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Powerade. When I lift weights, I want to feel powerful. Could Powerade help me with this? After a heavy workout, I am covered in sweat. Should I drink water or Powerade?
Athletes need salt. When you exercise, your body needs to have its electrolytes replaced. Products such as Powerade are effective in replacing electrolytes.
Questions. Is Powerade (or Gatorade) good for you? And is there a healthier alternative? Should I use for bodybuilding? And do I even need it for a treadmill workout?
My answer. I looked at the nutrition information of Powerade and its ingredients list. Powerade contains sodium, potassium, and carbohydrates in the form of sugars.
HFCS: Powerade may contain high-fructose corn syrup. This depends on your location. Other forms of sugar are sometimes used.
Nutrition facts for Powerade Serving size 8 fl oz (about 1 cup) Fat 0 Sodium 100 mg 4% Potassium 24 mg 1% Carbohydrates 19 g 6%
Good for you? I consider Powerade a good product for athletes who replacing electrolytes due to strenuous or vigorous exercise. It is not a healthy drink to consume all the time.
For endurance athletes, who are in critical need of salt replacement, Powerade is useful. During vigorous exercise, the need for electrolytes is more critical than reducing sugar intake.
High-fructose corn syrup causes health problems. But scientific research has not established precisely how it compares to sugar. Often I see ads for Powerade.
And: I wondered if Powerade contains high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Powerade often contains high-fructose corn syrup.
In the United States, I visited a store and bought a bottle of Fruit Punch flavored Powerade. It was the regular kind: not the zero-calorie kind. It had high-fructose corn syrup.
Other countries. I found Powerade contains no high-fructose corn syrup in Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea. Ingredients also vary by country.
Unlike Gatorade, Powerade's ingredients list High Fructose Corn Syrup as a main ingredient.Powerade: Wikipedia
Note: I found that Powerade likely contains high-fructose corn syrup if you live in the United States. My test showed that it does.
Note 2: It does not contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in Australia. So you may need to check your local store.
A specific use. Powerade is not a good drink to consume when you are sedentary. It is only useful if you are an athlete needing to replace your electrolytes.
But: It is an unhealthy drink in other situations due to its HFCS content. It is best to avoid excess HFCS.
Needed? In terms of physical fitness, drinks like Powerade are a low priority. I exercise nearly every day, but my workouts are fairly short—less than an hour.
So: I do not need to carefully replace my electrolytes. For me, a drink like Powerade is not necessary.
Instead: Powerade would add excess calories to my diet in the form of sugar. This would tend to make me fatter, not more buff.
Water. An article in The New York Times provides guidance about sports drinks like Powerade and Gatorade. Sports drinks are only needed for top athletes and during long workouts.
Sports drinks serve a purpose among elite athletes and those who exercise for long periods. But for those who exercise at a moderate intensity for an hour or less, water is probably the better choice.The Claim: For Better Hydration
Diet soda. Medical research finds that the more of these artificially sweetened drinks, like diet soda, we drink, the more fat we gain.
So: Should diet soda, or even no-calorie sweetened sports drinks, be used by bodybuilders?Diet Soda, Bodybuilding
Orange juice. Certain other beverages, such as orange juice, can be used as sports supplements. This has been studied in medical research.Orange Juice, Exercise
Story. This probably won't make Coca-Cola happy, but I tend to avoid all of these drinks. I feel the advice given by the NYT article is sound. The excess calories are more harm than good.
However: As with other bodybuilders, I always want to take a miracle supplement to grow my muscles for little effort.
And yet: I know that hard work, discipline, good genetics, and perhaps some steroids (prescribed by a doctor) are the way to get stronger.
In exercising, Powerade is useful for replacing electrolytes. In other times in your life, I would skip it. Powerade is no better than sugary sodas.