A Nutritional Analysis of Gatorade
Gatorade was developed in 1965 to help the University of Florida’s Gators football team deal with the effects of intense exercise in the heat of Florida summers. The drink replaces water and electrolytes, minerals essential for fluid regulation and neurological function, lost through perspiration during physical activity.Gatorade now has two product lines: the G Series, aimed at athletes engaging in intense sports such as football; and the G Endurance Series, targeted at athletes engaged in endurance sports like long-distance running and cycling.
G Series Hydration
Gatorade’s G Series Hydration products provide fluids and electrolytes. A 12-ounce bottle of Thirst Quencher at 80 calories provides 160 milligrams sodium, or 7 percent of the adult daily requirement based on a 2,000-calorie diet, and 45 milligrams potassium, or 1 percent of daily requirements. The drink contains 21 grams carbohydrates – 7 percent of daily needs – all of it simple sugars. The low-calorie G2 drink at 12 ounces has the same amounts of sodium and potassium, but at 30 calories only contains 7 grams of carbohydrates, all sugars, at 2 percent of daily requirements. Gatorade also offers Thirst Quencher and G2 powders, intended to be mixed with water, that approximate the nutritional content of the drinks.
G Series Energy
Gatorade’s G Series Energy products provide quick energy for athletes before and during practice and games. Prime Sports Fuel Drink, at about 4 ounces, has 100 calories, 110 milligrams sodium and 25 grams of carbohydrates, 23 grams of which are sugars. It also contains 10 percent of the daily requirements of niacin, vitamin B-6 and pantothenic acid. According to the Gatorade website, the B vitamins assist the body in breaking down carbohydrates for use as fuel.
G Series Recovery
Gatorade’s Recovery products are designed to help build muscle after a hard workout. The Recover Protein Shake, at about 11 ounces, has 270 calories and offers 20 grams of protein, or 40 percent of daily requirements, along with 320 milligrams of sodium, 630 milligrams of potassium, 45 grams of carbohydrates -- 20 grams are sugars -- 1 gram of saturated fat, 2 grams, or 7 percent of the daily requirements, of fiber; and 50 percent of the daily requirements of calcium, 2 percent of iron and 2 percent of vitamin K. The Recover Post-Game Recovery Protein Shake, at about 17 ounces, contains 230 calories, 16 grams of protein, 220 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohtdrates -- all sugars -- and 10 percent of daily calcium needs.
G Endurance Hydration
Gatorade’s Endurance Series is designed for athletes who must sustain physical activity over an extended period of time. The Endurance Formula, at 12 fluid ounces, contains 80 calories, 300 milligrams of sodium, 140 milligrams of potassium, and 21 grams of carbohydrates, all sugars. The Endurance Formula Powder, also at 80 calories, contains 290 milligrams of sodium, 140 milligrams of potassium and 21 grams of carbohydrates, along with 2 percent of daily calcium needs. Gatorlytes are single-serving packets of powder that contain 780 milligrams of sodium, 400 milligrams of potassium and 20 percent of the daily requirements of calcium and magnesium. Gatorade advises adding a packet of Gatorlytes to its 20-ounce bottle of Thirst Quencher.
G Endurance Energy
Gatorade’s Endurance Energy products are formulated to provide the athlete with sustained energy. The Carb Energy Drink, at about 4 ounces, contains 120 calories, 110 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates – 24 grams are sugars – and 20 percent of daily requirements of the B vitamins niacin, B-6 and pantothenic acid and the minerals chromium, magnesium, manganese, selenium and zinc.
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