Myth of High Calorie Gatorade & High Sugar Sports Drinks as Performance Enhancers with Electrolytes
The myth of high calorie Gatorade and high sugar sports drinks as performance enhancers with electrolytes
Gatorade has been around forever and marketed as an electrolyte replacement drink. An electrolyte is a substance that conducts electricity when dissolved in water. Electrolytes play an important role in maintaining proper fluid balance and muscle function during exercise.
Sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium are common electrolytes.
During physical activity, electrolytes can be lost through sweating, leading to dehydration. Dehydration can negatively impact performance by reducing endurance, causing muscle cramps and fatigue. To maintain electrolyte balance, athletes often replenish with sports drinks, gels, or electrolyte-rich foods.
Sodium helps regulate fluid balance and maintain proper muscle and nerve function. Potassium helps regulate muscle contractions and maintains proper heart function. Calcium is essential for muscle contractions and nerve function. Magnesium helps regulate muscle function, protein synthesis and energy metabolism. Electrolyte imbalances can cause serious health problems, such as heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and hyponatremia.
In conclusion, electrolytes play a crucial role in maintaining proper fluid balance and muscle function during exercise, and replenishing lost electrolytes through proper hydration and nutrition can improve exercise performance. But what if the nutritional content is high calorie with 69% of its content coming from added sugar, of which ALL of that is now sugar carbs?
AVOID it. Added sugar, as my previous post explains, creates a short term sugar rush which is likely what you are feeling during your workout, NOT the legitimate electrolytes of sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. You will experience a sugar crash from this type of drink fairly shortly. Plus, why add extra calories through a sugar drink and risk getting cavities because sugar lingers from drinks on your teeth no differently from a full sugar soda.
Bottom line: go for the zero calorie sports drinks containing legitimate electrolytes which are ZERO CALORIE MICRONUTRIENTS or drink your BCAA sugar free powder added to water instead; they also contain electrolytes but have the benefit of branch chain amino acids to help with muscle recovery.
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