Gatorade is a popular sports drink marketed to athletes for its ability to restore electrolytes and hydration after an intense workout. If you’re a marathon runner, a dancer who practices for hours, or someone who plays sports often, then the electrolytes that Gatorade offers may benefit you.
The downside of sports drinks like Gatorade is that they often contain a lot of added sugar. They also tend to contain harmful artificial dyes that cause them to give off that unnatural neon-colored glow.
If you’re a fan of Gatorade, you may be wondering if you should incorporate these sports drinks into your low carb diet. In this article, we’ll investigate some lower-calorie versions of Gatorade, like G2 and the new Gatorade Zero. Keep reading to find out if these drinks are good for you or if it’s best to stick with water to support a healthy lifestyle.
Is Gatorade Keto Friendly?
A 20-ounce serving of Gatorade’s Thirst Quencher contains 36 grams of sugar. That’s only slightly less sugar than soda. However, Gatorade’s low-calorie version, G2, uses acesulfame and sucralose instead of sugar.
The brand’s healthier option, G2 still contains 7 grams of sugar, 8 grams of carbs, which is less than half the carbs and calories of the Original. However, this may be more carbs than you’re willing to spend a beverage if you’re on Keto.
Gatorade Zero is a more Keto-friendly option. Gatorade Zero has no sugar while maintaining the same proven hydration and electrolyte benefits of Gatorade Thirst Quencher.
Low sugar sports drinks can help restore hydration and replace electrolytes that we lose while following strict low carb diets. Proper hydration and electrolyte balance can help prevent the dehydration symptoms that are often encountered on the Keto diet, also known as the “Keto flu”.
Not a fan of sports drinks? Dark leafy greens, nuts, avocados and seeds are all keto-friendly foods that are high in both magnesium and potassium to restore electrolyte balance. Electrolyte supplements containing sodium, potassium and magnesium are available on the market as well.
How Many Carbs are in Gatorade?
Original Gatorade: A 591-milliliter serving or 20 fluid ounces of Gatorade Original contains 36 grams of carbs. If you’re following a strict low carb diet, like Keto, Gatorade Original should be avoided as it could throw your body out of ketosis.
G2 (Calorie Reduced Gatorade): A smaller bottle containing 8 fluid ounces (237 milliliters) of G2 contains only 4.6 grams of carbs. While G2 uses sucralose instead of sugar, it contains a moderate 4.6 grams of carbs, which may still be too high for a beverage, if you’re on Keto.
New Gatorade Zero: A 591-milliliter serving or 20 fluid ounces of Gatorade Zero contains only 2 grams of carbs. This is the best sports drink for Keto as it is the lowest in carbs.
How Many Calories are in Gatorade?
Original Gatorade: A 591-milliliter serving or 20 fluid ounces of Gatorade contains 140 calories. Springwater or sparkling water (if you crave carbonation) is calorie-free and a much better option for those following a calorie-reduction diet plan.
G2 (Calorie Reduced Gatorade): A smaller bottle containing 8 fluid ounces (237 milliliters) of G2 contains only 19 calories. While G2 is lower in calories, the serving size is smaller.
New Gatorade Zero: A 591-milliliter serving of 20 fluid ounces of Gatorade Zero contains only 10 calories. Be careful not to overconsume this product, as it contains artificial sweeteners and dyes that may cause harmful effects.
|Amount: 8 fluid ounces of Gatorade G2 (237 millilitres)|
|Total Fat 0 grams||0%|
|Saturated fat 0 grams||0%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0 grams|
|Monounsaturated fat 0 grams|
|Trans fat 0 grams|
|Cholesterol 0 milligrams||0%|
|Sodium 106.7 milligrams||4%|
|Potassium 30.8 milligrams||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 4.6 grams||1%|
|Dietary fiber 0 grams||0%|
|Sugar 3.1 grams|
|Protein 0.1 grams||0%|
|Vitamin A||0%||Vitamin C||0%|
|Vitamin D||0%||Vitamin B-6||0%|
Gatorade G2 Low Calorie Fruit Punch Sports Drink, 32 Fluid Ounces contains the following ingredients:
Water, Sugar, Citric Acid, Salt, Sodium Citrate, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Monopotassium Phosphate, Sucralose, Red 40, and Acesulfame Potassium.
