Gatorade is advertised as a healthy energy drink for athletes. This is due to the fact that Gatorade contains electrolytes. Electrolytes are chemicals that conduct electricity when mixed with water. This means that electrolytes can give you more energy.
But is Gatorade any better than just drinking water? The answer is “it depends”. For shorter runs, it’s best to just stick with water.
But, if you’re going on very long runs or running marathons, then water might not be enough. This is a good time to drink Gatorade for an extra push.
Is Gatorade good for after a run?
When you run (or do anything that makes you sweat) you lose water. But you also lose electrolytes. So, the answer is yes. After a run, it’s a good idea to replenish the electrolytes that your body lost while sweating. One way to do this is by drinking Gatorade.
Electrolytes are electrically charged chemicals. There are lots of different kinds of electrolytes present in the body. Some of which are included in Gatorade. These include:
Here are some other things to eat or drink after a run that can help replenish electrolytes:
- Rye crackers
- Leafy vegetables
- Milk (either dairy or soy)
But Gatorade is a good option for replenishing a lot of electrolytes very quickly. These foods and drinks will only replenish some of them.
What is in Gatorade?
So, as well as electrolytes, what other ingredients are included in Gatorade? There are different kinds and flavors of Gatorade. Each of which have different ingredients. And each do slightly different things for the body. Here is the ingredient list for Gatorade Thirst Quencher:
Water, sucrose (table sugar), dextrose, citric acid, natural flavor, sodium chloride (table salt), sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, and flavoring/coloring ingredients.
These are the main ingredients of Gatorade. But, as mentioned above, different versions contain different ingredients. So it’s important to check out exactly what is in each one before drinking it.
What is the best drink for runners?
If you go for a run every morning, then you can safely stick with water. Even if you go on a relatively long run, water will still be enough. You will lose electrolytes on this kind of run. But no more than can’t be replenished with a glass or two of water.
Gatorade replenishes your body with a lot of electrolytes that have been condensed down into a drink. So, if you have been sweating a lot, such as after a marathon or if you have been ill, then it is a good idea. But it is not suitable for everyday. Nor is it healthy.
There are also lots of other drinks which contain electrolytes. Including bottled water that have addedl electrolytes. Water with added electrolytes are one of the best options if you don’t want to consume a lot of sugar, water, and artificial flavorings. Which are included in Gatorade.
Should you drink electrolytes before a run?
Gatorade is a good option if you have been for a very long run and have been sweating a lot. But it has very high levels of sugar and salt.
Neither of which are very good for you. Electrolytes are important for your body to function properly. So having a bottle of Gatorade can be a good idea to help you regain your energy after a long run.
But it is not a good idea to drink it regularly or every day. Gatorade is best kept for special circumstances when you have been sweating a lot.
Otherwise, you will be consuming too much salt and sugar. On an everyday basis, Gatorade should not be drunk instead of water. Your go-to drink, whether you are a runner or not, should be water.
Does Gatorade help muscle recovery?
Drinks with a high concentration of electrolytes can help to soothe sore muscles. After a run, and even more so the day after, your legs will likely be very sore. Drinking something like Gatorade after a run can help to stop these muscles from hurting as much.
Some types of Gatorade can help with muscle recovery. This is due to the presence of amino acids. When the body consumes protein, it breaks it down into amino acids. These amino acids then help the body to repair and build new muscle.
This is especially useful for after running. When you do any kind of exercise, especially strenuous exercise, scientists believe that the targeted muscles tear. So, if you take part in regular exercise, you should incorporate a balanced portion of protein into your diet.
But Gatorade straight after a run or other form of exercise can be helpful. However, Gatorade (and any other sports drink) should not be a replacement for a healthy and well-balanced diet.