Drink the Gatorade – ‘Cause its good for you
At a sporting event with my child the other day, one of his crew members who has had chronic gastroenteritis, vomiting and severe weight loss, is told by his attending health care professional….
“Go on. Drink the Gatorade. You need to drink 8 to 12 bottles per day. Make sure you have it each day.
Drink as much as you can. ‘Cause its good for you.”
Err, hang on a minute.
No it’s not. It’s terrible.
It is not good for you at all.
Sugar. Sodium. Chlorine. Artificial Sweetener. Food colouring.
How is this good for you?
Highly acidic. Causes a massive blood sugar spike. Results in hypoglycaemia. Very difficult to digest.
And at that amount will irritate the hell out of your entire gastrointestinal system.
By the way. This is a pretty fit 17 year old, who had lost 10 kilograms in the previous week and a half. He had recurrent vomiting and diarrhoea each day – no doubt assisted by the gatorade.
How do you think the kid is going to race. Well as it turns out very poorly.
I was amazed he was even able to keep going.
It is an interesting concept when a practitioner with a special interest in sports and nutrition recommends excessive amounts of gatorade.
I am not sure what the logic is – perhaps they are just caught up in the media hype.
You would not be able to drink the product if is was not so excessively sweetened.
It puzzles me that some folks are so easily led. Look at the ingredients of what you eat and drink. Take the time to have a read.
After all, it is your body.
What is wrong with water?
If you are dehydrated – that is probably a pretty good place to start.
If you are doing exercise and you are wondering how much to drink. Weigh yourself with some digital scales before you train and then after. The difference is the water you need; less the fluid you drank during the training session.
Need an electrolyte?
Use the right one – Magnesium.
I haven’t met too many patients that need more salt. Pretty much the only patients I have ever seen who have low sodium are those on blood pressure medication or diuretics.Your body preferentially burns the superior electrolyte Magnesium in your sarcoplasmic reticulum (muscle).
If you are out of important electrolytes like magnesium and calcium, then it will use poor substitutes like sodium and chloride (NaCl – otherwise known as salt).
I am sure there are those that exist who have low salt levels, but given our western diets with processed foods it’s pretty rare.
So if you really need a sports drink – make your own.
Add some Magnesium powder to the water. Use products like our best Magnesium Powders; you need to be a patient to purchase them though.
Watch your sugar. Watch the acidity of these drinks. Save your dough.
Water is fine – it is old fashioned but it still works.
And if you still feel compelled to drink the sugar water – for goodness sake dilute it!
To optimise your Magnesium levels I would suggest the following range.
If you like this article be sure to visit the Spinal Centre website at www.thespinalcentre.com.au and view more content by Dr. Hooper and the Spinal Rehabilitation Team.
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