Ah, Gatorade. There you go again...
Those of us who are of a certain age can well remember "There you go again":
In this instance, the Gatorade folks have devised a remarkable slogan: "Open. Gulp. Repeat". Oh my. Where do I even start on this one?
(Notice where I noticed it- pumping that other culturally charged liquid, gasoline...)
-By "open", I suppose they mean both the bottle and the mouth. So far, so good.
-"Gulp". Which means "Gulp 14 grams, 7 teaspoons of refined sugar, 125 calories."
-Repeat. This is the dodgy part for us dentists, as repeating small intakes of refined carbohydrates over a period of time is by far the biggest risk factor for getting cavities:
Bottom line: the Repeat part leads to tooth decay, and the Gulp part increases the chances that you'll end up with Type II Diabetes. No kidding. Human beings don't do well when we shock our insulin system too hard and too often. We simply weren't designed for it.
Yes, Gatorade replaces lost electrolytes. Yet just so you know, it takes about 2 hours of hard exercise, I mean pedal to the metal, to lose enough electrolytes in sweat to warrant replacement in a healthy young athlete. And at that point the sugars will be useful too, especially if the event isn't over yet. I'm thinking swim meet with multiple heats, cycling a century, running the Iditarod. That kind of thing. In these cases, go for it.
When you're exercising for under an hour though, or playing a sport like softball where the action is intermittent, please consider water. Your pancreas and your teeth will thank you.
*More on "Vitamin G":