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List of Ingredients in Gatorade Sports Drinks

List of Ingredients in Gatorade Sports Drinks

Gatorade is primarily formulated to replenish fluids, electrolytes, and energy lost during any physical activity. So, apart from water, some of the ingredients in Gatorade include electrolytes such as potassium and carbohydrates in the form of sugar. The sports drink also contains natural preservatives such as citric acid and FDA-certified artificial colors.
NutriNeat Staff
Did You Know?
Gatorade contains two times more sodium (salt) than other sports drinks such as Powerade.

Post physical exertion, we tend to grab a bottle of water to quench our thirst. However, it is often said that a better option would be to have a sports drink like Gatorade that not only replenishes lost fluids but also helps restore the body's chemical balance. Gatorade contains a host of ingredients that ensure proper hydration and provide energy to expedite the recovery of strained muscles after exercise. Following are the main ingredients in Gatorade.
Filtered Water
This is the primary ingredient used in making the Gatorade sports drink. The water undergoes a series of filtration steps before being used in the drink.
Electrolytes
A rigorous workout makes you sweat profusely, causing a loss of water and electrolytes. Potassium, sodium, and chloride are the 3 electrolytes present in our body that help absorb fluids. So, replenishing lost electrolytes is very important to maintain fluid balance. Gatorade is fortified with all these electrolytes in the right amounts. Drinking Gatorade not only rehydrates your body but also corrects the electrolyte balance.
Sodium Citrate
This ingredient is a sodium salt of citric acid and has a sour taste. It is primarily used as a flavoring agent, which makes the sports drink more palatable. Apart from increasing palatability, it ensures that the stability of active ingredients does not change. This means added ingredients do not get separated into distinct layers.
Artificial Colors
Gatorade drinks are available in a wide range of appealing colors. The visual appeal of Gatorade comes from the addition of artificial colors and dyes that are safe and approved by the FDA. Each flavor in Gatorade has been associated with a unique color. So the color actually helps the consumers identify their favorite flavor.
However, the red food coloring, referred to as Red 40 could be one of the harmful ingredients in Gatorade as it carries the risk of some serious side effects as found out through animal studies. Red 40 can cause allergic reactions, which may manifest in the form of swelling in the mouth and skin problems such as hives. However, other coloring agents such as Red 3, Green 3, Blue 2, Yellow 5 (present in Gatorade) and Yellow 6 could be harmful to your health.
Natural and Artificial Flavors
Gatorade sports and energy drinks are fortified with natural flavors to boost the flavor and enhance the sweet taste. In most cases, the natural flavor in Gatorade is an essential oil that gives a unique flavor to the drink. Artificial flavor formulations are also added to make the taste more appealing. These artificial flavors help to improve shelf stability, meaning the product can be stored and does not get spoilt for several months.
Sucralose
This is an intense artificial sweetener found in sugar-free formulations of Gatorade. It is a very low-calorie sweetener and the FDA has recognized sucralose as safe for usage.
Citric Acid
This is a naturally occurring acid in a variety of fruits. Citric acid helps preserve the sports drink. The natural preservative also lends a sour taste to these drinks, which also helps to enhance its flavor.
Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are also present in pre-workout drinks such as the Gatorade sports fuel drink. The carbohydrates act as a primary source of fuel for the muscles. Hence, taking this drink gives you the much-needed energy to exercise. It promotes increased energy so that you can easily get through your workout session. Gatorade sports fuel drinks contain carbs in the form of dextrose or in the form of dextrose-sucrose mix. Before the 2000s, high fructose corn syrup was used as a sweetener.
Vitamin B6
The Gatorade Prime Sports Fuel Drink that has to be taken before starting any rigorous workout is also fortified with vitamin B6 and is known to help convert carbohydrates into energy that can be utilized by the muscles during exercise. Vitamin B6 ensures that energy from carbs is readily available for muscular work.
Other Nutrients
Gatorade's Prime formula and the G2 line of drinks are fortified with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), niacinamide (vitamin B3), and calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5). All these ingredients not only add nutrition but also help maintain the flavor and appearance of the drink.
Proteins
The sports drink available under the brand name 'Gatorade Recover' is essentially a protein shake, a combination of high-quality whey protein and milk. It is a post-workout drink and the high protein content helps speed up the recovery and growth of muscles after exercise.
Monopotassium Phosphate
It is a soluble salt and acts as a source of potassium and phosphorus. These two minerals ensure proper contraction and relaxation of muscles. Although not a preservative, it acts as a flavor enhancer and has been certified by the FDA as safe.
Sucrose Acetoisobutyrate (SAIB)
SAIB, an emulsifier is being used as a substitute for brominated vegetable oil (BVO), one of the controversial ingredients that was present in Gatorade sports drinks until recently. BVO was primarily added to give a cloudy appearance to the drink and to ensure that the flavors added do not get separated from the drink. However, BVO has been associated with a wide range of health problems including delayed fertility, thyroid disorders, and kidney problems. Considering its harmful effects, Gatorade has recently discontinued the usage of BVO in their line of beverages and as an alternative has started using SAIB.
Acesulfame Potassium
Gatorade's new G2 line of sports drinks contain acesulfame potassium, a chemical formulated in the laboratory which is considered to be 200 times sweeter than sucrose.
Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin
It is an oil-soluble food additive that stabilizes the natural flavors added in Gatorade and ensures that they remain suspended in water, which helps maintain that cloudy look of the drink. It is added as a replacement for brominated vegetable oil, which is considered to be harmful for health.
People who are sick due to some common medical conditions such as stomach flu suffer from frequent vomiting and diarrhea. In such circumstances, taking Gatorade sports drink can be a good option to meet their fluid and electrolyte needs. On the whole, Gatorade may be an effective electrolyte replacement drink but you need to exercise restrain when drinking it as it contains coloring agents that may potentially be detrimental to your health.