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How to Stay Hydrated During Pregnancy (When Water Makes You Sick)
Are you craving something in addition to water – Gatorade, perhaps – and wondering if you can even drink Gatorade during pregnancy?
Trust me, I know just how difficult it can be to drink enough water during pregnancy! For some reason, plain water tastes awful to me when I’m pregnant, and sometimes I crave something a little more flavorful.
I think, by now, we all know how important it is to stay hydrated, particularly during pregnancy. And I bet you’ve heard about the importance of electrolytes, as well, and that sports drinks like Gatorade contain much-needed electrolytes for rehydration.
But is that true? Why exactly are you craving sports drinks during your pregnancy? And what are some other non-water options (that actually taste good) that are safe for pregnant women?
Let’s explore the answers to those questions – and more – without further delay.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to replace professional medical advice.
Can Pregnant Women Drink Gatorade?
The short answer: Yes, pregnant women can drink Gatorade and other sports drinks while pregnant – in moderation, of course.
However, keep in mind that some sports drinks can be high in sugar, so it’s always a good idea to check nutrition labels.
Personally, I don’t have an issue with drinking the occasional Gatorade when you’re really craving it; drinking them daily could be a problem, though, particularly if you’re prone to pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes, like I am.
And while consuming fluids like Gatorade can help keep you from getting dehydrated, you should be made aware that there are healthier options for getting that much-craved flavor – or even adding an electrolyte boost. (We’ll get to that shortly!)
But first, let’s answer a few commonly asked questions about Gatorade during pregnancy.
What is Gatorade?
Gatorade was originally created to help fuel football players and keep them hydrated on the field. One 20-ounce Gatorade contains 140 calories in the form of 34 grams of sugar, along with electrolytes in the form of sodium and potassium.
Today, Gatorade comes in a full rainbow of colors, giving us a wide range of flavors to choose from.
A typical bottle of Gatorade contains:
- Citric acid
- Sodium citrate
- Monopotassium phosphate
- Modified food starch
- Natural flavor
- Food dyes
- Glycerol ester of rosin
- Caramel color
Note: G Organic products, which are certified organic, contain only the following ingredients: water, cane sugar, citric acid, natural flavor, sea salt, sodium citrate, and potassium chloride. They don’t contain any artificial food dyes.
Why Am I Craving Gatorade While Pregnant?
There are a number of different reasons why you might be craving Gatorade during your pregnancy: dehydration; a mineral deficiency; low energy; and so on.
And while it’s easy to believe that our body needs it simply because we crave it, that’s not necessarily true.
In fact, unless you’re doing a high intensity workout for 60-90 minutes (which isn’t typically advised during pregnancy), Gatorade and other sports drinks are unlikely to be more beneficial than water, according to researchers.
That doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to the occasional Gatorade or sweet drink, even during pregnancy. And it’s certainly a legitimate way to get extra fluids in when you feel like you need something that’s not plain water.
Is Gatorade Good For Pregnancy Nausea?
Morning sickness isn’t much fun and, for some unlucky mamas, it can feel absolutely miserable. While Gatorade might not necessarily be the magical cure for pregnancy nausea, staying hydrated can help alleviate morning sickness.
It’s also important to replenish fluids if you’re experiencing morning sickness and vomiting, so if you can’t stomach plain water, then drinking the occasional sports drink will certainly help with rehydration.
The sugar in these drinks can also give a quick energy boost if you’re feeling depleted during this time. While it might not be the best way to fuel your body regularly – especially while pregnant – it might be the only palatable option at times.
(I know all too well how pregnancy affects the palate in strange ways!)
Is Gatorade Safe for Pregnant Women With Diarrhea?
Yes, Gatorade is safe for pregnant women who are experiencing diarrhea. And because it’s easy to get dehydrated when you have diarrhea or vomiting, it’s crucial that you take in plenty of fluids during this time.
While water is the ideal choice, it’s not always easy to drink plain water while pregnant, as we’ve already established. So it stands to reason that sports drinks are a viable alternative.
Yes, there are risks if you’re drinking too much Gatorade, and there are certainly plenty of other options, but you absolutely don’t have to feel guilty about drinking it every now and then.
Risks of Drinking Too Much Gatorade While Pregnant
Although the occasional sports drink is absolutely fine while you’re pregnant, you’ll want to consider the risks of drinking too much Gatorade. Honestly, this is true whether you’re pregnant or not.
A few of the risks to consider:
- Dental problems
- Weight gain
- Blood sugar problems
Even if your pregnancy is completely healthy and complication-free, you’ll want to keep these risks in mind, limiting your Gatorade intake.
And if you’re prone to dental problems, have diabetes or are prone to gestational diabetes, or if you have sodium sensitive hypertension (high blood pressure affected by sodium), you’ll definitely want to avoid drinking Gatorade.
Healthier Electrolyte Drink Alternatives
Wondering about some healthier electrolyte drink alternatives? You’re in the right place!
First of all, the essential electrolytes our bodies need include sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, chloride, and bicarbonate.
You can get these nutrients from a variety of beverages that are NOT sugary sports drinks, and you can also get them from maintaining a balanced diet.
That said, here are a few of those healthier electrolyte drink alternatives:
- Water (infused with fruit/cucumber slices and a dash of Real Salt)
- Coconut water
- Redmond Life Re-Lyte
- Green tea
- Vegetable or bone broth
- Fruit/vegetable juices
DIY Electrolyte Drink
If you’re looking to make your own electrolyte drink, I found a couple recipes for Labor-Aid Electrolyte Drinks (exact recipes on the linked site) that include the following ingredients:
- Filtered water or coconut water
- Freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
- Raw honey
- Celtic sea salt or Real Salt
- Trace mineral drops
- Rescue Remedy
Yum! The combination of these ingredients is sure to power you through even the most rigorous of labors, staving off dehydration… All while tasting absolutely delicious.
Staying Hydrated During Pregnancy
As we all know, we’re “supposed” to drink X amount of water per day, even when we’re not pregnant. And that amount increases during pregnancy.
Easier said than done, though.
So, how’s a mama supposed to stay hydrated when the water just won’t go down? Here are a few ideas:
- Try the above electrolyte drink alternatives
- Eat foods with a high water content
- Take small sips frequently
- Stay motivated by tracking water intake
- Add ice (sometimes ice water goes down better!)
Sometimes our best is all we can do, even when it comes to drinking water. The most important thing is to avoid dehydration.
Gatorade During Pregnancy
We all know that water is vital to life, and we also know that it’s even more important to stay hydrated during pregnancy.
But is Gatorade safe to drink during pregnancy? Is it a good way to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes? I want you to know that, if you’re thirsty and craving Gatorade, you’re not necessarily harming your baby by giving in to that craving.
While it’s generally considered safe, there are certainly risks to consuming it regularly. Not to mention, there are plenty of healthier alternatives. So, go ahead – drink it on occasion, but opt for something with less sugar on a daily basis.