Write The Company: Sweating It out With Gatorade

August 30, 2010

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Write The Company: Sweating it out with Gatorade

It became a workout trying to figure out which Gatorade to rehydrate with, so I asked them for specific recommendations…

Dear Gatoradiologists:

You’re starting to sell so many different Gatorade thirst quenching and hydration products that I’m having a tough time keeping track. All I know is I’m working up a sweat just trying to figure out which one is most appropriate for replacing my body fluids.

The thing is; I sweat a lot during many different activities outside of sports. Which Gatorade product is best for sweat caused by a fever of 102? How about after a hot and steamy sexual encounter? What do you recommend after waking up from night sweats? How about if I dream about playing professional sports and I’m sweating in the dream, but not actually in real life? Am I psychosomatically still depleting electrolytes that need to be replaced? Which is the best Gatorade to drink while sitting in a sauna?

I understand that Gatorade is absorbed by the body faster compared to other liquids. Does that mean your body also urinates it out sooner than after drinking other stuff? I ask because I always have to get up in the middle of the night to pee, and if Gatorade can help me pee sooner, maybe I can get more sleep.

All this typing is making me thirsty so I’ll have to stop here and rehydrate.

A Consumer Relations Representative from PepsiCo responded with:

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We’re so glad you liked Gatorade Thirst Quencher.

Our objective, pure and simple, is to produce high-quality products. We’re happy to hear from you, one of our valued consumers, because it helps us to know more about your preferences.

The rate at which fluid and nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream during exercise depends in large part on how rapidly they exit the stomach. Gatorade exits the stomach as rapidly as water.

On an empty stomach, the first swallow of Gatorade is absorbed into the bloodstream within minutes. Typically, if someone drinks 16 oz of Gatorade, it will all be absorbed within 15-20 minutes. Smaller volumes will be absorbed in less time.

Rapid absorption of Gatorade means rapid delivery of carbohydrate energy to active muscles and that means better performance.

In summary, the carbohydrate energy in Gatorade can enter the body and be used by muscles even with 30 minutes to go in an Ironman race.

The body has an upper limit for how much carbohydrate it can use during exercise. That limit is roughly 0.5 grams per pound of body weight per hour. For example, a 150-lb triathlete should try to ingest roughly 75 grams of carbs per hour. Those carbs can come solely from Gatorade or from a combination of Gatorade and other foods such as gels, energy bars, etc.

There is no benefit to consuming more than 0.5 g/lb/h. The extra carbs can’t be used and will slow absorption which defeats the purpose of ingesting carbs in the first place.

A good reference is: Jeukendrup et al. Nutritional considerations in triathlon. Sports Medicine 35:163-181, 2005.

Thanks again for your kind words. We hope you continue to use and enjoy our products.

Final Thoughts

Apparently, it doesn’t matter what’s making you sweat, or which Gatorade you drink during that activity, as long as you understand the principles of absorption. Meanwhile, I had to read the response six times just to absorb everything in it. Plus, now that we know rapid absorption of Gatorade is so critical to performance, it might be a good idea to start guzzling gallons of it before and during sex.

What makes this response a winner is that it was more like a science lesson from a company committed to educating consumers. The reply wasn’t just about Gatorade in general, it was clearly focused on helping a customer understand the specifics about how Gatorade Thirst Quenchers work. Not many companies take the time to explain the facts to that extent, which is refreshing.

When you need your thirst quenched and your body hydrated, consider going with Gatorade. However, if you want to see how much sweat Consumer Relations is willing to put into answering your questions, a really good exercise is to Write The Company.

Looking for more laughs from letters to your favorite companies? Visit WriteTheCompany.com.

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Today’s letter is republished with permission from Write The Company. All rights reserved. ?© Write The Company