Can You Drink Gatorade While Pregnant

Can you Drink Gatorade While Pregnant – Is it Safe?

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Pregnancy is one of those periods when you experience intense cravings for food, drinks, and other sweetened condiments, food/fruits like cherriesand apple cider vinegar, among other weird things. Notwithstanding, you want to be careful what you consume during pregnancy for the sake of your health and baby.

One such craving is craving Gatorade while pregnant. However, one salient question is can you drink Gatorade while pregnant, or if Gatorade is safe during pregnancy? While drinking Gatorade while pregnant is considered safe, caution should be taken on the product type and quantity you consume at a time as it has its risks.

What is Gatorade?

Gatorade is a sports drink brand originally produced for athletes to replenish carbohydrates used during sporting activities and to replace water and electrolytes lost through sweat.

Safe to say, Gatorade is an electrolyte beverage that replaces electrolytes lost through sweats during rigorous activities.

Electrolytes, conversely, are minerals in your body present in the blood, urine, tissues, and other body fluids. They help:

  • Balance the amount of water in your body.
  • Balance the pH level (acid/base) in your body.
  • Move nutrients into your body cells.
  • Move wastes out of your body cells.
  • Ensure that your body nerves (neural transmissions), muscles (muscle contractions), tissues (repair), heart, and brain function properly just as they should.

So, you see how vital electrolyte drinks can be in your body. Maybe that is why your body craves Gatorade as you are pregnant.

Keep reading to learn more about Gatorade and if you can drink Gatorade while pregnant.

How Does Gatorade Work in the Body and its Implication on Pregnant Women?

pregnancy at the beach

During pregnancy, there is the tendency that you pee more often than when not pregnant because your body produces more fluids than at other times. (1)

This rapidly reduces the water level and electrolytes in your body and at a higher volume, hence why you crave Gatorade when pregnant.

Gatorade releases sodium and potassium, which are electrolytes, into your body.

On the other hand, drinking Gatorade when pregnant has great benefits.

As it replaces your electrolytes, the electrolytes, in turn, play particular and vital roles during your pregnancy.

What Does Gatorade Contain – Nutritional Value

As an electrolyte beverage, Gatorade contains a good amount of sodium and potassium, which are electrolytes.

Other known electrolytes are calcium, chloride, phosphate, and magnesium.

Gatorade comes in different products and contains different amounts of ingredients.

However, they have the same basic ingredients and provides different energy value.

can you drink gatorade while pregnant || drinking gatorade while pregnant

Gatorade Thirst Quencher (Gatorade Perform 02): NV per 12 US fluid ounces (590 ml)

Nutrient Value
80 kcal (210 kJ)
Dietary fiber
45 mg (1% DV)
150 mg (10% DV)

(source: Gatorade Perform 02; NV per 12 US fluid ounces (590 ml))

Other content in Gatorade includes sucrose (table sugar), dextrose, citric acid, natural flavor, and flavoring/coloring ingredients.

Is Gatorade Safe for Pregnant Women?

The presence of calories, sugar, and sodium and their quantity raises the question of if Gatorade is safe for pregnant women.

The nutritional table above shows that a 12 oz drink of Gatorade contains 21 g (about five teaspoons) of added sugars.

The American Heart Association recommends a maximum amount of 25 g (100 calories, or about six teaspoons) of added sugars to be taken daily for women, which is also similar to when pregnant.

While taking a bottle of Gatorade during pregnancy is within the range of safe added sugar levels, drinking more than 12 oz of Gatorade within the same day is considered unsafe.

A recommended Gatorade product you should go for is the Gatorade Zero Sugar Thirst Quencher (on Amazon) which has zero sugars and the least amount of calories (5-10), carbs (<1 g), sodium (160 mg), and potassium (45 mg) amongst the various Gatorade products per 12 oz.

Can You Drink Gatorade While Pregnant? – Benefits When Pregnant

The next question you may be asking is, ‘can I drink Gatorade while pregnant?’

