ELI5: Is it necessary for Gatorade to have as much sugar as it does for “electrolyte replenishing” or could it have the same effect with way less sugar or sugar substitute? Is all that extra sugar just to taste good?

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Please remember **not** to give out medical advice, and to not accept medical advice from users on the internet.

RhynoD

if you’re looking for electrolytes, you are looking for salts. gatorade includes salts for electrolyte replacement, but also has sugar to quickly replenish glycogen stores and blood glucose. it’s helpful to people doing a lot of heavy work and needing to keep energy up, but if you just want electrolytes, you don’t need to w sugar. ik a lot of people like liquid iv, which i think also has a good bit of sugar, but relyte is an electrolyte mix that i think is a bit more natural

shkubert

It has to have *some* sugar, but not as much as it has. sodium and glucose actually are absorbed together much more efficiently than they are separately. The cells that line the intestines have a protein called the Sodium-Glucose co-transporter. It’s a teeny tiny pump that moves sodium and glucose from the intestines into the blood. But it only works if it there is *both* sodium *and* glucose.But most sports drinks have waaaay too much sugar, and usually not quite enough salt (electrolytes). A better ratio can be found in something like pedialyte, and lots of athletes actually drink pedialyte, especially when it’s extremely hot out.

apple-masher

Buy Gatorade Zero, it has no sugar, and the same electrolites. The “effect” might include sugar, if you want to not feel hungry, but that’s a different thing.

WRSaunders

Gatorade is NOT an electrolyte replacement drink. It says right on the label it is a HYDRATION drink. Sugar is not an electrlyte. Gatorade is glorified sugared water or kool-aid. Pedialyte is an electrolyte replacement drink. They taste very differently. If you thought Gatorade was an electrolyte replacement drink, you fell for their slick, visual marketing scam. Check out that bottle again! Also, I’m a chemist and I used to work for Abbott Labs back in the day and they own Ross Nutritionals that makes Pedialyte and Similac. They had a deal back in the day with the NFL. The cooler says Gatorade, but it was really pedialyte in the coolers. Anyway, thanks for comeing to my Ted Talk…

femsci-nerd