If you don't enjoy the plain taste of water during exercise, you might reach for a bottle of Gatorade to help keep you hydrated. This brightly colored sports drink, which is available in a number of flavors and varieties, provides benefits such as helping replenish the electrolytes you lose when you sweat. The drink's main ingredients vary slightly according to flavor and how the drink is sweetened.
Gatorade Thirst Quencher
Gatorade Thirst Quencher is the formal name to the traditional variety of the drink, which is available in flavors such as berry, fruit punch, orange and lemon-lime. Water, sugar, dextrose, citric acid, flavoring, salt, sodium citrate and monopotassium phosphate are the core ingredients common in each flavor. Other ingredients, such as Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6 and Blue 1, dictate the drink's color, while individual flavors have assorted other ingredients. Fruit punch, for example, contains the above ingredients and modified corn starch and glycerol ester of rosin.
Gatorade's G2 brand is available in flavors such as fruit punch, grape and orange, but is sweetened with sugar and low-calorie sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium to keep the drink low in calories. Common ingredients in several flavors of G2 are water, sugar, citric acid, salt, sodium citrate, flavoring, monopotassium phosphate, sucralose and acesulfame potassium. Coloring agents such as Red 40, Blue 1 and Yellow 5 provide the color.
Gatorade Prime is a drink served in a pouch designed for athletes to drink before they begin exercising or competing. It's available in flavors such as orange and grape. Ingredients include water, isomaltulose, sugar, dextrose, maltodextrin, citric acid, flavoring, xanthan gum, salt, monopotassium phosphate, calcium pantothenate, niacinamide and coloring such as Yellow 5 or Red 40.
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Gatorade Recover contains protein and carbohydrates to help your body recover after exercise. Its flavors include mixed berry and tropical orange. Common ingredients, regardless of flavor, include water, sugar, whey protein, collagen, dextrose, flavoring, maltodextrin, phosphoric acid, citric acid, sodium bisulphate salt, sucralose and acesulfame potassium. Coloring agents such as Red 40 and Yellow 5 dictate the color of the drink.
Ingredients such as water, sugar and salt are easy to understand, but those with long, complicated names aren't in most peoples' vocabulary. Dextrose is a sweetener, while citric acid helps enhance the drink's flavor. Monopotassium phosphate is a type of salt that provides potassium and phosphorus, which are the drink's source of electrolytes. Calcium pantothenate is a B vitamin, whey protein is a source of protein derived from milk and phosphoric acid gives the drink a tart flavor.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.