Water is always the best form of hydration. However, sports drinks like Gatorade contain electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium. Drinking Gatorade after a tough workout can help replace the water we lose during strenuous exercise, especially in the heat.
Because Gatorade has high levels of sodium and potassium along with water within its formula, it allows the water to be absorbed by the body more efficiently, thus rehydrating you faster than plain water.
Additionally, consuming sodium reduces the need to urinate, so Gatorade helps retain those fluids in your body longer so that you stay hydrated for longer periods of time.
Electrolytes are minerals that maintain the ionic balance of the body’s fluid levels. Electrolytes are minerals, such as potassium and sodium that impact the muscle, brain, and nerve function. It’s important to restore the electrolytes you’ve lost after working out through the sweat.
A research review from the University of California, Berkley in 2014 reported that serious athletes competing or exercising for longer than an hour at a time may find Gatorade offers benefits that water does not.
May Help Recovery from Illness
Gatorade may also be helpful in replacing electrolytes lost during an illness. Often times when we suffer from sicknesses like stomach viruses or flu. Electrolytes are often lost during bouts of vomiting or diarrhea, so Gatorade is especially helpful to consume during recovery from stomach bugs.
Gatorade is also a beneficial recovery drink after prolonged exposure to the sun and may help treat symptoms of heatstroke.
Gatorade contains a high concentration of sugar, which can increase health risks.
The University of California, Berkeley’s 2014 paper reported that children’s increase in sugary drink consumption, including sports drinks like Gatorade, could contribute to weight gain in adulthood. Sugary drinks are also linked to chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Even the lower-calorie versions of Gatorade, like G2 and Gatorade Zero contain artificial sweeteners that some researchers claim to contribute to ongoing weight problems as well.
Sugar isn’t the only problem with Gatorade. Food additives and colorings are also associated with health risks. Food dyes may increase the risk of certain health conditions, including weight gain and type 2 diabetes. The food colorings used in Gatorade, (blue 1 and red 40) have also been linked to hyperactivity in children and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Studies show that these disorders lessen in severity when artificial food colorings are removed from the child’s diet.
Drinking Gatorade along with high-sodium foods may also result in high blood pressure, which can eventually lead to heart disease and stroke.
Is Gatorade Good for Weight Loss?
The best beverage for weight loss is simply spring water. Sports drinks often contain added sugar (or unhealthy sweeteners) associated with obesity.
According to a 2010 study published by the Faculty of Health Sciences University of Pécs in Hungary suggests that artificial sweeteners may increase weight when consumed regularly.
While sports drinks like Gatorade do in fact contain the electrolytes and water needed after a strenuous workout, they are often high in calories and carbs, containing more than double your daily recommended amount of sugar in just one bottle.
Drinking water instead helps boost your metabolism and cleanse your body of waste. Water also acts as an appetite suppressant because it takes up volume in the stomach.
Drinking adequate amounts of water prevents your body from bloating and retaining water to help you lose water weight.
Is Gatorade Healthy?
Regularly drinking sugary sports drinks, such as Gatorade, is linked with weight gain and increased risk of diabetes and obesity. Even the reduced-calorie versions like G2 and Gatorade Zero can be cause for concern. Many of these beverages are packed with toxic additives like wood rosin and artificial dyes that have been linked to cancer and hyperactivity in children.
The presence of food dyes in Gatorade and other sports drinks can cause serious health effects if consumed regularly. In fact, research associates these artificial dyes to health issues, such as hyperactivity and, even certain cancers.
Gatorade contains fat-soluble vitamins which can pose other health risks. Fat-soluble vitamins do not leave the body through the urine when they are consumed in large quantities, they are absorbed in the fat. Therefore, if you’re overconsuming Gatorade, you may start to have unwanted side effects from excess vitamins in your body.
For example, overdosing on vitamin A can lead to vitamin toxicity. The National Institute of Health reports that the symptoms of vitamin A overdose can include blurred vision, fatigue, headache, and nausea. So you should avoid chugging these drinks all day long.