I owe my readers an apology. Last week I published a rather lengthy post detailing the reasons Gatorade isn’t really good for you. I presented you with all of the problems of Gatorade. I felt it was informative and I hope you did too. But I apologize because I didn’t offer a solution. If you shouldn’t drink Gatorade, then what should you drink?
Well, to begin at the beginning, why do people think they need Gatorade in the first place? It’s supposed to provide you with much-needed electrolytes that you lose during extended periods of intense exercise. When we sweat for long periods of time (over an hour), we lose water, sodium, potassium, and calcium, the three key electrolytes in our bodies. Chugging the magic Gatorade is supposed to replenish what we lose during exercise. But if you read the post, Gatorade is nothing but non-carbonated soda. It’s loaded with HFCS and other junk and is far from natural.
Most experts, including yours truly, will tell you that you don’t need an electrolyte recovery drink unless you’re exercising at an relatively intense level for more than 75 minutes. Anything below this and you’re usually fine just hydrating and recovering with water (in addition to food of course). Your body can get what it needs from the water and the nutrients in healthy food choices without the quick hit of a bottle of Gatorade or other sports drink.
So unless you’re training for or competing in a marathon, playing a long intense game of soccer or rugby, or your name is Dean Karnazes, you generally don’t need a sport drink for recovery. But if you are crazy like me and you actually enjoy working out or running for more than 75 minutes at a clip or you plan to compete in such insane events as the Badwater Ultra or the Western States Endurance Run, here are a few links to some natural alternatives to Gatorade. What do they have in common? They’re concocted from all natural ingredients, many of which you have at home already, and all of which you can buy today at your local grocery store.
In other recommended reading, fellow blogger Adam Reynolds just published an awesome article about the junk that’s in Red Bull on his blog, The Healthy Boy. Check it out here. I don’t drink Red Bull and I’m glad I don’t, especially after reading his post.
Hope these resources help you gain some healthy, natural alternatives to Gatorade or Powerade. Have a great day!