Hikers: Coke or Gatoraid post hike? | This may suprise you

We all know that you need to hydrate on long hikes. Yes, Half Dome is a monster, with about 12 hours of slogging. Half is uphill. So how do you replenish your energy stores?

I read the containers for Coke and for Gatorade. Sugar is an instant energy boost, so we expect a lot here. So let’s see how the two stack up.

First, Gatorade. It goes back decades since the University of Florida introduced it to their sports teams. Thus the Gator connection.

Gatoraid label shows contents

Gatoraid is very high in sodium,

The Gatorade label reads:
Calories = 40
Fat = 0
Sodium = 230
Potassium = 65
Carbs = 10
Sugar = 10
Protein = 0

Ingredients: Water, sugar, citric acid, natural flavor, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, sucrose, acesulfame, potassium, yellow 7 and blue 1.


And for Coke:

Coke is  high in sugar

Coke si high in calories and salt

Calories = 140
Fat = 0
Sodium = 45
Potassium = 65
Carbs = 39
Sugar = 39
Protein = 0

Ingredients: Carbonate water, high fructose corn syrup, Caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavors, caffeine.

Mr Half Dome’s analysis (I got A’s in two college level Chemistry classes):

If you are after gaining weight, go with Coke at 100 more. Sodium Chloride (NaCL) is salt.  Again Coke is higher. You’ll want some salt, but yes, you can overload. The RDA is about 2200 a day so this is a big contributor. I still vote Coke – on this long hike it helps. Potassium is a tie, fat and protein are nil.

So that leaves sugar. Coke dwarfs Gatoraid with 39 mg. The American Heart Association recommends men limit added sugar to 36 grams, or 9 teaspoon. Yikes, you blow that with one can.  But for both look athte actual ingredients…the first are the greatest percentage.  Got a pharmacist in the family to interpret?

For normal folks doing normal things, Beverages are the major source of obesity. Sugar colas, alcohol, fruit juices etc. are the culprits.

So what’s a hiker to do??  Water. Water. Water.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “When I’m drivin’ in my car and that man comes on the radio, and he’s tellin’ me more and more about some useless information. Supposed to fire my imagination. I can’t get no, no satisfaction” – Rolling Stones

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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One Response to Hikers: Coke or Gatoraid post hike? | This may suprise you

  1. Maureen L says:

    I recommend adding Nuun tablets to your water for potassium.

    Check their website, not the tiny print on the tubes, for details, as some of their formulations have a lot more sodium than others.

    I recommend real food for the calories, as Coke doesn’t give you a feeling of satiety!

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