical issues won’t get worse, nor will an underlying condition appear due to organ failure due to a severe electrolyte imbalance.
How Do You Drink Gatorade?
According to the American Heart Association, the human body only needs 500 mg of sodium per day.
The average person today consumes around 3,500 mg of sodium.
One bottle of Gatorade contains 270 mg of sodium.
The issue is not solely the sodium in the drink, but there are a couple of important points to consider.
First, we don’t have much documentation about the amount of sodium lost in a workout.
People are unique in the way their bodies expel toxins and in the amount of sweat they release.
There’s no real way to create a blanket health statement about how much electrolytes someone will lose when they sweat.
Therefore, there’s no way to make a recommendation on how much Gatorade one can drink safely to replace them.
What we can tell you is that the medical community does not recommend drinking Gatorade regularly unless you are working out vigorously and sweating for one consistent hour.
The point is you should use it for the function for it was made, and don’t drink it excessively.
If you’re the average person who only does moderate exercise, the sugar and salt content is not at all worth it.
In fact, as we’ve illustrated, it could undermine the work you’ve been putting toward your health and fitness.
According to Floris Wardenaar, a nutrition professor at Arizona State University, if a person really wants to replenish their body after exercise, they should eat a regular meal.
There is also evidence to say that you can lose weight faster by burning calories more efficiently if you do eat after a workout.
Drink water and get the minerals needed for electrolyte function and the protein you need to replace and repair muscle mass.
When you work out with resistance training and weightlifting and toning, you’ll need a meal more than a drink.
Water is still the best choice, and you could always drink mineral water.
If you need a flavored drink, you could always buy carbonated mineral water and flavor it with a low-calorie water flavor packet.
The flavoring can be consumed with much less risk than Gatorade or another power drink.
Your body needs a way to repair and do the work that you’re trying to gain by working out in the first place.
The key to a healthy body and an effective workout is to make sure all that you consume is targeted.
That means not consuming empty or useless calories and indiscriminately dumping extra sugars and salts where they aren’t working for you.
Is Gatorade Good for You?
Gatorade is good for you in several ways when used properly.
The drink on its own is not inherently bad.
The person’s conscious consumption is in complete control.
Let’s get into some of the good that Gatorade can do as a responsibly consumed drink.
Gatorade is used most effectively for kids or athletes who are involved in high-intensity exercise for 60 to 90 minutes per day.
The components in the drink and the carbs they are supposed to consume get together to maintain their body’s ionic balance.
The good stuff the drink offers the body are calcium, magnesium, chloride, phosphate, potassium, and sodium.
However, when used improperly, the imbalance you create may make it hard to absorb all those minerals, so the benefit is taken away.
In the last section of this article, we’ll tell you how to avoid all of this imbalance.
Is Gatorade Better Than Water?
Gatorade is not better than water.
People seem to believe that Gatorade is better than water due to the mineral content, but as we stated in the aforementioned section, the balance is delicate and may not be worth the risk.
Water can be flavored, and it’s truly the best risk.
Is Gatorade Bad For You?
Gatorade is not bad for you in and of itself.
However, here’s the lowdown on exactly what the negatives can be.
- Each 20-oz serving contains 36 grams of sugar. That’s less than a soda, but what does that mean? It’s not much of a consolation.
- Tooth decay is something that can happen without you noticing, as a child or an adult. It’s the boiled frog syndrome. Drinks are often overlooked in the promotion of tooth decay. If the drink has enough sugar per serving like Gatorade or soda, it will stay in the mouth on the teeth and cause decay in them. If you brush twice daily, that gives the sugar enough time to cause damage.
- Childhood obesity and diabetes are other conditions that sugary drinks promote. This happens a lot with fruit juices that are given to children. Adults drink them under the guise of health without even reading the label.
G2 is Gatorade with artificial sweeteners.
The research on using this drink long-term is inconclusive so far.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s safe, and your body still sees sugar regardless.
The calorie count per 20-oz serving is 40, and that can add up quickly.
Again, it’s not worth the risk as it may only compound other issues just as much as the regular Gatorade.
Dyes and colorings: Even if a drink says “natural coloring”, it may be wise to read further.
Red 40, Blue 1, and Yellow 5 are the culprits in the flavored and plain Gatorade as well as G2.
There’s no escaping it.
You are drinking coloring not from vegetation, but from petroleum.
Products derived from this type of chemical are linked to hyperactivity in kids and cancer.
Should I Give Gatorade To My Kids?
It’s really up to the parent to make a conscientious decision.
Read about the ingredients, risk factors, and minimal benefits for kids and non-athletes, and make the choice you think you should.
We would strongly suggest that you try the more natural fruit juices rather than anything that has been dyed and processed like Gatorade.
How Do I Avoid The Bad Effects Of Gatorade?
You avoid the bad effects in one of two ways.
You can just not consume it, or you can get a professional opinion based on your body chemistry.
You would do this if you were planning on working out intensely or becoming an athlete or losing weight.
A physical and blood workup should be done prior to starting any new healthcare and exercise regime.
The main points to remember about Gatorade or Powerade (or for that matter, any energy or electrolyte drink) are as follows: These drinks are created for a specific purpose and have chemistry that is designed to do a specific job.
If your lifestyle doesn’t fit the profile of the purpose, don’t bother with it.
If you are ill and your doctor recommends you drink it, they will prescribe it for a limited period of time.
If you like the taste, buy a single bottle once in a while and try not to tempt yourself by keeping a case that you can access.