Gatorade is a famous brand of sports drink produced by PepsiCo, marketed in bottles as a ready-to-drink beverage and in powdered form to mix with water.
It was originally based on oral rehydration therapy and is basically composed of water, salt, sugar, flavoring agents, and coloring agents.
As the official sports drink of the National Football League (NFL), Gatorade has become even more popular. From advertisements by the manufacturers, one can easily believe that it is a much-needed “healthy” drink that replenishes your lost energy, especially when you are involved in sporting activities or rigorous exercise.
Irrespective of its popularity amongst athletes and non-athletes alike, is Gatorade better than soda? If you are wondering if Gatorade is worth ditching soda or water for, this article is for you.
Is Gatorade better than soda?
Yes, Gatorade is better than soda. Like soda, Gatorade contains sugar, but it also includes electrolytes, namely sodium and potassium.
These electrolytes help maintain electrolyte balance in the body and perform essential functions in the body, such as transporting nutrients and wastes in and out of the cells, ensuring that organs and tissues like the heart, brain, muscles, and nerves work properly, maintaining the body’s pH balance, and maintaining the body’s water balance.
Is Gatorade healthier than soda?
No, Gatorade is not healthier than soda; it would only seem so because Gatorade contains electrolytes in addition to sugar. However, Gatorade cannot be termed a “healthy drink” because it contains sugar, though less than soda.
Essentially, both Gatorade and soda are not classified as healthy drinks, so it is simply a case of “picking your poison.” In the 2010 dietary guidelines from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, it is recommended that individuals limit sodium intake as excessive consumption can cause high blood pressure.
Is Gatorade better than water?
No, Gatorade is not better than water. Water is a naturally refreshing drink without any sugar; hence, it poses no risk to human health.
Does soda have electrolytes?
No, most sodas do not have electrolytes.
Does Gatorade hydrate you?
Yes, Gatorade hydrates you. It contains electrolytes that enhance hydration by maintaining the body’s water balance and water for hydration. This is why Gatorade is usually consumed by both athletes and non-athletes alike.
Does Gatorade have more sugar than soda?
No, Gatorade has less sugar than soda. For instance, a 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade contains 34grams of sugar. In contrast, a 20-ounce bottle of Pepsi-Cola produced by the same company that manufactures Gatorade contains 69grams of sugar.
Which has more sugar, Gatorade or Powerade?
None. Both Gatorade and Powerade contain the same amount of sugar when compared ounce for ounce. The only difference lies in the types of sugar they each contain.
While Gatorade’s sugar content comes from simple sugars like sucrose (table sugar) and dextrose, Powerade’s sugar comes from high-fructose corn syrup.
Note that both high-fructose corn syrup and other sugars are associated with various health risks such as inflammation, heart diseases, obesity, and diabetes.
Gatorade sugar vs. coke – key differences and use cases
Coca-Cola, popularly known as coke, is a widely accepted brand of carbonated soft drink (soda) and remains the world’s most consumed soda. But with the shift towards healthy eating (and drinking) in recent times, consumers are showing concern about the amount of sugar in soda, especially coke, and how it compares with Gatorade’s.
Although both Gatorade and coke contain sugar, the sugar content in Gatorade is less than that of coke. For example, a 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade contains 34grams of sugar while a 12-ounce can of coke contains 37grams of sugar; hence, when compared ounce per ounce, coke is more loaded with sugar than Gatorade.
In addition, Gatorade contains electrolytes like sodium and potassium. This help to maintain electrolyte balance and perform essential functions in the body, such as transporting nutrients and wastes in and out of the cells, ensuring that organs and tissues like the heart, brain, muscles, and nerves work properly, maintaining the body’s pH balance and maintaining the body’s water balance.
Athletes and people who engage in rigorous exercise for prolonged periods drink Gatorade for rehydration and replenish their bodies, replacing the electrolytes lost due to the physical activities.
On the other hand, coke contains mainly sugar which leads to a significant increase in calorie intake. Many people take soda because of the sweet taste and the fizziness imparted by the added carbon dioxide gas, which gives the feeling of satisfaction.
As a result of the increased risk of chronic health conditions like obesity, heart diseases, and diabetes associated with the intake of soda, the 2010 dietary guidelines from the United States Department of Health and Human Services highlight soda as one of the foods that should be eliminated from one’s diet.
Five best substitutes for diet coke
Many health-conscious individuals have switched to diet coke as its nutritional information reads calorie-free. However, diet coke does not provide any health benefit or nutritional value; therefore, it is better to ditch it for healthier alternatives. Here are the five best substitutes for diet coke.
- Fruit-infused water.
- Low-fat dairy products like yogurt and buttermilk.
- Flavored water.
- Maple water.
Five best soda replacement drinks
As people become increasingly health-conscious, the search for soda replacement drinks increases. So, if you are trying to ditch soda because of dietary restrictions, there are other options of hydrating and refreshing beverages with lots of health benefits. Here are the five best soda replacement drinks to choose from:
- Coconut water.
- Iced or hot tea.
- Freshly squeezed lemonade.
- Flavored or unflavored sparkling water.
- Soy milk.
Is Gatorade fattening?
Like soda, Gatorade contains sugar and whether it is fattening or not depends on the amount of physical activity you engage in to burn the calories.
For athletes and others with physically active lifestyles, Gatorade is unlikely to be fattening because they regularly engage in energy-demanding activities where they burn the calories obtained from the foods and drinks they consume.
However, it may not be the same for a regular person. The fact is that, whether you drink Gatorade or not, a sedentary lifestyle can make any food fattening for you. So, Gatorade will be fattening if you are not physically active because of the sugar content.
Is it okay to drink Gatorade every day?
Yes, it is okay to drink Gatorade every day during prolonged periods of rigorous exercise and sporting activities.
Athletes need to replenish their electrolytes levels after intense sporting activities, and drinking Gatorade will help achieve that. However, if you are not an athlete, it is advised that you drink water instead of Gatorade.
Does Gatorade have caffeine?
No, Gatorade does not have caffeine.
Is Gatorade good after a workout?
Yes, Gatorade is good after a workout, but only when it is an intense and prolonged workout session. Otherwise, it is recommended that you take water.
Conclusively, Gatorade indeed helps you stay hydrated, but so does water! However, Gatorade may be an excellent supplement to water for athletes
and those who engage in intense exercise.
Also, Gatorade is better for athletes than soda as it replaces their lost fluids and electrolytes and helps with exertion. That means you do not need it if you are not as physically active; drinking water is still the best bet for an average person to stay hydrated! But we cannot decide for you; we can only help you make informed choices.
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I write about the intersection between evolutionary biology and food. I also talk about practical applications, sustainable agriculture, and general tasty things