GATORADE VS WATER

Sports drinks such as Gatorade promise better athletic performance, but in some cases they’re not really necessary. Water does the trick in many cases. In fact, there’s a reason Gatorade is called a sports drink;-it was developed to help athletes involved in a rigorous football training program. Everyday exercisers don’t necessarily work out with the intensity or duration needed for the carbohydrate and electrolyte benefits of Gatorade. 

TIME FRAME

You don’t necessarily need a sports drink to replenish your body during short workouts, says David K. Spierer, assistant professor of sports sciences at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. Water usually works just as well—especially if it’s ice cold, because it empties from the stomach faster that way. When you exercise for more than an hour, however, you need to replenish your electrolytes. “At that point in time you start to see a little bit of a decrease in sodium and potassium. Replenishing is helpful,” he says. Examples of electrolytes are calcium, sodium, magnesium and potassium, according to the National Cancer Institute. Sports drinks with 4 percent to 8 percent carbohydrate and 0.5g sodium/L are more effective than water for the longer bouts of exercise, according to the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Gatorade is a 6 percent carbohydrate beverage.
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