Gatorade is a popular sports drinks that is commonly used for general rehydration, and often a favorite for kids and teenagers. Unfortunately, Gatorade is far from the best option, but you can replace it with far more nourishing and hydrating beverages.
First, let’s take a closer look at why it’s best to avoid these types of sports drinks, and then we’ll move on to the alternatives for Gatorade.
The Common Contents of Gatorade:
- 150 calories
- 0 grams of fat
- 250 mg. of sodium
- 38 grams of carbohydrate
- 35 grams of sugar
- 0 grams of protein
Ingredients: water, sugar, dextrose, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, gum arabic, ester gum, color.
This sports beverage offers essentially no natural ingredients and is high in artificial coloring and flavoring agents. It is also loaded with added sugars.
Being that Gatorade is so high in sugar, it can also be addictive, particularly for children. Studies show that sugary beverages (aside from being a leading cause of obesity), release dopamine in the reward center of the brain, which contributes to addiction.
When to Skip Gatorade
We recommend that adults and kids skip Gatorade when:
- You or a child is experiencing dehydration due to diarrhea.
- You consume it as an everyday beverage.
- You or your kids participate in low-moderate sports or activities.
If you’re experiencing dehydration from diarrhea, opt for water. Also, something good to have on hand is DiaResQ, food for special dietary use which promotes a healthy digestive tract due to the natural benefits of its ingredients.
If you’re using Gatorade as an everyday or sports beverage, consider replacing with one of the four beverages below.
4 Alternatives to Gatorade
Hands down, nothing compares to or can beat pure water for staying hydrated. Water is an essential nutrient to human health, and drinking it every time you are thirsty (allowing thirst to be your guide, in a sense) will help to prevent dehydration. If you are a high-level athlete (participating in more than mild-moderate exercise), this is the only case you probably need more than just water.
Coconut water is nature’s Gatorade, as it is rich in electrolytes (especially magnesium and potassium). Coconut may be a good option for general hydration as well as camping trips, fitness events, and dehydration due to diarrhea. Opt for a version without added sugars.
Bone broth is an incredibly healthy food for hydration, nourishment, and when you are sick. It offers easy-to-digest protein and amino acids that support gut health and healing. It can also help to cool inflammation and offers minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium.
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet, and among its many benefits is its ability to improve physical performance. Green tea might not be the best option for children (as it does contain caffeine). For adults looking to stay hydrated and sustain energy, green tea has been shown to mobilize fatty acids, making them more available for energy use.
By focusing on these four alternatives to Gatorade, you can stay hydrated and healthy. Sugar-laden sports drinks are really doing you no favors, and there are plenty of easily accessible, far superior options.