Do you know why Gatorade is so popular?
In order to give you a good answer, first of all, we will need to explain to you what are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that have an electric charge. They help regulate many different processes in the body including nerve and muscle function, the amount of water in your body, the acidity of you blood (PH) etc. The most common electrolytes are Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Sodium.
Our bodies always need electrolytes to function properly. But, during intense sports and physical activity, we lose too many electrolytes that have to be replaced immediately in order to prevent dehydration, muscle cramping, or fatigue. Drinking water alone is insufficient for rehydration during extended physical activity because the water does not contain any electrolytes. That’s why most athletes have replaced water with drinks such as Gatorade. Gatorade contains sodium, potassium and chloride, which replenishes the electrolytes that we usually lose when we sweat.
Today, many people drink Gatorade as freely as water. This beverage has practically become everyday water replacement for many athletes and ordinary citizens.
However, it also very important to know that Gatorade contains a lot of harmful ingredients for which most of us are unaware due to the aggressive advertising campaign that is being conducted by The Gatorade Company, Inc.
In this article, we will check out the ingredient list in the Gatorade’s lemon-lime flavor. In the USA, this flavor contains:
4. Citric acid
5. Sodium Citrate
6. Natural and Artificial flavor
7. Monopotassium phosphate
8. Calcium lactate
9. Gum Arabic
11. Ester of rosin
12. Magnesium Oxide
13. Yellow 5
We will specifically analyze the bolded ingredients because they are unhealthy and can cause some serious health issues.
– Added sugar is the second and third ingredient. Gatorade contains 21g of sugar in only 12 fl. oz., which is about ½ of the standard large bottle. According to the American Heart Association, we should only consume between 100-150 calories of sugar, and one serving of Gatorade contains about 84 calories. This means that we could ingest more sugar than the recommended amount for the whole day by drinking only two servings of Gatorade. Too much sugar in the body is harmful to the health because it can damage the liver, cause insulin resistance which can lead to weight gain, and contribute to the development of type II diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
– Artificial flavor is a combination of synthetic chemicals that is created in a lab. Its purpose is to give the drink an appealing scent and flavor. It has been scientifically proven that artificial flavors cause allergies, indigestion, headaches, chest pain, fatigue etc.
– Artificial coloring is used to give a distinct color to the drink. The Lemon-Lime flavor of Gatorade contains the “Yellow 5” color, which has been banned in Norway and Austria because it contains cancerous chemicals.
So, what’s the Solution for the Lack of Electrolytes?
Luckily for us, there are many natural alternatives that can replace the lost electrolytes. Here is one of them.
Homemade Lemon-Coconut Electrolyte Drink
1 cup coconut water
¼ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. of honey
Instructions: Put all of the ingredients in a blender and mix well.