I run a lot. Sometimes I need a little more than water to replenish after a hard workout or race.
Problem: Gatorade (and other sports drinks) contain a whole mess of high fructose corn syrup, brominated vegetable oil (??), and artificial colors. Plus, these drinks can be pretty caloric and I generally prefer to eat my calories rather than drink them. Not to mention that Gatorade generally gives me heart burn (because I’m 85 years old).
I found this on a last minute trip to the (amazingly awesome) Dillons that just opened by my apartment (replacing the tiny, ancient Dillons across the parking lot) before leaving for a meet last week. I could tell I was desperately dehydrated (as usual) and that I needed some electrolytes in addition to just plain water but I just have trouble ignoring that Gatorade ingredient list. I mean, if I need my body to be functioning at its best for a competition, it doesn’t seem like the time to be filling it up with chemicals. This sports drink uses fruit and vegetable juices for flavor and color and has no shady ingredients.
**I also just stumbled across this natural Gatorade?! I haven’t seen it anywhere and it probably costs an arm and a leg, but I’ll definitely keep an eye out!**
Problem: It was $1.45 for this tiny bottle which I easily destroyed before I even got home.
Solution: Keep supporting companies like this so that some day natural sports drinks will be as affordable as the 75 cents for 32 ounces of Gatorade.
My hydration dilemma is not over.
Problem: I HATE water. Sure, it’s OK after a run or when it’s ice cold, but other than that, I struggle to get 48 ounces a day….96 ounces if I’m SUPER on top of it, but this rarely happens. Yes, I eat lots of fruits and vegetables and drink milk but I know I don’t drink nearly enough for someone who runs as much as I do, especially now that it’s getting warmer out. I’ve tried so many things to get myself to drink more and some have definitely worked (like having 2 water bottles, with one in the fridge getting nice and cold and one with me at all times) but most of the time, just the thought of drinking water makes me cringe. It just doesn’t sound good!
I notice a visible difference in how I feel throughout the day and while running when I’m dehydrated vs. hydrated, so this has to be fixed.
I’ve known for awhile that I like this stuff (I could go to town on it when I was younger), but I haven’t drank pop in almost 7 years and a little part of me kind of viewed this as pop. It’s not. It’s sparkling water and for crying out loud if that’s what it takes for me to hydrate, then so be it.
Problem: The store brand (on the left) has some ingredients I’m not too excited about, mainly artificial sweetners. I’m not a fan of these because a) they have not been proven safe and the general consensus of the research I have read is to avoid them b) …they’re artificial. Not natural. Engineered in a lab. 😦 So, the natural foods aisle saved me again. Kind of. Right next to my new favorite sports drink was an organic sparkling water. Half the size and over twice as expensive (65 cents to $1.95). And? It didn’t taste nearly as good. In fact, I had to mix it with the other just to be able to drink it (otherwise it tasted like….water. Or plain sparkling water, to be more specific, which tastes even worse than plain water to me).
Solution: Stick with the cheaper sparkling water in small bits for now. It REALLY helped me hydrate and I figure that it certainly isn’t as bad as the Gatorade I might otherwise drink. And I won’t replace all of my water consumption with this. It’ll just help out if I have some around so I can drink a bottle on those days when water sounds particularly unappealing.