Due to the electrolytes Gatorade provides during pregnancy, they play specific beneficial roles, which is very important for a pregnant woman. Therefore, pregnant women can drink Gatorade.

Such specific roles and benefits of these electrolytes include:

  1. Enhancing the movement of nutrients to the placenta, which is high in sodium and low in potassium.
  2. Balancing the amount of sodium and potassium in the amniotic fluid and the fetal tissues, respectively, in the third trimester.
  3. Reducing the risk of preeclampsia (2) – a pregnancy complication that is a blood pressure condition that causes high blood pressure and a high protein level in the urine. Electrolytes influence a balance in the sodium level responsible for this condition.

Signs of Electrolyte Imbalance During Pregnancy and When you may need Gatorade

  1. Constant thirst – when you experience frequent thirst just after taking plenty of fluids, this may indicate reduced electrolytes in your body. Drinking water doesn’t help in such a situation.

  2. Constipation – constipation can be very uncomfortable during pregnancy. As much as consuming water and fiber is supposed to help with the situation, it still happens; it means you may be depleted of electrolytes.

  3. Headaches – having headaches during pregnancy is a common occurrence. One of the causes may be that you are dehydrated or lack electrolytes. While overhydration can also be a culprit, dehydration as well could be. Essentially, having a balance of water level in your body is just about the solution.

Is Gatorade Good for Pregnancy? – Potential Risks

However, looking into the potential risks of drinking Gatorade, be it a bottle or more, is essential.

As much as Gatorade may be safe within the limit of 1 bottle of 12 oz in a day at safe levels of added sugar, other potential risks make Gatorade not good for pregnancy.

Caution to Take When Drinking Gatorade during Pregnancy

Before you ease your cravings for Gatorade, read the bottle’s label for the nutritional value, depending on the Gatorade product you are to drink.

Make sure you check the sodium and potassium levels contained on the label, as well as sugars.

Potential Risks from Drinking Gatorade While Pregnant

  1. Increased level of sodium: since common foods we take, including salty diets, already contain a good amount of sodium, consuming more from Gatorade poses the risk of an increased level of sodium in the body. Such an increase in the body, especially when pregnant, can lead to high blood pressure (gestational hypertension), leading to other pregnancy complications like preeclampsia (2).

  2. Excessive weight gain: excessive weight gain during pregnancy is called gestational weight gain (GWG) and is caused by consuming too much added sugars. This condition leads to further pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), preeclampsia, and preterm birth.

  3. The additional risk of added sugars: while the emphasis on consuming sugars when pregnant cannot be over-emphasized, beyond the risks of GWG and GDM, other risks include the negative impact on the baby. According to this study (3), sugar consumption, especially sugar-sweetened beverages during pregnancy, may adversely impact child cognition.

  4. Overhydration: while Gatorade can help balance the electrolytes in your body, drinking too much can lead to the levels becoming too high. This can result in overhydration. Too much water in your body can cause blood sodium levels to drop too low, leading to headaches, nausea, vomiting, and muscle weakness during pregnancy.

  5. Dental problems: while not directly related to pregnancy, it impacts your health. The acids contained in sports drinks like Gatorade wear down the tooth enamel. The sugars contained don’t do any justice either.

So, you want to be aware of all these risks and manage the quantity and how often you consume the drink.

A natural alternative to sports drinks is drinking coconut water during pregnancy.


Why am I craving Gatorade while pregnant?

You crave Gatorade while pregnant because your body produces more fluids during pregnancy, making you pee more often, thereby losing electrolytes. Electrolytes are important to help balance the level of water in your body.

Final Thoughts and Recommended Gatorade Product

While drinking Gatorade during pregnancy is safe and helpful because of the electrolytes it provides, consumption should be in moderation because of the risks of pregnancy complications that could develop from excess sugars and sodium.

A recommended Gatorade product you should go for is the Gatorade Zero Sugar Thirst Quencher (on Amazon) which has zero sugars and the least amount of calories (5-10), carbs (<1 g), sodium (160 mg), and potassium (45 mg) amongst the various Gatorade products per 12 oz.


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