can gatorade cause diarrhea

Most people drink too many sports drinks, such as Gatorade, which can sometimes cause ill effects. Gatorade is a classified sports drink that most people drink to rehydrate the body. But drinking this sports drink is considered to often cause diarrhea. So, it is important to clear doubts and know some facts about Gatorade.

This article will answer your questions like “Can Gatorade cause diarrhea?” “Does consuming Gatorade pose any health risks?” Also, you will learn how much Gatorade you can consume, who can consume it, can a person take this soft drink when they have diarrhea, and a lot more! Let's read this article to clarify your doubts. 

What Is Gatorade?

It is a sports drink of an American brand, such as sports-themed beverages and food products. It is now being mass-produced by PepsiCo and distributed in 80 countries. This sports drink is well-known for replenishing electrolytes and boosting energy levels. 

Gatorade has become more popular and is synonymous with hydration. The well-known logos are pasted all over the sporting goods stores, sports uniforms, and stadiums. Famous athletes and fitness influencers endorse the brand thanks to this commercial exposure with Gatorade. These sports drinks are great for accelerating rehydration speed after a heavy workout and improving overall fitness and health. 

Why Are Sports Drinks Like Gatorade More Consumed?

Gatorade is a vitamin-supplemented sports drink that can manage water levels and other body components when doing work or physical activities such as running and cycling. More athletes who are training in cold climates like to sip this sweet beverage, which adds a booster. However, too much drinking can cause adverse side impacts on health.

Many people competing in fitness or athletic events in hot climates for longer hours of time need Gatorade because this sports drink has sugar and electrolytes like sodium and potassium. This helps to substitute the fluids lost through sweating during exercise. The electrolyte replacement was good at the time, being better replenished when there was a huge loss of electrolytes. The carbohydrates in sports drinks ensure your body’s fitness and become an energy source for those people doing excessive workouts or physically strenuous tasks.

What Is Gatorade’s Composition?

Before going to your queries like “Can Gatorade cause diarrhea?” Let's dive into the composition of how Gatorade is prepared. This sports drink, Gatorade, packs important components like sodium, potassium, and chloride, and it is even added with some artificial sweeteners, amino acids, and caffeine, which is great for quick energy replenishment. It is designed to alleviate dehydration. However, it is the most attractive option when doubts arise about diarrhea. 

Can Gatorade Cause Diarrhea?

There is a saying, “Excessively which is done can take you a bad course of time.” Similarly, consuming this sports drink in moderation is considered to be safe. However, if you consume more, you may have some adverse effects.

According to the Gatorade website, a 20-ounce Gatorade has 140 calories and 36 grams of carbohydrates, along with 34 grams of carbohydrates directly from sugar. So, as per the review of the literature published in Sports Medicine journal, the athletes who exercise from moderate to high intensity consume at least 500 milligrams of sodium for every pound of sweat that comes out from their body, so their drinking Gatorade may be beneficial, for replenishing the sodium levels. As sports drinks have high artificial sugar sweeteners, excess taking can cause symptoms like:

  • Fatigue.
  • Headaches.
  • Muscle cramps or weakness.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Confusion and irritability.
  • Irregular heart rate (arrhythmia).
  • Breathing problems.

Can Blue Gatorade Cause Diarrhea?

Blue Gatorade is more popular among athletes, and individuals like to drink these sports drinks for replenishment and to stay hydrated. However, few people reported that drinking blue Gatorade has caused irregularities in bowel movements, such as diarrhea. It causes diarrhea to those who have food allergies and are sensitive to this artificial dye’s color. In general, it is suggested to drink in moderation as it can cause diarrhea and other digestive issues.

How to Take Gatorade To Prevent Diarrhea?

Here are some guidelines men and women must follow while drinking these sports drinks. Such as:

1. Men should take 9 teaspoons per day/150 calories.

Gatorade has a high sugar content. Hence, it contains other components like sodium, potassium, and chloride, so it is suggested that men take nine teaspoons daily, equivalent to approximately 150 calories of sugar only in a day. Taking more than that can have potential risks like diabetes sometimes as it has other components too that cause diarrhea.

2. Women should consume 6 teaspoons per day/100 calories.

Women are advised to take no more than six teaspoons of sugar daily, around 100 calories from added sugars. Taking more than that can cause obesity, type 2 diabetes, and dental problems because of artificial sweeteners. 

