During the steamy summer of 1965, a University of Florida Gator's football coach pondered why high temperatures were taking a toll on some players. Subsequently, scientists and physicians assembled, examined, and formulated a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage called “Gatorade”. When the Gators went 9-2 and won the Orange Bowl the following year, other colleges began placing orders for the drink mixture, and there we have the humble start of sport drinks.
The original Gatorade was a simple mixture of water, salt, sugar, potassium, phosphate, and lemon juice. Today, here’s what a Gatorade brand grape G2 thirst quencher is comprised of: water, citric acid, natural and artificial flavor, monopotassium phosphate, sucralose (the artificial sweetener Splenda), acesulfame potassium, red 40, and blue 1. No sign of humble ingredients. In fact, some of these ingredients are well documented for causing liver damage and behavior concerns in children.
For many sports drinks, the marketing has gotten savvier, but the ingredient list has become abysmal. Here we take a look at three drinks that -- while not necessarily marketed as “sports” drinks -- have many health benefits without the artificial ingredients.