Gatorade Zero: Worth The Risk?

One of the very first things we want after a long tiring day of work, or after a workout session, are various liquids, preferably those added with sugars to quench our thirst and give us a feeling of stability.

Though not a necessity, in general, energy drinks have become quite popular among the mass people and can be found stocked up in the refrigerators of almost every household. Those energy drinks are packed with sugar and hence not an option for people suffering from diabetes, raising blood sugar levels.

As such, most companies provide a sugar alternative form of their popular drinks for the diabetic. Seems like quite a convenient choice? But in reality, such so-called, “zero” energy drinks like Gatorade zero are in fact packed with sugar alternatives that have been proved to cause a lot of harmful effects to your body, which might even be worse than the ones caused by sugar intake.

So, it is high time we ask ourselves the question, are they really worth the risk? Is Gatorade zero good for diabetics?

Which Juice Is Good For Diabetics?

Figuring out the right beverage for people with diabetes can be quite tricky. While fruit juices may seem the most convenient, they have been found to be packed with more added sugars than natural sugars. As there’s a big confusion regarding whether diabetic sports drinks such as Gatorade Zero are Good for Diabetics? Some healthier alternatives can be:

  • Pomegranate Juice: Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice with no added sugar, has been proved to have no effect on your sugar level.
  • Green Vegetables Juice: Blend a bunch of green, leafy vegetables such as – spinach, kale, etc together, you can also add some citric fruits like an orange into the concoction and the resulting liquid is one filled with nutrients that will not only hydrate you but also not have any impact on your sugar level.
  • Bitter Melon Juice: It has been proven to even lower your blood sugar level to some extent.
  • Sour Fruit Juice: Orange, lemon juices, freshly squeezed from the fruit and without any sugar or sugar alternatives in it are some of the most easily available and accepted drinks for diabetics. These also have antioxidant properties which are sure to provide a healthier life.
  • Tomato Juice: Diabetics are always prone to risks related to their cardiovascular systems, as such tomato juices can not only help hydrate them but also reduce chances of cardiovascular problems.

Is Gatorade Zero Good For Diabetics?

Trying to lose some weight? Diabetic? Pre-diabetic? All of a sudden sugar becomes your very worst enemy. Once, an essential part of life, all of a sudden people find themselves in a frenzy, how can I meet my cravings? I am so thirsty, how can I go without something sweet. In such conditions, sugar-free drinks or drinks use alternative sources of sugar (eg-corn sugar). Seems like the best solution.

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But, what seems so much delectable and safe, might actually be causing you much more harm than your “ supposed enemy” sugar. So, is Gatorade Zero good for diabetics? Let’s look at some of its components and exactly how they might affect you.

Sucralose

There are some essential bacterias in our gut, which are of vital importance in food digestion and also various other functions. Sucralose has been linked to inhibiting those bacteria. They have also been found to alter the glucose and insulin level in the blood, a scary situation, especially for diabetics. They have been associated with some cancerous conditions such as leukemia.

Acesulfame K

A lesser-known artificial sweetener, it is often given in association with other sweeteners, a worrying sign from the get-go. Acesulfame K is a solvent, methylene chloride, which can cause harm to skin, liver, lungs and cause dizziness, drowsiness, and other harmful effects in the human body.

Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate

The substance has not been directly linked to any conditions, however, it has been seen to add excess calories into the human body and may cause the development of obesity.

So,  we have seen a few ingredients used in Gatorade zero, which have a variety of harmful effects on the human body. Let’s divide the effects on the basis of the type of diabetes.

Is Gatorade Zero Good For Type-1 Diabetes?

Though Gatorade zero may have no sugar content and have zero calories, it does have a variety of artificial sweeteners which creates havoc on your body’s glucose level.

Type-1 Diabetes or Insulin Dependent Diabetes manifests quite early in life and is characterized by almost zero production of insulin, as such external intake of insulin is necessary for such people to maintain normal metabolism.

Gatorade Zero can hamper insulin sensitivity in the masses who already have no endogenous production of insulin. So, it is definitely not good for people with Type-1 Diabetes.

Is Gatorade Zero Good For Type-2 Diabetes?

Type-2 diabetes or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes is characterized by decreased production of insulin. As Gatorade zero has been shown to cause a spike in glucose level and decreased sensitivity to insulin, it is not necessarily good for type-2 diabetes as well.

Is Gatorade Zero Good for Weight Loss?

The correct response to this query would be a clear cut, “NO”. While, it may seem fit for people trying to cut down on calories to opt for the sugar-free, “ZERO” drinks, but we will see those drinks causing you to gain more weight and also hamper your metabolism.

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“Is Gatorade Zero Good For Diabetics?”, the answer to this question has been discussed above and you will see in this section, how it can also damage your journey towards weight loss.

Insulin Imbalance

Insulin, the hormone which is secreted from your pancreas and plays a key role in metabolism by causing the uptake of glucose in your organs and tissues. Now, sugar alternatives present in Gatorade zero, also stimulate your pancreas to release insulin as it believes those to be sugar, energy sources for your organs.

So, what happens is, your body tries to uptake sugar for its energy but finds none. This causes an insulin imbalance in your bloodstream, something which may cause harm to your metabolism and stimulate hunger and thirst.

Conditioning of Taste Buds

Our body has a tendency to take in the more habituated food items from its regular diet, i.e. if you are constantly having sweet-tasting substances be it sugar or sugar alternatives, your taste buds will get conditioned towards that sensation and crave it more often.

