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Is Gatorade Bad For You?



Short answer

If you are extremely active and are concerned with dehydration and electrolyte loss, then Gatorade can be beneficial. If you are not an athlete consuming Gatorade for its intended purpose, there are many negative effects that can result.



Long answer

Electrolytes regulate nerve and muscle function. As the level of electrolytes goes down when water levels go down, sweating from strenuous exercise causes an imbalance in these important elements. Gatorade was invented at the University of Florida in 1965 for this specific reason. Researchers wanted a quick way for athletes to keep up their electrolytes and be able to perform at peak level. If used as originally intended, then Gatorade does its job well, providing hydration and supplying much-needed electrolytes.

The problem, however, is that when not used as originally intended, Gatorade can actually be harmful to one’s health. For one, Gatorade’s second ingredient (after water) is sugar. While natural sugars are fine, it is the added sugars in Gatorade that are problematic, as they lead to such problems as tooth decay, obesity, and coronary heart disease. Other additives that may be problematic include monopotassium phosphate (used in plant fertilizer) and brominated vegetable oil (BVO) as a build-up of bromine in the body can lead to thyroid problems. There is also the risk of developing hypervitaminosis A due to excess Vitamins. This can lead to fatigue, headache, dizziness, and most commonly nausea. Yet another concern is the 400-800g (depending on what kind) of sodium contained in just one bottle of Gatorade. Excess consumption of salt can result in hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, and although rare, stroke.

While Gatorade may be great for athletes in high impact situations, it can be potentially lethal for people drinking it as a regular beverage. Of course, having one bottle of Gatorade here and there shouldn't do any harm. Most side effects are only seen when it becomes a regular part of your diet.

Possible short-term side effects

  • headache
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • fatigue

Possible long-term side effects

  • hypertension
  • hypervitaminosis a
  • stroke
  • heart disease
  • hypernatremia
  • tooth decay
  • type 2 diabetes
  • obesity

Ingredients to be aware of

Big is gatorade bad for you 2


  • provides hydration
  • restores electrolyte balance

Healthy Gatorade alternatives (what is this?)

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Written by Jeff Volling | 12-29-2015

Written by Jeff Volling
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