Last week a client asked me a great question about whether or not sports drinks like Gatorade are good for you.
The answer to this question like so many others is, it depends. Again we do not look at food as inherently good versus bad, we have to take into consideration where you’re with your current nutrition, what your goals are, and what is going on in your life right now.
To be completely honest with you when I was younger I would drink a sports drink such as Gatorade often. I was an athlete so I would drink them during sporting events, but since I always had them in the house I would drink them even when I was not performing physical activity.
I almost never drank soda or any other sugary drink and had it in my head that Gatorade was a lot better for you. This was not based on any science or actually looking at what was in Gatorade but I was tricked into this thinking by the genius marketing team at Gatorade. I would watch commercials of high-level athletes working hard, drinking Gatorade so in my head if I drank Gatorade too I would be an athlete just like them.
In case you were wondering it did not work out very well and I am not a pro athlete 🙁
Getting back to the question is Gatorade “good” for you. I think the biggest thing to look at is your physical activity.
If you are drinking Gatorade while sitting at your desk or watching tv I do not believe Gatorade is a smart choice to drink. Gatorade is filled with sugar and calories that can add up quickly. An 8 ounce serving of Gatorade contains 80 calories, 22G of Carbohydrates, and 21 G of sugar (Almost the same as a can of Pepsi). Now that may not seem like a lot we have to take into consideration the nutrient value and satiety of the drink. Gatorade does provide your body with electrolytes but besides that, you get no added nutrients from the drink. On top of that, it will not fill you up or provide as much satisfaction compared to a whole food, so you may find yourself still wanting food after some Gatorade. All of this is extremely important if your goal is weight loss, sports drinks can easily slow down your progress.
This brings us to our next questions, what if you are working out?
Gatorade was created by The University Of Florida to helps its athletes perform well during competitions. It is easy to draw the conclusion that if it helps those athletes it will help me too right? Well, it’s not that simple.
To be completely honest collegiate athletes at a major D1 school and probably performing at a higher level than most people, their bodies need a quick way to replenish any lost energy.
If you are eating well, and sleeping well most likely your body will have enough stored energy to get through your hour workout.
Now if you are crazy like Haylin and are going to run 3 miles ever 4 hours for 48 hours (Seriously he is! Check it out why.) you may benefit from a sports drink so you can get some sugar in his body and it will be easier on your stomach than real food. If you’re not performing something that intense I would not recommend drinking Gatorade.
Moral of the story is chances are Gatorade is something that should be extremely limited in your diet.
If you are looking for other alternatives a few great ideas are water (Flavor it up with some fruit if you like), seltzer, or coffee if you need a little pick me up (just be cautious about the giant mocha cookie frappuccino drink that is loaded with sugar and calories).
If you have any other questions about whether or not “X” is good for you please let me know and I would be happy to answer. You can call/text 203-914-6396 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org