You get that your diet is more important than exercise. You know that you need to eat fewer calories to lose weight and more to gain weight.
But what about drinking? Yeah, cherry Coke and Pepsi will rot your teeth and are full of sugar. But what about sports drinks or healthy-marketed drinks like Powerade and vitamin water? Powerade and Gatorade are used by athletes, and vitamin water is still water, so isn’t it healthy as well? You may be thinking along these lines, but before you jump into the lake of colorful nutrient drinks, here’s what you should know before you drown.
Is Powerade Healthy?
Powerade, first of all, is a product of Coca-Cola, the soft drink company famous for Coke. But just because it’s from Coca-Cola doesn’t mean it’s necessarily unhealthy! It does, however, mean you should analyze the nutrition facts and ingredients more carefully.
The ingredients of Powerade go as followed: water, high fructose corn syrup…is an alarm going off in your head yet? The 20 grams of sugar (in the Mountain Berry) probably comes from the High-fructose corn syrup, the second ingredient on the label. Meaning Powerade is mainly water and a higher chance of obesity. Must we really revisit why high fructose corn syrup gets a bad rep?
Powerade is marketed as a sports drink containing vitamin B3, B6, and B12. But the main reason athletes drink this colorful concoction is because of electrolytes. Throughout excessive training, we sweat out the electrolytes sodium and potassium. Sodium helps regulate the liquids in our body, but too much can contribute to high blood pressure, according to Sodium Breakup. Potassium helps regulate our blood pressure.
Powerade, according to Coca-Cola Products, contains about 150 mg of sodium and 35 mg of potassium. How much do we need?
According to Heart.org, Adults need about 4,700 mg of potassium and 1,500 mg of sodium.
Keeping these numbers in consideration, you’ll see that Powerade barely offers the nutritional benefits athletes are looking for. In fact, a medium banana has about 420 mg of potassium in it—and no artificial sugars.
What about Gatorade?
Gatorade is a sports drink from the PepsiCo. The first ingredient is water, but the next one is sugar—not specifically HFCS. It also contains natural and artificial flavoring.
In an 8 fl oz bottle of Gatorade (Tiger Thirst Quencher Cool Fusion), there is about 135 mg of sodium and 40 mg of potassium. Again, less potassium than a banana. Of course in a middle of a heated game, do you have time to eat and digest a banana?
These drinks are marketed towards extreme athletes (like, Olympic athletes. Not Bob at the gym) because of the electrolytes they lose when they sweat. However, with sugar as the second ingredient, they’re not exactly the healthiest.
Long story short, same thing. People are attracted by it because of the vitamins it boasts. Yet, it has about 32 grams of sugar. It contains not only fructose, which may increase your risk of diabetes, but also cane sugar—isn’t one form of sugar enough? You’ve got to ask yourself, are the vitamins really worth it?
What’s the healthiest drink to drink? Water. If you’re not competing in the Olympics, you should be hydrating yourself with water. Ordinary, clear water. And your teeth and weight will thank you.