Why Sports Drinks are Ruining your Workout

They match your gym shorts but are bringing you down

Take my money, you tasty orange-colored magic potion

Orange Gatorade: A Love Story

I loved Gatorade, more than any drink I have tasted. I craved it every day and dreamed of it at night. It was the perfect accompaniment to all of my workouts. It was like drinking a magic potion when I was thirsty. My trash was littered with the remnants of satisfaction. My bank account drained a few bucks every day to ensure I was well stocked. I wanted my fridge to look like ones on MTV Cribs, but with all Gatorade. I went with orange most of the time. Orange is the color of health, duh! It screamed nutrition and hydration to my young, easy influenced mind. I bought into the hype of the brand. It was clear I needed Gatorade to enhance my fitness performance. Gatorade guided me to the promised land of fitness and health.

Caution Obstacles in the Roadway Dead Ahead

The Performance Experience

Sports drinks replenishes your electrolytes. This is the value proposition. I am willing to take that at face value. They help you recover faster so you can get back to your peak performance levels. These beliefs are why I bought into the idea. I wanted to be at my best. I wanted to push myself harder. I wanted to recover faster. Plus, I loved how it tasted.

At the time, it was such a part of the American culture. Like energy drinks of the early 2000s, pro-athletes of all genres guzzled sports drinks as I watched them on TV. These were the top performances, the best of the best in their respected sports. I emulated them, so I followed their leads. I assumed if they drank it, it was going to help my fitness performance. It was clear to me that sports drinks were part of the fitness experience.

The Fallacy

Humans have existed for hundreds of thousands of year without sports drinks. We hunted, we ran, we exercised. Not just for fun, but for survival. How did we make it this far without sports drinks? I am shocked we are even alive. I use sarcasm because I was duped, fooled by a great market campaign. Like so many others, I wanted to enhance my health, but I ended up hurting it.

I believed that Gatorade was based on sports and nutrition science and I still think it was. But, somewhere along the way, marketing took over, sugar was added and like many great things it got deluded into something else.

I was replacing my electrolytes but filling my body with unneeded sugar. It slowed me down. Sports drinks were hurting my performance. I needed to abandon them to get my health and fitness performance back on track.

Water: The Girl Next Door

You have seen her your entire life. She has always been there, but you never bothered to look. Simple, beautiful and sleek. It’s everything you need and just so perfect. Water is life. Think of this as the late 90s and channel your inner Adam Sandler in The Waterboy. Oh, that sweet H2o.

Here is what you can do to replace your electrolytes without sports drinks:

  1. Drink coconut water
  2. Drink water with a pinch of salt, some lemon juice, and a splash fruit juice
  3. Drink water and eat plant based foods — really that’s it. Your body will take care of the rest

It’s not magic, it’s science. Nourish your body and it will take care of you. If you need some help, drink an extra glass of that sexy girl from next door: water. Did I mention water is free? Water is all you need to get back to your peak performance. It’s the beautiful elixir of life. It’s so simple and reliable. Drink it early and often. Before, after and during your fitness experiences. If you want to feel special, buy a nice water bottle to match your gym shorts, so you don’t lose that feeling. As for me, I am putting those extra bucks to enhance my life in other ways. I think I will spend those extra dollars on cold-pressed juice — I hear it’s life changing. ;)

oh hello you! Where have you been all of my life?
  1. I love it when my gym shorts match my sports drink #fleek
  2. I loved Gatorade, more than any drink I have tasted
  3. I wanted to believe sports drinks would help me recover faster
  4. Sports drinks gave way to energy drinks… this seems healthy #smh
  5. Water is the sexy girl next door you never noticed
  6. Did I mention water is free?
  7. Don’t let sports drinks ruin your workout
  8. Electrolytes are surprisingly easy to find in your food
  9. Goodbye Gatorade, I will never forget you
  10. Cold-pressed juice is magic ;)


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