If you’ve ever run an organized race, you’ve almost certainly downed some Gatorade Endurance Formula. The ubiquitous little green paper cups line more than 300 courses around the country. Think the Boston Marathon, New York City Marathon and Chicago Marathon, as well as every Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series race and Ironman triathlon.
With a lock on the on-course nutrition market, the drink is nearly unavoidable. This is great news if you’re a fan of the citrusy beverage—not so much if you (or your gastrointestinal system) find the mix too sweet to handle. As a long-time marathoner myself, I have always experienced a love-hate relationship with the drink. I enjoyed the taste and appreciated the carbs and electrolytes—but my stomach sometimes had trouble handling the mix.
As it turns out, Gatorade was listening to the grumblings and digestive rumblings. The company’s world-class nutrition scientists had long been on the case to develop a drink that better supported athletes’ efforts and worked for every tummy.
The newly improved Gatorade Endurance Formula, released today, has no artificial flavors or sweeteners, and a much lighter flavor. During a launch event last week, I had the opportunity to taste the beverage and was truly surprised by the light, refreshing taste and the much-less-sticky mouth feel. After downing a cup and heading out on the New York City streets for a run in nearly 90-degree-heat, I experienced no issues at all.
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So what exactly is the difference? The new Gatorade Endurance Formula has less sugar, but a similar amount of bio-available carbohydrates (22 grams)—key to performance during a 2.5-plus-hour training session or race. During long efforts, your muscles require glucose to function effectively. The body stores glucose in the liver and blood—but only a small amount. When that resource is tapped unless you feed your muscles through external sources—aka by ingesting carbohydrates. The new formula features a multi-carb (rather than single-carb) blend, which has been found to improve performance while decreasing discomfort.
Additionally, Endurance features twice the amount of sodium and three-times the level of potassium, critical electrolytes that your body loses through sweat and must be replaced to maintain optimal levels.
Expect to see the new mix on race courses staring July 22, but the powdered version of Gatorade Endurance Formula is available now online and in specialty stores in three flavors: cherry, orange and lemon-lime.