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Are Sports Drinks Necessary?
Posted 05/27/2022 03:05PM

by: Charlotte Purkiss

Gatorade was originally created in 1965 by scientists at the University of Florida's College of Medicine. It was believed that the athletes lost beneficial nutrients from sweating which could not be replaced by just drinking water. The scientists created a mixture of sugar, potassium, and phosphate trying to replicate what was sweat out to aid the Gators of the University of Florida.

Gatorade gives you sugar which means it gives the blood glucose (blood sugar), but when you dose up on sugar you end up with a rapid release of insulin. We need insulin to get sugars into our muscle cells. This is what muscles need to create ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) from the breakdown of glucose via glycolysis. The breakdown of ATP to adenosine diphosphate causes a release of energy. The body cannot work without ATP. Of course your body needs glucose but it does not need it from a drink if you have eaten well before. Gatorade provides magnesium, electrolytes, potassium, and sodium, all of which can also come from your diet alone. All you need is water and proper nutrition. If you exercise for over 1 hour strenuously of course you can have a Gatorade, but you can also hydrate as efficiently with water and replenish lost electrolytes with proper nutrition.

Gatorade makes zero calorie drinks just like many other companies, because their goal is to appeal to people who are on diets and want lower-calorie drinks. I talked to Mr. Hutchins about this and he said, "By making a zero calorie drink, what you're doing is you're getting them into your marketplace, under your umbrella of products and then you can start selling them your other products. Or if they go off their diet they can try regular Gatorade." The assumption is that since it has zero calories it is healthier, however if you look at the ingredients list you will see words that you can't even pronounce.These are artificial sweeteners, they are chemicals formulated to make your brain think that you need sugar. In Gatorade Zero you can find acesulfame potassium and sucralose, both of which are artificial sweeteners. "I wouldn't want an athlete drinking a zero calorie sports drink because it is the gateway to artificial sweeteners and just your body being fooled into drinking something sugary and sweet which then attracts all kinds of negative dietary stuff."

The old adage goes "You are what you eat". You are also what you drink.


About WiNK

WiNK (“Wooster Ink”) is Wooster School’s online student news publication. WiNK serves as the student voice of our community, and provides readers with a weekly overview of what's happening in our students' lives, and it gives students a chance to share their interests and voices. The majority of the content is developed in our Upper School Journalism classes, but we also accept contributions from other students and faculty members.

WiNK Contact

Brooke Thaler

Publications Teacher
Brooke.Thaler@woosterschool.org
203-730-6706

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