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Do you take sports drinks every time you do work outs or play you favorite sports? Those stuff that promises to help build muscle, lose weight and keep you hydrated? Gatorade is one of these well-known sports drink brand.

Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t realize that Gatorade takes its name from the University of Florida Gators, the intercollegiate sports teams that represent the University of Florida located in Gainesville, Florida– not really from what the others thought the brand derived its name from, as they say its secret ingredient: alligator juice. Yay.

And it was initially formulated to save lives when an assistant coach for the football team voiced his concerns over the number of players in the hospital for dehydration and heat exhaustion. Physicians realized it was due to loss of carbohydrates and electrolytes, and developed Gatorade to help the guys replenish. Good thing, too, because it was desperately needed at the time — up to 25 football players in America were dying each year because of heat-induced ailments.

Those are just small details about the popular sports drink brand that now has plenty of competitors in the market. But hey, do you really need any of them to enhance your workout?

Actually if you are exercising for less than an hour, you don’t need a sports drink, you just need water.

Sports drinks are formulated for athletes who work out for more than 60 minutes — or less than that but very intensely. They are not designed for the “recreational athletes” or spectators.

If you’re just doing simple exercises or jogs around the neighborhood while listening to your fave music, water is enough. Water provides no sodium, which helps the body hold onto water and helps fluid get to the right places in the body, like muscles and blood. Although water may not be that tasty just like your favorite sports drink.

The reason why sports drinks have flavors is to help a person who works out harder or longer to keep on drinking more. It’s important for them to get enough fluid during their session. Also, these sports drinks contain calories that can add up when you drink them in a regular basis. If you prefer to drink with a little flavor look for fitness waters that provide the necessary fluid with some tastes and only a few calories.

People who work out longer than an hour or from medium to high intensity might want to consider a sports drink. But remember that ounce per ounce, they contain half of the calories or sugar of a fruit juice or a regular soda and can quickly add calories on your diet that basically causing you to defeat the purpose of hard work that you put in.

In choosing a sports drink, brand should be less important than the label. You may want to get the one with no more than 6%-8% of carbohydrates. Any higher may slow down the rate of which food and fluids leave the stomach that causes nausea, cramping and diarrhea.  Dr. Julie Silver of Harvard Health School advised that unless you are training for a marathon, or exercising in the Florida heat for an extended period of time, it’s better to drink some water instead and save your body from calories.


Paolo is your regular 8 to 5pm work guy who loves to travel and plays sports once in a while to keep up with his work-life balance. He always bring with him his Oleia Topical oil wherever, whenever.