Benefits of Sugar for Performance


Disclosure: As part of my ongoing work with the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, this post is sponsored.

Have you seen these hysterical “Sweat It to Get It” Gatorade videos with Peyton Manning and Cam Newton? Not only do they crack me up, I love the messages in this campaign… Gatorade Thirst Quencher is intended for athletes that sweat for at least an hour.

For the past 5 decades, Gatorade has made athletic performance a priority, formulating its products based on research conducted by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) or supported by a body of published literature.

With all the negative press on added sugars in the diet, athletes are getting confused. Gatorade Thirst Quencher is not meant for your dinner-time beverage, it’s specifically designed for athletes as it contains carbohydrates in the form of sugar that serves as a functional fuel for athletic performance. Without fuel, like sugar, an athlete’s performance can suffer.

Sugar for Performance

Athletes burn through 60 to 250 grams of carbohydrates (sugar), which is equivalent to 240-1000 calories per hour of exercise! Now that’s a lot of carb burning, so an athlete needs to keep up with the body’s demand by consuming sugars before and during exercise. Research shows that sugars ingested before and during exercise lasting longer than an hour helps to maintain blood sugar levels and improves performance!

Keep in mind not all carbs are created equal. Fueling with the right type of carbs at the right time is important. Glucose and sucrose found in Gatorade Thirst Quencher are rapidly absorbed sugars that quickly get converted to energy. Research has shown that to maximize hydration and reduce chance of tummy troubles, sports drinks should not contain more than 14 grams of sugar per 8 ounces. I love drinking Gatorade on my long runs because I know they fall within these sugar guidelines and they taste good too!!

Did you watch the Gatorade “Sweat It, To Get It videos? What do you hydrate with during a long run?

Tara Collingwood
Tara is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition, fitness, and health promotion and is quoted in a variety of media including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and websites.

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