This may lead to more sugary item intake, not so much of a good thing for diabetics or people wishing to lose weight, is it?

Stimulates More Food Intake

As discussed in the previous points, sugar-free drinks eg Gatorade zero cause such a hormonal imbalance and taste bud conditioning in your body that the body starts craving more calories.

In light of the above points, we can safely assume that Gatorade Zero is most definitely not a good option for people wishing to lose some weight or lead a healthier lifestyle.

Diabetic Drinks List

Diabetic drinks are basically drunk rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber content with a minimum of sugar. Having said that, it’s more preferable if the drinks are made at home keeping the addition of extra ingredients to a minimum. With this in mind, A few tried and tested drinks suitable for diabetics include:

  • Water and Seltzer Water
  • Herbal Tea
  • Unsweetened coffee
  • Tea without any milk
  • Vegetable Juice: Tomato, green vegetables
  • Fruit Smoothie
  • Ginger tea
  • Milk Alternatives: Almond, Oat, Soy
  • Sugar-Free Homemade Lemonade
  • Green Smoothie

Best Drinks For Type-2 Diabetes

Type-2 diabetes usually manifests at a later stage in life and involves decreased production of insulin which has to be treated by oral medications, which acts by increasing insulin sensitivity or secretions. A few drinks recommended for keeping the blood sugar level intact while also getting the required hydration includes:

  • Green Vegetable Smoothie
  • Plenty of Water
  • Unsweetened herbal and ginger tea
  • Lemon juice with no added sugar
  • Ginger Drinks

Homemade Energy Drinks for Diabetics

Diabetic people or even pre-diabetics are constantly at risk of having hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic episodes. Such conditions are mainly caused due to an existing insulin imbalance in their body, which not only hampers almost each and every organ in their body but also makes the body extremely frail and weak.

You will see diabetic people getting tired very often, developing foot infections, and having difficulty with vision.

To combat such conditions from arising, energy drinks should be intaken by those people to keep the electrolyte balance at a normal level. Home-made energy drinks, which can be made very easily at home with a minimum of ingredients are more encouraged than the store-bought ones with excess chemicals and added sugars.

A few easy energy drinks that can be made at home includes:

  • Ginger & Cardamon Drink: Mix up some ginger (2 thin slices), cardamon (1/4th tsp) in some hot water with turmeric and honey. You will have a drink ready to kick start your metabolism, increase circulation and keep your electrolyte level at bay.
  • Coconut, LIme Drink: Coconut Water and Lemon drink is a great ani-oxidant and energy providing drink.
  • Blended Kokum: Kokum, mixed with coconut water and some salt not only keeps your electrolyte balanced but also provides a cooling effect on your body after a workout session and also aids in digestion.
  • Banana Green Smoothie: Banana with some green vegetables, blended with some almond milk, is the perfect breakfast to fuel your day or give relief after a hard day of work.

Final Words

Diabetes! A simple word, but denotes a condition that changes the entire lifestyle, habits, preferences, behavior of an individual. It’s not easy to live with such a condition where you have to question your doctor even when it comes to even the simplest of decisions in your life.

But, like all hidden wounds you have to live with this condition, you have to make the decisions to lead a healthier life for yourself and for your loved ones. Being a diabetic, means you have to pay attention to your food and drinks at all times.

A constant feeling of thirst is one of the main problems diabetic faces, at such conditions sugar-free drinks such as Gatorade Zero may see the best option, but ask yourself a simple question, “Is Gatorade Zero Really Good For Diabetes”, ‘Is it worth the risk of soo much permanent impairment?”. Use homemade better alternatives and lead a healthy, happy life.

FAQs

Is cranberry juice good for diabetics?

Pure unsweetened cranberry juice containing only the cranberry extracts contain only a small amount of sugar and is rich in antioxidants. For diabetics, such pure cranberry juice can be good but keep your sugar level in check and avoid having more than the recommended amount.

Is Gatorade Zero better than soda?

Gatorade Zero can help provide rapid hydration to a person without causing any excess calorie intake or a spike in sugar level, however, it may cause various complications such as taste bud alteration, increase appetite, etc.

Soda, on the other hand, spikes your sugar level in a very short time while also causing excess calorie intake. So, in a nutshell, both are bad for a person even though it may seem like Gatorade zero may be the better alternative in the short term.

Does Gatorade Zero Affect Blood Sugar?

Gatorade Zero contains sugar alternatives in the place of sugar, so no it doesn’t affect your blood sugar directly. However, the sugar alternatives can stimulate the release of insulin which ultimately affects your metabolism in a way, Other than that it may also increase your appetite, which leads to more food intake and ultimately spike in blood sugar. So, though not directly, Gatorade zero can affect blood sugar indirectly.

Which Gatorade Is Best For Diabetics?

Gatorade Zero would be the obvious choice in light of sugar content, but as the article discussed, it’s not worth the risk it harbors, so opting for homemade energy drinks or other alternatives are definitely the better options.

Is Gatorade Zero Really Sugar-Free?

Yes, it is a sugar-free product.

Faiyad Ahmed

Faiyad Ahmed

Hello, this is a Faiyad Ahmed. As a future doctor pursuing my MBBS degree, I have always been enthusiasitic about influencing a much healthier, wholesome approach to leading life. Here's hoping my passion for healthful living is reflected on my articles and people can change their overall outlook on living following those.

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