Maintaining fluid balance in physically active people is an ongoing challenge. During exercise, the body can lose a considerable amount of water, and these losses are intensified in environments above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. As a flavored beverage, Gatorade can enhance voluntary fluid consumption because palatability is a key factor for beverage choices. In warm conditions, an individual can easily lose 4 liters of fluid during a two-hour training session. Drinking Gatorade helps replenish fluid loss and maintain proper hydration, especially in the dry climate of Arizona.
Sodium is an important nutrient in Gatorade because it helps maintain electrolyte balance and provides the urge to drink. The beverage is formulated to contain a concentration of sodium similar to that of normal perspiration. Sodium is the primary electrolyte lost in sweat; therefore, replacement is critical. An 8-ounce serving of regular Gatorade provides 110 milligrams of sodium. Extra sodium formulations are available for individuals who are prone to muscle cramps.
Potassium is the other major electrolyte found in Gatorade, although its overall concentration is quite low when compared to sodium. Potassium losses in perspiration are j...
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...her during a workout, but high-fructose corn syrup is associated with health risks such as increased abdominal fat when consumed in excessive quantities.
Vitamins and Electrolytes
In addition to providing carbohydrates, both sports drinks contain vitamins, minerals and electrolytes designed to maintain healthy muscular responses and energy distribution. Sodium and potassium are essential electrolytes that maintain water distribution in the body but are lost through sweat during exercise. Gatorade contains 160 milligrams of sodium and 45 milligrams of potassium per serving, while Powerade contains 150 milligrams of sodium and 35 milligrams of potassium per serving. By comparison, Gatorade is slightly superior at replacing lost electrolytes. Powerade features added vitamin B-3, B-6 and B-12 for improved energy production and distribution in the body.
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