Why students and student-athletes are turning away from gatorade

PepsiCo. Inc, the maker of Gatorade decided to go organic with the release of their new version of all-natural sports drinks, G Organic, this past September because they feel many amateur athletes are swaying more to the organic side rather than the sugary side when it comes to sports drinks. PepsiCo Inc. stated that G Organic will consist of seven ingredients: water, organic cane sugar, citric acid, organic natural flavor, sea salt, sodium citrate and potassium chloride and nothing else. G Organic, however, still has the above normal amount of sugar, across Marist, student-athletes and students input their view and choices of drinking a sports beverage or just water before competition or exercise.

“I just drink water before a competition,” Isabella Morreale, Marist senior and swimmer said. “Sometimes, when I do drink Gatorade I dilute it with water to lessen the sugar.”

Gatorade has a series of unhealthy faults in the past, many people see the additives and artificial ingredients as harmful. According to the New York Times, back in 2013, Gatorade stopped producing the brominated vegetable oil additive, which was used to stop the separation of flavorings in its beverages. Studies linked the brominated vegetable oil to the cause of certain side effects such as neurological disorders.

Marist students that workout to stay in shape also seems to stay away from sugary sports drinks such as Gatorade.

“I don’t drink Gatorade or those other sports drinks because I just don’t like the taste,” Sean Leonard, Marist senior said, “I drink water or have a banana before I go workout.”

Marist professors actually try to warn students not to drink sugary drinks not only because of the health risks of the large sugar content but also the added coloring to the drinks.

Professor Zofia Gagnon, associate professor of environmental science and policy at Marist, talked extensively into how not only is Gatorade very harmful towards your health; the blue and red coloring can have the risk of causing more threatening health problems.

“Gatorade, especially with the blue and red coloring can cause obesity, tooth decay and problems with blood pressure,” Gagnon said.

According to the New York Times, a large amount of Gatorade consumption has been linked to tooth decay and blood disease.

“I drink Gatorade sometimes but not a lot because I know it has an unhealthy amount of sugar.” Justin Chanthalangsy, Marist junior and tennis athlete said.

According to the New York Times, Brett O’Brien, Gatorade’s senior Vice President believes that the switch to organic sports drinks was from a “desire among athletes to go organic.” The G Organic does cut off the adding of artificial food dyes which means they are moving in the right direction, but organic sugar is about as healthy as regular sugar. G Organic, therefore, is still similar to past Gatorade versions.

From talking to the Marist community about Gatorade, a consensus has formed that Gatorade is either too unhealthy or just too sugary. There seems to be a disinterest in switching to organic sports drinks and a preference to a sports beverage that is watered down rather than sugared up.


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