The truth about Gatorade
There are tons of drinks out there that promote they are a fantastic refueling options for after workouts, for kids or even just hot days. It is essential we hydrate on hot days or even cold days in winter. So, just what are the electrolytes that we need to replace? Sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. Now, let’s take Gatorade for example, does it provide what we need? Let’s breakdown what really is in these drinks.
Water – OK a great start! 🙂
Sugar – why? this is not one of our electrolyte minerals that needs replacing. We are already consuming over 100 grams + of sugar a day! We need more?
Dextrose – sugar again! hmmm.
Citric Acid – a natural preservative. It also adds a more sour or acidic taste to drinks. Maybe to contrast the high amounts of sugar?
Natural and Artificial Flavours – why?
Salt – OK, now we are getting somewhere! Or are we? Table salt (98% sodium chloride) is stripped down and processed, often adding dextrose and anti-caking agents to it. Sea salt has a large component of sodium chloride as well, but it also contains loads of trace minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and phosphorus. Typically table salt is added, leaving out the other essential electrolytes.
Sodium Citrate – Didn’t we just cover sodium? Another salt added. This one for flavour and a preservative
Monopotassium phosphate – Yes, potassium is an electrolyte! However, monopotassium phosphate is not the most ideal form for our bodies. It can be used as a food additive and a fungicide. Coupled with that when we have an excess of phosphorus, our bodies will displace the calcium.
Gum Arabic – This is an emulsifier and has many uses! For our purposes here, it binds the sweeteners and flavorings into the beverage.
Colour – Why? To make it look pretty?
Ester Gum – This helps to keep oils in suspension in water …. why? See the next ingredient.
Brominated Vegetable oil (contains soybean oil) – why on earth do we need oil in gatorade? Well, this oil is used primarily to help emulsify citrus-flavored soft drinks, preventing them from separating during distribution. Also, to note that we use an excess amount of bromine in the Western World from pesticides, plastics, baked goods, soft drinks, medications, fire retardants, hot tubs to swimming pools. This greatly affect the health of our thyroid, as iodine is an essential nutrient needed for the thyroid and bromine will block the uptake of this in our body.
So, there you have it in a nut shell!
If you are like me, the drink seems thoroughly disgusting after analyzing it!
A super healthy alternative is coconut water complete with a full range of electrolytes and antioxidants!