Susan – well you make a great point. However, I want to point out Gatorade may not be “healthy” choice by your standards and as well by mine but for many it is a superior alternative. To put things in perspective, I will use my mom whose go-to beverages are soda and coffee. Or how about the typical college student whose drinking profile consists of copious amounts of beer, liquor, monster, and red bull. These are common examples of individuals who would consume Gatorade and it would be a far superior or “healthy” selection.
It is important to remember the word “healthy” is not absolute and universally defined but rather relative to the individual.
Fuel the Movement,
what you are addressing is the line that is drawn for compromises. It is my understanding that the Gatorade Institute does a lot of valuable research and is an approved continuation provider, even for ACSM.
Some of this research, I am sure, is financed through the sales of Gatorade products. Jason is correct in pointing out that Gatorade maybe ‘healthy’ compared to other choices people may make. I do not consume it myself but I have been recommending it to people either as hydration in endurance events or as the lesser of many evils.
Events like the IDEA conferences need to be sponsored so that the cost for participating are doable for us. I like to think that IDEA has a standard below which sponsors, no matter how generous, are not accepted. I hope that the Marlboro man is among them.
Some things are a matter of ‘holding your nose’ and go ahead anyway. At this point, it is our own choice whether we are willing to go along.
Great discussion point.
Susan, there is no need for me to explain the premise behind Gatorade. However, one needs to ask what healthy alternative can one use when they lose loads of fluids and electrolytes during prolonged physical activity.
One has to consider health/risk benefits. Is it worth drinking a beverage that is not so healthy if it reduces the risk of dehydration, cardiac arrhythmias, hypernatremia, etc.
If one is using it as an a everyday drink then I can understand why one would consider its health benefits. However, it if is used for the purposed intended, then I truly feel it is promotes good health during prolonged sporting activities where one loses body fluids as well as glucose and electrolytes.
A good alternative to gatorade is water mixed with 100% fruit juice and a bit of electrolyte powder. Some people might complain it tastes watered down but you could try different ratios and juices. Too much juice to water ratio can cause cramping and poor absorption during exercise as a result of the sugar content though.