What does it mean that Gatorade is a 6% carbohydrate beverage? How is carbohydrate percentage calculated?
Six per cent is the concentration, and means six grams of carbohydrate per 100 mL of fluid (metric units). The label will list 14 g per 250ml serving. Years of laboratory research has shown that a 6% carbohydrate solution provides an appealing taste profile when exercising, is rapidly emptied from the stomach and absorbed by the intestine, and delivers performance-enhancing energy to active muscles. Sports drinks with lower or higher concentrations than 6% carbohydrate are unlikely to deliver on all these key attributes. When checking carbohydrate percentages, refer to the Nutrition Information Panel and the per 100ml column. For example 6g per 100ml is 6% carbohydrate.
What is the osmolality of Gatorade?
In scientific terms, osmolality is a measure of the number of particles in a solution and can affect absorption properties. For example, water has a very low osmolality (close to zero) whereas orange or apple juice has a higher osmolality because there is more sugar molecules dissolved in it. The osmolality of Gatorade ranges from 300mOsmol/L up to a maximum of approximately 380mOsmol/L over the shelf-life. That and the types of carbohydrate and electrolytes help assure rapid absorption. If beverage osmolality becomes too high (e.g. soft drinks and fruit juices), the rate of fluid absorption is slowed and can promote stomach upset during exercise.
Is there any scientific basis for the way Gatorade tastes?
Yes, Gatorade is formulated to taste best during physical activity because it contains electrolytes and the right flavour profile to help drive the thirst mechanism. The right flavour profile is achieved by creating flavours that are light and not overpowering so that they can be consumed in large quantities with minimum sensory overload during physical activity.
What are the electrolytes in Gatorade?
In Gatorade, the key electrolytes are sodium, potassium and chloride. When athletes sweat, they lose electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and chloride that are essential to hydration and muscle function. Gatorade is lab-tested to ensure it helps replenish the electrolytes lost in sweat and stimulates thirst so athletes will ingest an adequate amount of fluid and electrolytes to stay better well-hydrated compared to when using beverages without electrolytes, particularly sodium.1 2 3
Why do you use artificial colour? Can you make Gatorade without artificial colours?
- Maughan RJ. Fluid and electrolyte loss and replacement in exercise. J Sports Sci 9:117-142, 1991.
- Passe D, et al. Impact of beverage acceptability on fluid intake during exercise. Appetite 35:219-229, 2000. (Full disclosure: GSSI study)
- Wilk B and O Bar-Or. Effect of drink flavor and NaCl on voluntary drinking and hydration in boys exercising in the heat. J Appl Physiol 80:1112–1117, 1996. (Full disclosure: GSSI funded study)
The colours of Gatorade not only look good but also help in flavour perception and enable you to tell different flavours apart. All colours and ingredients in Gatorade are approved for use by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ.)
Does Gatorade include High Fructose Corn Syrup? Why not?
HFCS is not used in Australia for Gatorade products, as cane sugar is freely available in this region.
Does Gatorade contain caffeine? Why not?
Currently, caffeine is not present in Gatorade products. Caffeine is a stimulant and many sports health professionals have concerns about athletes over-consuming caffeine.
Does Gatorade contain Gluten? Why not?
No, as none of our Gatorade products have gluten containing ingredients.
What is sucralose? Is it sucrose?
Sucrose is a type of sugar commonly known as table sugar. Sucralose is an artificial sweetener providing zero calories (kilojoules). Like many no- and low-calorie sweeteners, to provide bulk and volume, sucralose contains a very small amount of common food ingredients, e.g., dextrose and/or maltodextrin. As the amount of these ingredients is small, it still has an insignificant calorie value per serving and meets the FSANZ standard as an intense sweetener.
The safety of sucralose is well documented in more than 100 scientific studies conducted over a 20-year period. In addition, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) www.foodstandards.gov.au, the peak food regulatory body for Australia & New Zealand, reviewed all the studies and has classified sucralose as safe for use as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and international health authorities such as the World Health Organization, and found to be safe for use by all consumers.
Why doesn't Gatorade contain fruit juice?
Fruit juice contains sugars such as fructose and added sucrose in concentrations that slow gastric emptying and may result in intestinal upset when athletes drink it during exercise.