When Is Gatorade Recommended To Take?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics stated, “Gatorade can be consumed by those involved in high-body activities such as cycling and running doing longer than 60 minutes.” Water is advised as the preferred hydration option for activities lasting less than an hour. So, check when one can drink this sports beverage:

  • During Intense Physical Activity: Sports beverages are most effective during prolonged physical activities. When doing activities like running, cycling, or high-intensity training sessions, there is a loss of sweat from the body. So, drinking a sports beverage at that time can maintain electrolyte balance in the body. It also acts as a quick energy booster and supports preventing dehydration.
  • Extended Exercise Duration: Working lasts longer than 60 minutes, and one can take this sports beverage in challenging environmental conditions like high heat or humidity. This high heat or humidity condition forces you to lose electrolytes from the body, so consuming this can be a great option. It can replace the sodium, potassium, and other minerals lost during sweat.
  • Post-Workout Recovery: Generally, water is best for rehydration in most situations. However, intense or prolonged exercise and taking sports beverages are beneficial. Drinking these sports drinks not only refills fluids but also reinstates glycogen levels that are excreted from sweat. Drinking a sports drink during post-workout is a very good choice. So, it balances the supplement content like sodium, potassium, and other components in the body. 
  • Hot and Humid Conditions: The body’s cooling mechanism intensifies with temperatures and humidity. This leads to a rise in fluid and electrolyte losses. In such conditions, sports beverages become particularly valuable. It helps to avoid dehydration and supports the body’s ability to balance temperature during long hours of exercise. 
  • Individual Preferences and Tolerance: Personal tolerance and preferences are a must. Sports beverages are more palatable than water for some individuals. It leads to a rise in fluid intake. Those who struggle to drink enough fluids during physical activity can be beneficial. 
  • Avoiding Excessive Consumption: Avoid excessive consumption when you are doing less workouts. The extra calories and sugars inside the beverages can increase weight and sometimes cause diarrhea. 

Can A Person Take Gatorade When Having Diarrhea?

A person has a normal tendency to have diarrhea, such as loose, watery, and frequent stools or cramping, abdominal pain, and nausea. So, to avoid dehydration, it is recommended to drink Gatorade to maintain proper absorption because it contains electrolytes with high sodium, potassium, and chloride content.

However, it is suggested that a child taking this can worsen diarrhea because of excess sugar content. If you are not drinking Gatorade in moderation, you can seek suggestions from your health-care professional. 

Alternative Option – Gatorade Vs Water: Which is Good?

After knowing that Gatorade can cause diarrhea, Let's explore why Gatorade is not good. Rather than choosing this, being more acquainted with drinking water is better. 

1. Water: The Time-Tested Hydration Hero

For shorter durations, water is the best option for low-to-moderate intensity exercises. It can refresh you that it is calorie-free and effectively quench your thirst without adding artificial sugar or electrolytes. Water is perfect for daily workouts and activities lasting a few hours. 

2. Gatorade: When Endurance Calls For More

These sports drinks are consumed only by those who do high-intensity workouts lasting over an hour. Gatorade and similar sports drinks are not meant only for dehydration purposes, but they are meant beyond that. These sports drinks are packed with electrolytes and carbohydrates that are instant relievers lost through sweat. Only athletes who are used to strenuous activities can benefit from this. 

3. Choosing Wisely

Ultimately, choosing between water and Gatorade depends on you. Decide what your workout takes to consume these sports drinks. If you are doing short exercises, prefer to drink water. If you are doing exercises for more than 60 minutes, prefer to take Gatorade. 

Remember, it is individual hydration needs. However, listen to your body and select your choice based on the demands of your fitness regimen. 


Hopefully, you get all the answers to your queries. Remember, health is wealth, so follow some restrictions and instructions mentioned in this article while drinking Gatorade, as it can cause various health issues, especially for people who have pre-existing health issues or food intolerances such as nausea, diarrhea, and weight gain. So before drinking these sports drinks as a fluid intake, learn about them. 


1. Can I drink Gatorade if I have diarrhea?

Ans: Sticking to fluids such as water or oral rehydration solution (ORS) in diarrhea is essential. You can also drink sports drinks such as Gatorade if you are not dehydrated. 

2. Does Gatorade act as a laxative?

Ans: Gatorade contains a little laxative effect. Potassium helps your intestinal muscles contract. The potassium in Gatorade may help your intestinal muscles contract and ease constipation.

3. Why did Gatorade upset my stomach?

Ans: Gatorade is acidic and has high concentrations of sugars and electrolytes, which can cause bloating or gas.

 4. When should you not drink Gatorade?

Ans: If you have health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease, its high level of salt and sugar may make your condition severe.

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Oliver Nelson

Oliver Nelson is a New York based Health Specialist Writer who completed his graduation from Syracuse University back in 2015. His writings were published in the top Healthcare brands in the United States.

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