Replace Cancer-Causing Gatorade With This Lemon-Himalayan Salt Coconut Water Drink
Do you ever wonder why Gatorade is so popular? Some time ago, it was discovered that water alone can be insufficient for rehydration during intense sports and physical activity. Missing the necessary electrolytes, water was demoted and tossed aside when Gatorade was born. Gatorade promised to hydrate better than water, by supplying electrolytes that an athlete loses during intense physical activity.
It’s common, these days, for people to drink Gatorade as freely as water. A drink that started out as electrolyte replenishment has turned into an every-day water replacement. Gatorade is a big brand with lots of loyal supporters, but is it as great as it claims?
What are electrolytes?
In scientific terms, electrolytes are substances that become ions in solution and conduct electricity. Common electrolytes are sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate, which are used by our bodies for cellular and organ function and help in regulating bodily fluids. During exercise, we sweat out these electrolytes from our body, and it is important to replenish them to avoid dehydration and muscle-cramping or fatigue.
Gatorade contains the electrolytes sodium, potassium and chloride, which replenishes the electrolytes we typically lose when we sweat. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, here is why it isn’t:
Gatorade also contains a ton of junk.
Let’s take the lemon-lime flavour, specifically. Although ingredients can vary across countries, in the United States this flavour contains the following ingredients: Water, Sugar, Dextrose, Citric acid, Sodium Citrate, Natural and Artificial flavour, Monopotassium phosphate, Calcium lactate, Gum arabic, Glycerol, Ester of rosin, Magnesium Oxide, Yellow 5.
Unhealthy ingredients found in Gatorade
The ingredients outlined in bold font should be noted, as they are unhealthy and can be concerning. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
Added sugar is the second and third ingredient. In fact, Gatorade has 21g of sugar in only 12 fl oz., about ½ of the standard large bottle. According to the American Heart Association, we should only be consuming between 100-150 calories of sugar, and one serving of Gatorade has about 84 calories.
How many people purchase a bottle of Gatorade and stop half-way through? Very, very few, which means people are drinking at least two servings, and consuming more sugar than recommended for their entire day. Excess sugar intake can overload and damage your liver, cause insulin resistance leading to metabolic dysfunction including weight gain, and contribute to diseases such as type II diabetes, heart disease, and more.
Let’s take a moment to mention the artificial flavour and artificial colouring found in Gatorade. “Artificial flavour” can mean any combination of chemicals, created in a lab, to give the drink an appealing scent and flavour. “Artificial” colouring is the same thing- but is for the purpose of adding a distinct colour to your drink.
Specifically, the Lemon-Lime flavour of Gatorade contains the colour “Yellow 5”, which has been banned in Norway and Austria because it contains cancer-causing chemicals and may cause genotoxicity with the potential to mutate healthy DNA. Clearly Gatorade is far from being a natural substance.
There is also concern that electrolyte replenishment is unnecessary for most physical activity. According to a recent report from the University of California, Berkley, consumption of sports drinks like Gatorade may only be necessary for young athletes who are performing more than 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity in extreme conditions (i.e. hot or cold).
In most cases where Gatorade is consumed, electrolyte replenishment is not necessary and as a result, people are only consuming excess sugar or sodium. Excess calories from sports drinks may be contributing to obesity in children.
How can you naturally replenish electrolytes?
If you’re performing prolonged and vigorous physical activity, it’s a good idea to replenish your electrolytes by drinking something other than water. We know Gatorade is far from natural and is filled with junk, but thankfully there are homemade alternatives that we can whip up quickly. Coconut water is a great source of electrolytes and carbohydrates (for energy), including sodium, potassium and magnesium, but it may not always contain enough electrolytes for full replenishment. Using coconut water, you can make your own homemade electrolyte drink with a couple of added ingredients!
Homemade Lemon-Coconut Electrolyte Drink
1 cup coconut water
¼ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp honey (optional)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until mixed. Drink up and enjoy!
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