live it active

Wednesday Workout Tip: Lose the Gatorade

Gatorade is full of sugar (check out the nutrition label). While Gatorade seems to have dropped high fructose corn syrup (as of 2010 according to Consumer Reports) it is undeniably composed of sugar, sugar and more sugar. Yes, sugar is the new fixation in current media and with good reason. It’s in a lot of food products even when it doesn’t need to be (high fructose corn syrup that is).  

So why am I saying lose the Gatorade? Well, because you probably don’t need it. Yes, athletes do consume the beverage to restore blood glucose levels during exercise and replenish depleted glycogen stores post-exercise.  Yet, athletes are not the main consumers of the sticky beverage. Kids/teens/young adults are the primary consumers of Gatorade. And the type of exercise that most kids/teens/young adults and most adults are doing is not going to deplete glycogen stores to dangerously low levels. That takes a while. Most of us aren’t even going to exercise to the point of dehydration (I know running room begs to differ with its handy water bottle belt).

I remember when I had my track meets in high school and I convinced my parents to buy me Gatorade. I thought I needed it. I thought it would make me perform better. It didn’t. Actually, by the end of the day I usually felt awful which can be attributed to both the shivering from extreme weather conditions and/or the large quantities of sugar consumed (most likely the latter).

Kids don’t need any more high fructose corn syrup. Approximately 26% of Canadian children between 2-17 years of age are overweight or obese. I know, I know you’ve heard this before. But it’s scary stuff and we need to be aware, accept it and do something about it.

So lose the Gatorade on your run today. Set an example for your kids/cousins/nieces/nephews. If you desperately feel the need for it, I would encourage you to try something out. Run without it one day and with it on another and compare how you feel. Any different?


P.S. If you’re interested check out RunnerDude’s Blog who discusses natural options for energy during and after your run. Very cool ideas. Caution with the coconut water as running is a natural diuretic…


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