GI trouble from drinking gatorade?

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    As part of my tri training I have been trying to get used to drinking electrolyte replenishing drinks like gatorade. I just started training with gatorade last Saturday and I am sorry to report that my GI tract has not been happy about it. I won’t elaborate too much, but let’s just say that I have been drinking a lot of water to replenish what was lost. I have been on a fairly specific diet plan for the last three or four months that has focused on complex carbohydrates and lean protein, for weight loss purposes. Is my body simply reacting badly to the refined sugar of gatorade? Has anyone else had this experience? Thanks in advance for your help.

    Profile photo of deepbluex

    Have you tried diluting your mix so it’s more watered down? I usually use a mixture that has half the gatorade recommended.

    Profile photo of tri_newbie_nerd

    I don’t get to the point that I have the GI troubles you do, but very rarely can I drink that stuff straight- too much sugar! I ended up feeling more dehydrated than I started. I often dilute 50/50 (which I have read in Gatorade’s own literature that they have specified to drink it as such) and even that is still too sweet at times.

    Watch that they don’t use high fructure corn syrup as the 2nd main ingredient. Usually its sucrose, but I swear I’ve seen some bottles that list HFCS as the sugar. At any rate, some people can’t tolerate HFCS. But they generally have problem with other fructose-laden foods such as fruit (esp. apples) and certain artifical sweetners.

    Profile photo of Star

    I’ve been struggling too, and have switched to Hammer products bec. they don’t use sugar in their products. They tout consistent, reliable energy – no sugar crash; Easy to consume and assimilate, gentle on the stomach; made with complex carbos and wholesome ingredients. Plus, depending one which product you use, there may be electrolytes in the mix. You can ask more questions at . Fueling is an individual thing we figure out through trial and error: Good luck!

    Profile photo of Anton

    As Star said fueling is individual so practice makes perfect. I do fine with GA but know others who don’t. Hammer is good.
    Here is a recent article (similar to one in Runners World) about new thinking in Hydration.

    I know for myself,since I have been trying to follow some newer guidlines ,I’ve had less GI stress and bloating. probably because I was drinking too much…

    Profile photo of dr_rios_ec

    Hello indiana1414 :
    Experimentation, is the key to find the right formula for every single athlete…is good to follow gide lines as a base, but at the end, every athlete is a particular system that works in a certain way. It would be good for the analysis that you tell a bit more of your symptoms.
    In general, Gatorade or any other sport drink, can cause, two problems. One is the acidic content to irritate the GI producing pain, and sometimes even heartburn, depending of how sensitive is the person. The other is GI distress with bloating, pain/cramping, and abdominal distention, because the sugar content and nature.
    This problems are not only caused by Gatorade..every brand out in the market have been reported to produce some problems depending on the subject.
    So…diluting as the guys told you, is a great start….also the amount in volumen of what you are consuming is a good measure.
    Trying different brands is the rational aproach too….
    Be patient, sometimes takes time, but at the end you will come up with the right formula.
    Hope you feel better soon

    Profile photo of kona_expat

    If you dilute Gatorade then you are not getting the benefit it is designed for (6% carb solution or whatever it is plus the electrolytes). BUT, I think anyone CAN get used to it and diluting it is the way to go. So maybe 50-50 for a week, then 75/25, then full strength.

    The other thing that I believe is that it’s not what you are putting in your stomach that is giving you the problems it’s knowing how many calories and ounces of fluid YOU can handle per hour given your body comp, fitness, exercise intensity and weather conditions.

    Most people are just guessing. We can function generally on less calories than we think we need.

    When people change products, oftentimes what they really are changing is the caloric load in their system, and presto, problem solved.

    Figure out your calorie needs especially if you plan to get into long-course triathlon, where it’s as important as your training to your success.

    Profile photo of admin

    Thanks for the info. I’ve had similar reactions to refined sugars before (in those days of long ago that I actually drank regular cola), punctuated by some pretty terrible and hurried trips to the bathroom. I am definitely going to try watering it down and seeing if that helps. I also realized that the first three times I had it in my training were on an empty stomach. It would make some sense for a relatively foreign substance (e.g. refined sugar) would have that sort of effect on my system, especially if it was ingested without anything else to act as a buffer. As always, I really appreciate the insight and experience that y’all bring to the forums. It has helped me feel like I might actually accomplish this first tri.

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