Some parents ask can I give my baby Gatorade, either because they’ve had a bout of diarrhea or they believe there’s some nutritional benefits to it.
Because of the electrolyte content of Gatorade it’s often touted as good thing to drink if you’ve been dehydrated, as a way to replace what your body has lost. Since dehydration is a common problem for many baby’s at some stage of their development, it’s only natural to wonder what you can give them.
Gatorade is not something that you should give your baby, or that you should drink yourself for that matter. Loaded with sugar and sodium there’s isn’t much scientific evidence that Gatorade provides anything more than a sugar high, and makes you even thirstier because of the salt.
Can I Give My Baby Gatorade? Answer: Not Recommended
Gatorade is loaded with sugar and surprisingly sodium. For something that is supposed to quench your thirst it seems odd that it would contain salt as an ingredient. In addition to having absolutely no fruit juice, Gatorade is loaded with all sorts of sugary chemicals that aren’t good for your infant.
Instead of using pure cane sugar, which isn’t great for you but is at least found in nature, and instead of using regular industrial-grade sugar that’s found in many processed foods and drink, the brilliant minds at PepsiCo use Sucrose Syrup, a super sweet substance that has been linked directly to obesity in adults. Not something you want to get your baby started on early.
This one just seems like they’re trying to add as many terms that end in “ose” as they can to their list of ingredients. As if the aforementioned Sucrose Syrup wasn’t bad enough they went and added an extra layer of sugary badness.
Unfortunately in the food manufacturing world “natural” takes on new meanings. Since there’s no regulation on the term natural, companies can use the term natural flavors to refer to just about anything. For example, even though the Grape version of Gatorade experessly states that it contains no fruit juice, it goes on to state that it includes natural flavors. However, which natural flavors, other than those derived from a grape, could give it a grape flavor?
Flat out they don’t try to deny it or call it by any other name, they just put plain old salt into Gatorade. You should watch your baby’s salt intake, so that they don’t become attracted to salty foods later in life.
Maybe Good for Athletes, Not for Babies
Gatorade has gone out of their way to link their product to the nation’s top athletes. It’s become synonymous with sports of all kinds and therefore has become accepted by many Americans as a healthy choice when needing to replenish themselves after any high endurance activity. Maybe that’s how Gatorade started out, but it’s now a ghost of its former self and made up of such lousy things that you’d never want to give it to a developing infant.
In one of their many commercials they have been shown to have invented Gatorade as a way to help the football players of the University of Florida overcome the Florida heat and make it through the 4th quarter of the football game. That’s why they called it Gator aid, after the Gators mascot of U of F.
Alternatives to Giving Your Baby Gatorade
If your baby has been sick or is showing signs of being dehydrated, such as a lack of wet diapers or strong and off-colored urine, it can become a larger problem rather quickly. Call your pediatrician first to get their opinion on what you should do.
They’ll probably recommend that you give them an electrolyte-loaded option like Pedialyte or Infalyte depending on the age of your infant. These products have more benefits to them than Gatorade and do not include all of the fructose, sucrose, lucrose, ducrose, or any of the other junk they put into a Gatorade bottle.
It’s great that you’re looking after the well-being of your child and doing your research before blindly giving them things that could harm them now as well as in the future.