Our athletic trainers see athletes all the time drinking Gatorade and other types of sports drinks, but it is often questioned whether they are really hydrating themselves while using Gatorade. Water is the No. 1 thing that our bodies need to survive, but most Americans do not drink enough water in the day to keep the body hydrated.
Gatorade is an electrolyte-rich drink that helps replace electrolytes that are lost in the body during exercise. Electrolytes can be lost through sweat and urine, and are used in daily bodily functions such as regulation of the nervous system. It is important to replace them as they are needed to keep your body healthy and working correctly.
The best way to get electrolytes is through diet. Choosing multivitamins and foods sourced with these minerals every day can help keep electrolytes in the body at appropriate levels. Drinking the necessary amount of water each day as recommended for your body weight will keep you hydrated.
Gatorade is meant to be a supplement when water alone cannot replenish those electrolytes lost. During exercise, electrolytes are lost through sweat. This is also why your sweat probably tastes salty. Using Gatorade as a temporary measure allows the body to recover until more electrolytes are available.
The sugar content in Gatorade is high because once electrolytes leave the blood through sweat, your blood sugar becomes low and needs to be replenished. It is also there to make the drink taste good.
While it is important to stay hydrated through water, sometimes your body may need to replenish electrolytes with Gatorade or another type of sports drink.
Read more about our athletic training team and learn more about all that our athletic trainers do for athletes on the sidelines of practices and games.