Water is sufficient for keeping your body hydrated before, during an after an easy/moderate workout. That said, if the workout is intense, lasts for 60 minutes or longer or is performed in extreme heat, water will not be enough and Gatorade is an ideal alternative!
Gatorade is perfectly formulated with electrolytes like sodium and potassium to help with hydration. Sodium acts to replenish salt lost in sweat. In addition, the sugar in gatorade contains a great source of carbohydrates to help replenish muscle glycogen. Simply stated, the sugar helps keep energy levels high. Our bodies CANNOT absorb water without sugar. Water and sugar work in unison to make gatorade the perfect exercise/game companion.
Kim’s Equation for Why Gatorade is Great for High Intensity, Prolonged Duration Exercise:
Gatorade is a great alternative because it has the following:
Sodium (replenish losts salt) + sugar (replenishes muscle glycogen and helps our body absorb water) + water = optimal performance and recovery from strenuous exercise.
**Please note that gatorade should NOT be consumed outside of strenuous exercise. On a daily basis kids do not need the extra calories, sodium and sugar found in gatorade.
Kim’s Take Home Recommendation:
* For a hot day: have your child consume a maximum of 8 ounces of gatorade during/after a game. Alternatively, you can make a higher volume drink by pouring 1/4-1/2 cup of gatorade into 12 ounces of water or by making “gatorade ice cubes” and adding them to your child’s water.
*For a cool day: stick to water (and plenty of it!). You can also try adding an orange or a banana after exercise to aid in recovery.