Even if you have never played sports in your life, chances are you’ve tried Gatorade. As more and more people are making a commitment to health and fitness, the popularity of the sports drink grows. But is Gatorade vegan?
According to its website, Gatorade was invented in a lab. In the year 1965, an assistant coach at the University of Florida wanted a group of physicians to find out why the players were being affected by the heat and other related illnesses. The research found that fluids and electrolytes the players lost through sweat were not being replaced, and the large amounts of carbohydrates the bodies used for energy were not being replenished.
After this discovery, the researchers created a new drink in the lab. Gatorade had a balanced carbohydrate-electrolyte. This would help in replacing the important components lost by the players through sweat and exercise. However, the first Gatorade tasted disgusting. One person compared it to urine, another to toilet bowl cleaner. They later added an artificial sweetener and (lots!) of lemons.
Ingredients used in making Gatorade:
- Sucrose (table sugar)
- Citric acid
- Natural flavor
- sodium chloride (table salt)
- sodium citrate
- Monopotassium phosphate
- Coloring ingredients
Even if it is mainly for sports, players are not the only ones consuming Gatorade. It is also popular with many as a hangover cure. But since it contains sugar, is Gatorade vegan?
Is it Vegan?
Yes it is.
The original version of Gatorade is considered vegan. It does not contain any meat or dairy products in it.
However, the presence of sugar, artificial, and natural flavors in the drink may be considered non-vegan components by some vegans.
In the argument against refined sugar, the use of bone char in the refinement process to filter out impurities and to give sugar its pure white color is what makes many vegans consider it unfriendly to their diet. For the case of flavors, the issue is that they can be from both plant and animal sources.
As for the sugar, the Gatorade company says they source it from different places around the world and they do not have specific details. There is also a lack of information about the filtration process to share with their customers. With regard to the flavoring, it is advisable to contact the manufacturer about the exact sourcing of flavors so as to put their minds at ease.
Vegans may be glad to know that it is certain that the Gatorade drinks are certified Kosher. This means that supplies like bone char will never be in the final product after the filtration process. PETA also classifies Gatorade as vegan.
The answer to whether Gatorade is vegan can be subjective. Gatorade does not contain any animal products. Still, the presence of sugar, flavors, and colors can raise some eyebrows. Just because you follow a vegan lifestyle does not mean you don’t have options. On the contrary, many sports drinks cater specifically to the vegan community.
So if you are looking for other alternatives to Gatorade consider the drinks below:
- NOOMA Organic Electrolyte Drink
- LyteShow Electrolyte Concentrate for Rapid Rehydration
- Coconut water
- Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix
At the end of the day, there are so many ways to hydrate. It is your decision as an individual that matters the most.