Drink Gatorade after a workout that lasts 60 minutes or longer. A long workout will deplete your body of energy and electrolytes. The carbs and electrolyte ingredients in Gatorade will help replenish what your body has lost. Do not drink Gatorade before exercise. These extra ingredients can make you feel bloated and sluggish if consumed before you work out. Instead, drink 16 ounces of water 2 hours before you work out.
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Why Shouldn’t You Drink Gatorade Before You Work Out?
Gatorade is designed to replenish carbs and electrolytes quickly that your body loses during intense exercise. If you have not recently exercised, the carbohydrates contained in Gatorade’s added sugar won’t be put to good use. Plus, you may flush the electrolytes in the drink out of your body through your urine.
- If you drink Gatorade or another sports drink before a workout your body won’t use the sugars and electrolytes effectively.
- If Gatorade is consumed prior to exercise, some electrolyte ingredients may be flushed out of the body with urine.
- Drinking Gatorade before a workout can make you feel sluggish and tired—this is due to the added sugars.
Because Gatorade contains sugars, it may make you feel less energetic if you drink it before working out. Often, you will feel bloated. This leads to a less productive workout.
What Should You Drink Before You Work Out?
2 hours before exercising, drink 16 ounces (2 cups) of plain water. This will provide you with adequate hydration before beginning intense physical activity. You also won’t feel bloated or tired after hydrating in this manner. Instead, you’ll be ready to work out to the best of your ability.
What Does Gatorade Do After a Workout?
Gatorade speeds recovery from a tough workout. The sugars in Gatorade provide instant energy for your brain and body, so you don’t experience an energy crash after your workout. Additionally, the salt in Gatorade replenishes the salt your body lost through sweat.
- Gatorade restores brain and body energy after an intense workout.
- Electrolytes in Gatorade replace the salt your body lost in sweat.
- Mineral ingredients in Gatorade prevent cramping and speed muscle recovery.
Gatorade also contains minerals such as Potassium, which decreases the chance of muscle cramps and aids your body in flushing lactic acids. This lessens recovery time before your next workout.
When Do You Need Gatorade?
Drink Gatorade only after an indoor workout lasting 60 minutes or more. If your workout is shorter than this, it’s unlikely that you’ve lost enough electrolytes to require a sports drink. If you are exercising outdoors for more than 30 minutes and sweating heavily, drink Gatorade. In both cases, 8–16 ounces of Gatorade is ideal for rehydration post-workout.
- If your indoor workout is over 60 minutes long, drink 8–16 ounces of Gatorade post-workout.
- If you sweat heavily during an outdoor workout 30 minutes or longer, drink 8–16 ounces of Gatorade following your workout.
- If your workout does not meet the criteria above, simply drink 8–16 ounces of water after working out.
If your exercise is not intense enough to require Gatorade, stick to water. 8–16 ounces of water following a mild to moderate workout will provide all your body needs.
Is Drinking Gatorade While Working Out Good?
It’s best to drink Gatorade during a workout only if you are sweating heavily. This will help you reclaim the salt your body loses through sweat. If you are sweating so much that your shirt is soaked through, drink 4–6 ounces of Gatorade, or another sports drink every 15–20 minutes of your workout.
- If you are sweating excessively during your workout, drink 4–6 ounces of Gatorade every 15–20 minutes.
- During workouts that do not cause excessive sweating, drink 4–6 ounces of water every 15–20 minutes.
If you are not sweating excessively, stick to water instead. For most athletes, drinking water before and during a workout is best. Drinking Gatorade during a workout can sometimes lead to feelings of fullness, which can be uncomfortable during exercise. In most cases, Gatorade is best reserved for post-workout hydration.
Can Gatorade Be a Pre-Workout?
Gatorade is a poor pre-workout. Most pre-workout supplements are designed to increase energy and drive a more intense workout. Because of this, they often include caffeine for an energy boost. Gatorade doesn’t contain caffeine or other short-term energy boosters. Instead, its energy is contained in sugars, making you feel more bloated and tired if you drink Gatorade before you exercise.
- Gatorade is not a good pre-workout supplement.
- If you drink Gatorade before exercise the sugars may make you feel more tired.
- Take a pre-workout supplement with caffeine before you work out.
However, if you are sweating excessively due to your pre-workout supplement, it may be time to drink Gatorade during your workout. This can prevent painful muscle cramps before they start.
Should You Drink Gatorade Before or After Working Out?
What is the best use of Gatorade? When should you drink it? Below are the best rules to follow to get the most out of Gatorade:
- Before Workout: Drink 16 ounces of water 2 hours before working out.
- During Workout: Drink 4–6 ounces of water or Gatorade every 15–20 minutes. Choose Gatorade only if you are sweating excessively.
- After Workout: Drink 16 ounces of water or Gatorade. Choose Gatorade if your indoor workout was over 60 minutes or if you sweat excessively during an outdoor workout 30 minutes or longer.
By using Gatorade only as a mid- and post-workout electrolyte and energy replenisher, you’ll recover quickly, have more energy, and avoid feeling lethargic.