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Bad Gatorade Ingredients

By Becky Miller

Gatorade is regarded as a scientifically formulated, heavily researched sports drink whose electrolytes absorb quickly for advanced hydration. Gatorade has a complete laboratory and staff that is constantly evaluating its effectiveness and running tests on athletes in top condition. It does, however, contain some ingredients that may be considered less than desirable. Gatorade ingredients include: water, high fructose corn syrup (glucose-fructose syrup), sucrose syrup, citric acid, natural flavor, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, modified food starch, red 40 and glycerol ester of rosin.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup is an inexpensive sweetener--cheaper than sugar--that is used extensively to sweeten foods and beverages. It is also a preservative, used to extend the shelf-life of processed foods and it tops the list of items to be eliminated from your diet for numerous reasons. One of the latest reasons to avoid high fructose corn syrup is outlined by The American Society of Nephrology in a press release dated Oct. 29, 2009 detailing the results of its study. "These results indicate that high fructose intake in the form of added sugars is significantly and independently associated with higher blood pressure levels in the U.S. adult population with no previous history of hypertension," the authors concluded.

Sucrose syrup

Beverages made with sweeteners, such as sucrose syrup, otherwise known as liquefied table sugar, are high in empty calories, low in nutritional value and cause tooth decay. “Regularly including these products in your diet has the potential to promote obesity--which, in turn, promotes conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease,” according to the Mayo Clinic. An 8 oz. serving of Gatorade contains 14g sugar, which is equivalent to 3.3 tsp. of sugar. If you drink the whole 20 oz. bottle, you’ll be getting a whopping 8 tsp. of sugar.

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Citric Acid

Citric acid is an organic acid found in citrus fruits, particularly lemons and limes, that acts as a natural preservative with a tart flavor that balances out all the sticky sweetness of all the sugar in Gatorade, leaving your mouth feeling clean, according to its website. It may leave your mouth feeling clean, but it doesn’t do much for your teeth. “We now know that many popular beverages--such as sports and energy drinks, some flavored iced teas and citrus juices--are capable of producing dental erosion,” stated the "Journal of the American Dental Association" in 2008.

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