Water performs a number of essential functions to keep your body in balance and hydrated, and these include regulating temperature of your body, transporting nutrients to cells and removing waste products. When you are performing physical activities that cause you to sweat, your body will lose a substantial amount of water, resulting in thirst and possibly dehydration. It is important that you drink water whenever you feel thirsty, so that you will always be well-hydrated.
What is Gatorade?
Gatorade is the name of a popular sports drink that is often consumed by athletes who are taking part in intense physical activities. It contains electrolytes that are naturally produced by your body, such as potassium and sodium, as well as a certain amount of carbohydrates. According to the National Athletic Training Association, carbohydrates should not form more than 8% of the content of a sports drink. The sodium that is found in Gatorade helps your body retain the fluids that are lost through sweating. This type of drink is also high in calories, and it can replace the energy that is lost while you are playing sports. If you are taking part in strenuous physical activities, water may not be sufficient to replenish lost fluids, and you may have to consume a sports drink like Gatorade.
Drinking Gatorade vs Drinking Water
Drinking water is sufficient to keep your body hydrated before, during and after a light or moderate exercise session. However, if you are taking part in a high-intensity sport session for an extended period of time or in a high-temperature environment, it is recommended that you drink Gatorade. The carbohydrate in Gatorade can help to replace glycogen that is lost while you are doing vigorous physical activities. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that you use the carbohydrate replacement in Gatorade an hour or more after you have completed a high intensity physical activity or a low intensity activity that lasts for more than an hour. The best thing to do is to use a combination of water and Gatorade.
Considerations for Drinking Gatorade
Since Gatorade contains high amounts of carbohydrates and calories, it is should not be consumed on a regular basis. It should not be used as the only or main fluid replacement. If you are taking a 30-minute walk, drinking water will provide enough hydration. Water should also be the drink of choice when you are not participating in physical activities. Drinking Gatorade is only necessary for vigorous activities such as long distance running and cycling, playing soccer and other sports.