On July 6th, 2018 it was 115 degrees outside. On my Instagram story I had posted a picture of my Gatorade bottle and said “Hydration is important”. I had two friends reply that I should not do sugary drinks because it’s the equivalent to drinking soda, and I should do pedialyte instead. I do appreciate the fact that my friends do give me advice, it shows that they care. It has inspired me to write about hydration which includes Gatorade and how its not what you’re lead to believe. I have been in sports my entire life.
It started off when I was five (5) years old and I was swimming all year. Then it went into gymnastics as well as swim because I had way too much energy, which makes me difficult for me to sleep. It wasn’t until I hit high school when i was doing swim, gymnastics, volleyball, and color guard (which included dance and late night practices) that my doctor had stressed the importance of proper fuel, which included food and hydration. I was drinking water but still having the effects of muscle cramps, upset stomach, dizziness, and so on. My doctor, who is specializes in sports medicine, told me that I need to be drinking Gatorade in addition to water. Here is a breakdown she gave me as to why athletes need to include Gatorade into their hydration routine.
Purpose of Gatorade: Gatorade is designed for three main purposes; 1) to hydrate/re-hydrate, 2) to replenish electrolytes lost when you sweat, and 3) to provide carbohydrates that digest quickly to fuel your body. Sports drinks, like Gatorade, are designed to replace what we lose when we exercise in longer durations, especially when exercising in the heat. The carbohydrates and electrolytes that are found in sports drinks help athletes refuel and rehydrate. Electrolytes help regulate the body’s fluids.
It also encourages you to drink more fluids. The sodium and glucose that is found in Gatorade is suppose to stimulate fluid consumption in the body. This encourages people to drink more u til they are completely rehydrated. The sodium also is very important in extremely long activities, for example, running a marathon, because it reduces the risk of hyponatraemia. I use to drink a huge bottle of Gatorade before even a 5k run. Recently, I have gone back to that and I feel great during the run.
The sugar in Gatorade plays a virtual role, especially if you are running long distances. Gatorade, gummy bears, fruit, etc is offered on the race course because they all contain sugar. Having these will help keep you from a low blood sugar. Low blood sugar leads to hypoglycemia, which includes feeling light headed, dizziness, shaking, headaches, weakness, and many other symptoms are the less severe symptoms. Runners do pass out due to low blood sugar, which is one of a few severe symptoms. This is why I carry Gatorade and gummy bears when I run long distances.
I hope that this article has given you some food for thought when it comes to sports drinks. The best is to listen to your body and know the symptoms of dehydration, and low blood sugar so you can adjust accordingly.