What Is the Best Natural Alternative Sports Drink To Gatorade?

Muscle Building Drinks That Work

Gatorade seems to be the drink of choice for athletes to replenish electrolytes. However, when you consider all the sugar and dye in the product, many often wonder if it is more harmful than “good for you”? This article will explore the benefits of electrolyte boosting sports drinks and offer light as to natural amazing alternatives like Ultra Slender Tea.

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Ingredients in Gatorade

The main reason consumers buy Gatorade is because of the electrolyte boost it provides to athletes. However, the term “electrolytes” can be quite vague and many people don’t really understand what specific electrolytes are being depleted in their body during exercise. The main electrolytes in Gatorade are sodium, potassium and chloride. These are the key minerals that are lost through sweat when the body exercises. So as a general rule of thumb; when the body is losing lots of water (i.e. during exercise), it only makes sense to replace these electrolytes.

What most people don’t realize is that when you put all the marketing hype aside, there are some great alternatives which provide just as much nutrients and electrolytes, if not MORE! For example, a 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade has 75mg of potassium, versus a small Clementine which has 131mg. Or you could eat a simple banana, which has ~422mg of potassium and 8% of the daily requirement of magnesium. There’s even a gram or two of protein in a banana, and added vitamins in Clementine’s such as calcium, vitamin C and folate.

Muscle Building Drinks That Work

So what are some great alternative sports drinks to Gatorade? The main product which we highly recommend is “Ultra Slender Tea”. Don’t let the name throw you off- it’s a great product to compliment a workout. It contains key ingredients that will replenish your electrolytes …even more so than Gatorade!

For example, Ultra Slender Tea contains the highest quality organic herbs that are rich in the key minerals (1) magnesium (2) sodium and (3) potassium. Below is a chart to help you compare Gatorade to Ultra Slender Tea, and just basically show you how mineral and nutrient rich tea can be. Who would have thought? So much goodness could be in “TEA” …and it just so happens to be great tasting and contain a LOT LESS SUGAR! -woo!

UST versus gatorade4

Sports drinks also contain carbohydrates (i.e. from the sweetener) which are supposed to provide energy to help delay fatigue. The Gatorade Co. says lab tests have shown that 6% carbohydrate (14 grams of carbohydrate per 8 ounces of water) is the optimal percentage of carbohydrates for speeding fluid and energy back into the body. However, most of the carbohydrates come from sugar!

With so much sugar in a sports drink (up to 34g in the average bottle), the sugar tends to flow into the blood stream to quickly! This will often result in a sugar-crash and more fat storage afterwards.  What do we mean by an increase of fat storage? Well, the rush of glucose/sugar in the body from a sports drink will raise your insulin levels so high that this elevated insulin will trigger you body to store fat and hold onto existing fat stores (for a good resource on this process, check

out Mark Hyman’s book “The Blood Sugar Solution”). When the sugars hit the liver, they can be deposited there. So even if a person is not “fat” on the outside, there is unnecessary fat storage happening on the inside, which , along with confused insulin responses, predisposes you to all kinds of diseases.

Better to go with a more natural alternative that can provide, less sugar, more soluble-fiber and more minerals/electrolytes (i.e. Ultra Slender Tea).  Why soluble fiber you may ask? Well, soluble fiber will prevent the rush of glucose in the body and excel fat storage in the liver.

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Bad Ingredients In Gatorade

The most harmful ingredient that has raised a lot of controversy is “brominated vegetable oil”. Brominated Vegetable oil is added to Gatorade to keep the drink from getting cloudy and the artificial flavor suspended in the drink. This controversial substance is linked to serious health consequences like skin rashes, severe acne and thyroid disease and is banned in Europe and Japan! (Update: Gatorade recently decided to phase out this ingredient due to a recent successful petition, but Powerade still contains it).


Fire Retardant Chemical In Mountain Dew

Let’s face it, we all have a carbonated beverage now and again, or a Gatorade after a long workout. Or maybe your the one who opts for the “sugar-free” beverage FRESCA when you want to reduce your caloric intake and be nicer to your body (even though it still contains aspartame).

So what do Gatorate, Powerade, Mountain Dew and Fresca all have in common? A chemical called “Brominate Vegetable Oil” (BVO). BVO is classified as a food additive, but there is limited knowledge of its composition, researchers have found. However, it does contain bromine, which is also a flame retardant! YUCK! It’s main use however is to keep flavor oils in suspension and provide that cloudy appearance.

SOFT DRINK SHOCKER Although, Health Canada and the Food and Drug Administration in the USA say there are “no health risks associated with BVO when the density-adjusting agent is used according to regulations” (i.e. 15 ppm are allowed to be used in citrus or spruce-flavored beverages as consumed), it still doesn’t sit right with many consumers today. If it there are no health risks, why is it banned in Japan and mostly all EU countries?!

It is important to note the BVO was used in Canada prior to the creation of Health Canada’s food additive table in 1964 and was only formally added to the table with its current restrictions in the late 1960s or 1970s (aka, when North American’s were not addicted to soda!). The problem only escalates when you learn that carbonated soft drinks are the most-consumed beverages, with an average of 44.7 gallons consumed per person, per year in America (source: Huffington Post). So it is most likely, that consumers will ingest more than the limit of 15ppm of BVO – making it harmful to one’s health!

Health Effects of Bromine To Body

So what are the exact health implications BVO causes? There is limited research but scientists will acknowledge that bromine Bromine will build up in your body lipids (aka your body holds onto it and doesn’t properly excrete it). According to Mary Hartley, R.D. in SHAPE Magazine

“BVO leaves residues in the body’s fatty tissues, including the brain, liver, and other organs,” Hartley says. “It can cause a wide variety of symptoms, such as headaches, vision problems, loss of coordination, and skin rashes. Animal studies show that BVO is transferred from mother’s milk to a nursing infant, which, in theory, could cause heart lesions, fatty changes in the liver, impaired growth, and behavioral problems.”

Action Taken to Remove Brominated Vegetable Oil From Gatorade

There has been an overgrowing movement to take BVO out of PepsiCo’s drinks. In fact, a young girl by the name of Sara Kavanagh, now 16, created a petition on the ever-so-popular “change.org” website  last year called “Don’t put flame retardant chemicals in Gatorade” after Goggling the ingredient found on her Gatorade. As a result 206,652 people signed her online petition and as of January, 2013 PepsiCo removed BVO from Gatorade, and replaced it with “sucrose acetate isobutyrate” (SAID).

Small Problem – PepsiCo’s ONLY removed BVO from Gatorade, not Mountain Dew or Fresca

I applaud PepsiCo for doing the responsible thing and voluntarily getting BVO out of Gatorade without waiting for government officials to require it to do so. That said, Gatorade without BVO is nutritionally no better than with it.

The unfortunate part about all this, is that despite PepsiCo taking BVO out of GATORADE and replacing this chemical with SAID, they did NOT REMOVE BVO from any other products they make. It is still in Mountain Dew and a slew of other soft drinks -grr!

remove BVO from mountain dew If you want PepsiCo to remove BVO from all drinks, sign the petition here.