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- American Dietetic Association: Hydrate Right
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight
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A healthy diet meets your nutritional and energy needs, including those induced by physical activity. If you lead an active lifestyle, part of staying healthy is keeping your body's fluids in balance. Gatorade replaces fluids lost during exercise and can play a role in a healthy diet. Focus on getting the nutrients you need from a variety of foods, and use Gatorade to help you stay hydrated during long exercise sessions.
Gatorade contains carbohydrates and electrolytes to help individuals refuel and rehydrate during and after exercise. The American Dietetic Association recommends drinking sports drinks such as Gatorade when you exercise for an hour or longer at moderate to high intensity 3. Drinking Gatorade during and after long exercise sessions helps the body replace lost fluids.
Gatorade was formulated by a team of physicians at the University of Florida in 1965 to help counteract the effects of heat on athletes and to reduce the instances of heat related illnesses, according to Gatorade.com 1. The use of sports drinks to replenish fluids lost during exercise can complement health and weight goals in the context of a balanced diet. A balanced diet meets your nutritional needs with a variety of foods and includes a focus on calorie needs, portion sizes and healthy food choices, according to Medline Plus.
Sports drinks such as Gatorade provide calories and should be limited in a reduced-calorie diet. Gatorade provides 50 calories per 8-oz. serving and low-calorie Gatorade products provide 20 calories per serving, according to Gatorade.com 1. One 32-oz. bottle provides 80 to 200 calories. The American Heart Association recommends limiting calories from sweetened beverages to 450 calories per week 3.
Long and intense exercise sessions burn a significant amount of calories. A 154-lb. person burns almost 600 calories during an hourlong jog, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 4. Even though sports drinks provide calories, they can replenish carbohydrate stores without creating a calorie surplus. An intake of calories from Gatorade over the course of 60 minutes or more of activity can prevent dehydration without negatively affecting your diet goals.
Sports drinks can play an important role in your diet if you lead an active lifestyle. Your eating plan can accommodate Gatorade even if your exercise sessions are shorter than one hour as long as you plan a balanced diet and keep up with your total caloric intake. You need to establish a calorie deficit if you want to lose weight, so make sure you take in fewer calories from food and beverages than you burn.
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