As my son played his championship flag foot ball game last weekend (they won! Undefeated! Go Steelers!), I noticed something… Brightly colored sports drinks all over the place! Now before you stop reading, and start feeling guilty because you and your kids drink Gatorade or Powerade, or XYZ-ade, etc, let me stop and say my intention of this POST (or any of the babyfoodsteps posts) IS NOT TO MAKE ANYONE FEEL GUILTY.
KNOWLEDGE is POWER…Instead my issue with this particular topic (and so many other “products” and “brands” in our food system) is that some of the companies that manufacture many of these sports drinks with not so great (and potentially harmful, toxic) ingredients (High Fructose Corn Syrup, Artificial Colors, and brominated vegetable Oils, Glycerol Ester of Rosin) , ALSO manufacture a version that is FREE of the “most” harmful stuff. If that is possible, then my question is… WHY DO WE NEED THE more TOXIC VERSION on the shelf, let alone in our kiddos belly??
So here is some of what I am talking about…and hopefully some alternatives!
Ironically this post started with a championship football game and ends today with a preschooler with a fever who I am keeping hydrated with a syringe of Electrolyte water with a splash of pomegranate juice (for color and some taste!)…. Bottom line… WE ALL NEED to stay HYDRATED, and it DOES matter what is in your Bottle!
If you are adventurous and would like to make your own…Here is a recipe for all natural Homemade Gatorade! (thanks TB) (*substitute maple syrup in place of Honey for those of you who are Salicylate sensitive)
EDITORS NOTE- since publishing this post, many others have suggested alternatives, sharing them here so all can benefit!
- Recharge by Knudsen (ingredients here)
- Coconut Water (however may or may not be tolerated by those with Salicylate intolerance)
- Nuun Tabs (although some of the variations have ingredients that may not be tolerated by some, so read ingredients carefully)
Ironically this petition landed in my inbox this week… please sign the petition if you feel so inclined! The only way companies are going to change…is if we DEMAND it..with our $$ and our voice!
“As a high school student and a volleyball player, I like to drink sports drinks after a rough practice or hard game. But the last time I drank Gatorade, I noticed “Brominated Vegetable Oil” (BVO) on the ingredients list.
When I looked it up online, I found out that BVO is a controversial flame retardant that is even banned in some countries, but Gatorade chooses to use it anyway just to keep certain colors bright. I can’t imagine drinking Gatorade again — and can’t imagine why anyone would drink something so dangerous if they knew what it was.
Gatorade doesn’t use this dangerous ingredient in other countries, so why do they use it in the United States? I started a petition on Change.org askingGatorade to remove all flame retardants from their drinks immediately. Click here to sign my petition.
I read research in Scientific American that links BVO to impaired brain development and reduced fertility — and that it stays in the human body for a long time. Why would Gatoradeinclude a chemical in a drink for athletes that harms the body?
Brominated Vegetable Oil is not in every Gatorade drink — just a few flavors. It doesn’t make sense that they would keep such a dangerous ingredient for just a couple of drinks, especially since they already have to take it out for sale in places like Japan and most European countries. The government and the sports drink industry claim that it’s safe to use BVO below certain levels, but I don’t want flame retardants of any amount in my sports drinks.
Companies like Gatorade are going to react if their products are being seen as a health risk. For example, Starbucks stopped using insect ingredients in their drinks after concerned consumers like me started petitions on Change.org asking them to change their products.
Help me send a clear message to Gatorade asking them to remove flame retardants from their sports drinks — if they can do it for other countries, they can do it here, too. Click here to sign.
Thank you for your support.