Comparing Water, Powerade and Gatorade
Comparing Water, Powerade and Gatorade

Comparing Water, Powerade and Gatorade

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The value and utility of water is often overlooked, especially when seen in comparison with manufactured drinks such as Powerade and Gatorade. Recent scientific studies have revealed that many people go about their daily routines in a state of mild dehydration. While this deficiency is not serious in the immediate future, there could be negative consequences in the long run. Even a 1-2 percent chronic deficiency in hydration levels could affect all aspects of healthy living, including cognitive function, circadian rhythm and sexual function. It was also found that proper functioning of salivary gland, risk of developing kidney stones, urinary tract cancers, are all dependent on the daily intake levels of water. In this context, people who workout regularly should adopt a well-planned re-hydration program, in order to replenish the expended quantities of water and other essential salts and minerals.

Thirty two of the fifty five attorneys workout for an hour for five days a week, which is a substantial exercise regimen. But each individual has his/her own rate of sweating and losing electrolyte content. This means that different individuals of the law firm should customize their fluid intake program to suit the particular needs of their bodies. Considering the lengthy workout regimen adopted by most lawyers, there is a strong case for consuming beverages such as Powerade and Gatorade during and after the workout period. Since sports drinks such as Powerade and Gatorade contain carbohydrates in addition to electrolytes, they provide a more comprehensive replenishment when compared to water.

In the case of standard vari

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ety of Powerade, one serving of the drink (approximately 244 grams) can provide 78 calories of energy, which is derived from the 15 gms of sugars present in it. One serving of the drink also contains 54 mg of Sodium and 32 mg of Potassium, along with traces of Vitamin C and Iron. The Sodium and Potassium are usually included in the form of their citrates. It has also got salt, Phenylalanini, Sucralose, Malic Acid, Potassium phosphate, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B2. The other good thing about Powerade is that it is completely devoid of fat and cholesterol.

What make the sports drinks all the more appealing is the various flavours and varieties in which they are available. Popular flavors include grape, lemon, mixed fruit, cherry, orange, sour melon, etc. For those lawyers who are overweight, there is the option of consuming low calorie varieties of Powerade and Gatorade. In the low-calorie varieties, conventional sugar syrups are replaced by a mixture of high fructose corn syrup, sucralose and acesulfame potassium. Of course, for consumers it is always a trade-off between cost and benefit. While palatable water is available for negligible cost, the sports drinks can cost several dollars when consumed regularly. Moreover, the manufacturers of Powerade and Gatorade (Coca-Cola and Pepsico respectively) adhere to high standards of quality in processing these drinks. But the same cannot be said about drinking water. On the flip side, the sports drinks have the disadvantage of adding excess calories and being expensive to buy.

While the sports drinks provide vital salts and minerals, they are not the only means through which the

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body can aquire them. Water from natural fresh water sources such as mountain streams and nascent rivulets contain traces of minerals and salts, which can perform the same function of the sports drinks. But the minerals and salts in the sports drinks are in concentrated form whereas those present in natural water sources are highly diluted. In this context, the lawyers can adopt the strategy of consuming eight glasses of natural water everyday, which would meet the daily recommendation levels for water as well as vital salts and minerals. Of course, choosing a balanced diet can also help restore essential nutrients in the body over the long run.

Hence, in conclusion, there is no rule of thumb that is applicable to all individuals in the group (in this case the 55 attorneys in the law firm). Of the three items discussed above, water is the most important for overall health and wellbeing. Sports drinks such as Powerade and Gatorade are not mandatory for most individual needs. In other words, water collected from fresh natural sources can provide daily recommended levels of essential salts and minerals. The only drawback with water is that it has to be consumed in large quantities to fulfill the daily requisite levels. But on the other hand, sports drinks are more consistent in their quality and labelled quantities. For example, every bottle of Powerade or Gatorade contains the exact percentages of the ingredients as seen in the labels. With naturlly occuring mineral water, on the other hand can differ in conposition depending on the local geology. Hence, a judicious balance between sports drinks and water can satisfy the daily hydration requirements of most individuals.

References:

Exercise and Fluid Replacement (February 2007), Medicine & Science in Sports &
Exercise, – Volume 39 – Issue 2 – pp 377-390, retrieved from on 26th September, 2007
Kleiner, S. M, (June 2002), Can “8-a-day” keep cancer away?, Water: An essential but overlooked nutrient, retrieved from on 26th September, 2007
Dietary Reference Intakes for Electrolytes And Water (February 11, 2004), retrieved from on 26th September, 2007
Food Labeling and Nutrition, retrieved from on 26th September, 2007

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