hey guys i just wanted to get your input on gatorade. i’ve heard all different opinions…some say its great for when you are working out/physical activity but bad for just drinking as a thirst quencher…some say its great all the time…and some say its bad all the time because of the sugar and other stuff in it

Well technically gatorade isn’t a thirst quencher.
I believe they intentionally use sodium in their product. The use of sodium causes the athlete to want to drink more. By getting the athlete to drink more it better combats dehydration.

I drink gatorade regularly, but mostly after intense activity. I love the taste and it’s better than say a can of coke. But yeah if your worried about unnessesary calories go with water.

They put sodium in it because when you sweat/urinate, you secrete sodium out of your system… If you’re sweating profusely and only drinking water, you’re not adequately hydrating yourself…

That’s why I’m a big fan of Poseidon…


However, sodium is a required element for normal body functions. It is lost in sweat and urine and is replaced in the diet. The body has a remarkable ability to maintain sodium and water balance throughout a variety of conditions, thus ensuring our survival. Ultraendurance events challenge this survival mechanism.

In hot, humid conditions a large amount of sweat is lost, which can disturb sodium and water balance. Adequate hydration and sodium intake – either via sports drinks or food – becomes vitally important during long races. The goal of this article is to help you determine how to maintain sodium balance during training and racing and during recovery. The information for this article came from a variety of published studies done on healthy, young athletes and may not be appropriate for everyone. Athletes who are under a physician’s care or have health problems should check with their doctor about salt and their ability to exercise in the heat.

Hyponatremia – what is it?

Hyponatremia means a low concentration of sodium in the blood. When it occurs in triathletes, it usually happens during long or ultra-distance races in the heat but may occur anytime. It is estimated that approximately 30% of the finishers of the Hawaii Ironman are both hyponatremic and dehydrated. The longer the race, the greater the risk of hyponatremia.

What causes it?

The exact mechanisms are not fully understood and I won’t go into the complex physiologic pathways of sodium and water balance. The simplest answer is that lost sweat (salt and water) is replaced by ingested water (no salt). This dilutes the sodium in the bloodstream, and hyponatremia results. Longer races carry a greater risk of hyponatremia because of the total amount of sweat lost. During exercise in the heat, more salt is lost in sweat per hour than is usually replaced by food and fluids, including sports drinks. Your body can tolerate a degree of imbalance for a short period of time, but it may decompensate if this continues for too long.

Sweat contains between 2.25 - 3.4 grams of salt per liter, and the rate of perspiration in a long, hot race can easily average 1 liter per hour. So, for a 12 hour race, one could lose approximately 27 to 41 grams of salt. If the athlete replaces only the lost water and has minimal salt intake, hyponatremia can result.[/quote]

This was just from a quick google search…

Personally, I no longer drink gatorade… I just drink Free Form BCAAs/Omega One during my training… And drink poseidon throughout the day, although, I’ve been slacking lately on that…

[quote]High salt/sodium diets have recently been linked to a number of health risks in many Americans. However, athletes must consider that due to their increased activity and excessive sweat production, they are actually at risk of having too little sodium in their blood stream during training and competition. Athletes do indeed, have special sodium requirements. Because sodium is lost in sweat, it is more important for individuals who exercise at high intensity to get adequate sodium before, during and after exercise. This is even more critical during ultra-endurance competition.

Risks of Hyponatremia
Hyponatremia, a low concentration of sodium in the blood, has become more prevalent in endurance athletes. The Hawaii Ironman Triathlon routinely sees finishers with low blood sodium concentrations.
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Adequate sodium balance is necessary for transmitting nerve impulses and proper muscle function, and even a slight depletion of this concentration can cause problems. Ultra distance running events that take place in hot, humid conditions, and have athletes competing at high intensity have conditions prime for hyponatremia to develop.

Causes of Hyponatremia
During high intensity exercise, sodium is lost along with sweat. An athlete who only replaces the lost fluid with water will contribute to a decreased blood sodium concentration. As an example, consider a full glass of salt-water. If you dump out half of the contents of the glass (as is lost in sweat), and replace that with water only, the sodium concentration of in the glass is far less and the water is more dilute. This often occurs in the bloodstream of an athlete who only hydrates with water during excessive sweating. The result is hyponatremia.

Studies have shown that ultra-endurance athletes can lose 1-2 grams of salt per liter of sweat. If you consider that athletes may lose up to a liter (or more) of sweat each hour, you can see that over a long endurance event (12 hour race), it is not unimaginable that an athlete could sweat out a huge amount of sodium. Replacing this loss of sodium during the event is critical to performance and safety.

Symptoms of Hyponatremia
The early warning signs are often subtle and may be similar to dehydration; nausea, muscle cramps, disorientation, slurred speech, confusion, and inappropriate behavior. At this point, many athletes get into trouble by drinking water because they think they are dehydrated. In fact, water alone will increase the problem of hyponatremia. At the most extreme an athlete may experience seizures, coma, or death.

Treatment of Hyponatremia
At the first sign of nausea, muscle cramps, disorientation, an athlete should drink a sodium containing sports drink, such as Gatorade, or eat salty foods. If possible, an athlete should plan ahead and estimate his or her fluid loss and need for sodium replacement during the event, and stay on a hydration schedule during the race. If the symptoms are extreme, a medical professional should be seen.

Prevention of Hyponatremia
The best way for an athlete to avoid such problems is to plan ahead. Tips and recommendations include:

* Use a sodium containing sports drinks during long distance, high intensity events.
* Eat salty foods before and during competition if possible.
* As there are no steadfast guidelines for everyone, it is important for an athlete to understand his or her individual fluid needs.
* Weigh yourself before and after training and drink enough sodium based sports drink to offset any fluid loss during exercise
* Increase salt intake several days prior to competition. The increased sodium concentration will allow additional hydration with water to remain balanced so that the dilution of blood sodium does not occur.
* Avoid use of aspirin, ibuprofen, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents as they may increase the risk of hyponatremia in athletes.
      o As many triathletes are taking these medications, they need to be aware of their detrimental effect on performance. Additional, chronic use of these medications often mask the bodies own warning mechanisms that alert athletes to pain and injury. Athletes should be discouraged from excessive use of these medications. 

Keep in mind that all athletes respond differently to exercise; fluid and sodium needs will vary accordingly. Foods that provide additional sodium include chicken noodle soup, a dill pickle, cheese, pretzels, and tomato juice.

As always, it is important to consult your physician for special considerations if you have a history of any health problems or are taking any medication for a health condition.[/quote]

I could probably find studies on pubmed addressing the issue, but I’m to lazy to look…

I drink it whenever I want when I have it around the house, but I usually do not have it around the house. If your worried about calories I wouldn’t drink it.

yeah its just as caloric as soda. I say only drink it if your exercizes. That is unless your looking to gain some weight of pure fat.

its tastes mad good but i really think it should only be drank during sports along with water. Most of gatorade is just for taste but it does keep you hydrated