Swap out Your Gatorade for Coconut Water!
You’ve seen the commercials – an athlete finishes their workout, sweat is dripping everywhere, and then they pick up a blue drink and they instantly look cooled and refreshed.
But is drinking Gatorade or other sports drinks the correct, healthy way to hydrate and replenish your electrolytes?
Here are just some of the unhealthy ingredients that Gatorade contains:
- Refined sugar – a 20 ounce bottle contains 34 grams of sugar, that is more than most candy bars. When this much sugar is consumed, your blood sugar levels quickly increase and then when the levels come down, you feel tired. And if you are interested in keeping your little athlete well during sports season…keep in mind that sugar lowers your immune system by altering your gut flora and contributing to candida (yeast overgrowth). A major cause of cancer.
- Food additives – in 2013 the company that makes Gatorade, PepsiCo, removed brominated vegetable oil (which is a flame retardant) because it’s found to cause serious side effects, including neurological disorders. They replaced it with sucrose acetate isobutyrate (SAIB), an emulsifier that prevents chemicals in the drink from separating. SAIB is “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA. That’s comforting.
- Food coloring – also known as artificial colors or dyes, Gatorade contains Blue 1, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40. It’s well documented that artificial dyes are linked to allergies, asthma, migraines, and ADHD symptoms. According to the British Medical Journal, The Lancet, food additives have the same effect on a developing child’s brain as does lead exposure.
- Sodium – there are 800 milligrams of sodium per bottle of Gatorade, which is 33% of your daily needs. Excessive sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure and certain cancers.
And do you know what Gatorade does not contain? Fiber or protein.
My Sports Drink Recommendation:
Coconut water is the liquid from inside a coconut and it’s a natural way to replenish electrolytes. Why is it important to replenish electrolytes? After a long, hard workout electrolytes are vital because they keep your body’s fluid levels balanced, improve hydration, and assist in muscle function. Electrolytes are more beneficial than simply drinking water because they absorb into the body more efficiently and rehydrate you quicker. Plus they keep you from needing to urinate, so the fluids stay in your body.
Unsweetened coconut water is free of sugar, artificial sweeteners and dyes, but it is high in potassium and magnesium.
- 8 ounces of coconut water = 40 calories and 9 grams of sugar
- 8 ounces of Gatorade = 50 calories and 14 grams of sugar
So will you stop drinking Gatorade? Or have you already? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Disclosure: this post contains an affiliate link.