Gatorade Zero is a caffeine and sugar-free sports drink that helps refresh electrolytes. Besides, it has artificial colors and sweeteners that might increase hyperactivity in children and other health issues. Moreover, it may increase insulin resistance. As such, it makes the drink questionable, especially for diabetic patients.
Is Gatorade Zero good for diabetics? A closer look at the ingredients of Gatorade Zero might be helpful in this context. So, if you have diabetes and thinking about buying a few bottles of Gatorade Zero, this post will tell you whether or not it is healthy for you.
What does Gatorade Zero contain?
Gatorade Zero is available in three different flavors and it consists of lots of ingredients. Besides, most of these ingredients are the same for each of the flavors. Some of the ingredients include water, sodium citrate, citric acid, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, and so on.
While Gatorade Zero doesn’t have sugar content, they have artificial sweeteners. Both acesulfame potassium and sucralose are considered zero-calorie sweeteners and are the worst aspect of this drink. In addition, Gatorade Zero has added electrolytes.
As such, it helps replace electrolytes such as potassium and sodium because you tend to lose them while sweating. Wondering whether it has too much potassium? You will get to know about that in the section below.
Apart from that, Gatorade Zero consists of artificial colors in most of its flavors. For example, the Yellow 6, which is present in the Orange flavor of the drink, is known to have side effects. Many people believe that artificial colors and sweeteners might link to certain health risks such as insulin resistance, hyperactivity in children, migraines, and even cancer.
Sweeteners in Gatorade Zero and their effects
Acesulfame potassium and sucralose are the two main artificial sweeteners that Gatorade Zero contains. However, both these sweeteners are considered safe and FDA approved. Still, the long-term health impact of these sweeteners is always in question.
- When acesulfame potassium breaks down to acetoacetamide, it might damage the thyroid
- A study from the 1970s shows that acesulfame potassium might cause cancer
- Sucralose can result in insulin resistance through several mechanisms
- Sucralose might trigger migraine for some people
Is Gatorade Zero good for diabetes?
The simple answer; Yes, but with caution. For some people, sugar becomes their worst enemy all of a sudden. Which was once part of their life, has made them deprived of their cravings. Even when they go thirsty, they have to look out for something without sweets.
This is where sugar-free drinks come to the rescue. However, what seems safe and delectable, might cause harm rather than the content free of sugar. And, that makes Gatorade Zero in the same position as other sugar-free drinks.
Although Gatorade Zero has zero calories and zero sugar content, it contains a variety of artificial sweeteners that might cause significant damage to your body’s natural glucose level. Insulin-dependent diabetes or Type-1 diabetes manifests at an early stage in life and is characterized by zero insulin production.
As a result, people have to intake insulin externally so that they can maintain normal metabolism. It might surprise you but Gatorade Zero can interfere with insulin sensitivity who have trouble producing insulin. Hence, Gatorade Zero might not be good for people suffering from Type-1 diabetes.
Non-dependent diabetes or Type-2 diabetes is characterized by decreased insulin production in a person. Gatorade Zero results in elevated glucose levels alongside decreased sensitivity when it comes to insulin production. Therefore, Gatorade Zero isn’t good for people with Type-2 diabetes either.
Does Gatorade Zero contain too much sodium?
For a 360ml bottle of Gatorade Zero, it has 160mg of sodium per serving. Now, that’s a moderate amount of sodium and it is similar to the ones that you can have from a handful of salted nuts. Moreover, it might take around 10 servings of Gatorade Zero to reach the recommended limit of sodium intake per day which is 1500mg.
Most people don’t understand the fact that the electrolytes present in sports drinks include basic salt. This is important because it helps replenish the body’s salt which reduces after exercise or through sweating. Besides, having Gatorade Zero all day long can get you too much salt as well.
What are the best drinks that a diabetic patient can have?
For diabetic patients, the best drinks should include minerals, vitamins, and fiber content along with some amount of sugar. Hence, it is wise to prefer drinks that are made at home other than looking for ready-made products available on the market.
When you prepare the drink at home, you can keep the extra ingredients minimal. Keeping this in mind, here are some tried and tested drinks that you can try because they are suitable for people with diabetes.
- Herbal tea
- Fruit smoothie
- Tea without milk
- Unsweetened coffee
- Vegetable juice
- Ginger tea
- Green smoothie
- Homemade sugar-free lemonade
As you know Type-2 diabetes tends to manifest at a later stage in your life and it involves decreasing insulin production to a great extent. However, it can be treated with certain oral medications that act by improving secretions or sensitivity.
Here are a few drinks that you can try. They will help you maintain your blood sugar levels to the optimum while providing you with the required hydration that you need.
- Ginger drinks
- Lemon juice without sugar
- Unsweetened ginger and herbal tea
- Lots of water
- Green vegetable smoothie
Why it is good to have homemade drinks?
People with diabetes are at constant risk of having hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic episodes. These conditions happen because of existing insulin imbalances in the body. As such, it tries to cause harm to every organ in the body. Besides, it makes the body extremely weak.
You may have noticed that diabetic people often get tired in little time, have trouble with their vision, and develops foot infections. To get rid of the situation, people opt for energy drinks with zero sugar most of the time.
While they might indirectly affect your medical condition, it is wise to choose homemade drinks. These drinks are easy to prepare at home and require minimum ingredients. They contain excessive sugar or other chemicals like the ones bought from stores. Being a diabetic, one should pay attention to their health at any cost.