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Is orange gatorade good when sick?

Being sick with an illness like the cold or flu can really take a toll on your body. You may experience symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, muscle aches, headaches, and fatigue. One of the most important things when you’re sick is to stay hydrated. Loss of fluids from sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea can lead to dehydration. Drinking lots of fluids can help replace what’s lost and keep you hydrated.

Many people turn to sports drinks like Gatorade when they’re sick to help rehydrate. The electrolytes and sugars in these drinks can help boost hydration more effectively than water alone. But is orange Gatorade in particular a good choice when you’re under the weather? Let’s take a closer look.

The Benefits of Orange Gatorade When Sick

There are a few key reasons why orange Gatorade can be beneficial to drink when you’re sick:

  • It contains electrolytes – Gatorade contains sodium and potassium, which are electrolytes you lose through sweat, vomiting, and diarrhea. Replenishing electrolytes helps your body rehydrate more efficiently.
  • It contains glucose – The sugar in Gatorade helps transport water and electrolytes into your cells, improving hydration.
  • It provides calories – When sick, your body needs extra energy to power the immune response. The calories in Gatorade can help provide this.
  • It’s easy to consume – Drinking calories can be easier than eating solid foods when you have low appetite.
  • It has a palatable taste – The sweet, citrusy orange flavor makes Gatorade appealing to drink, especially when you’re nauseous.

Additionally, the specific orange flavor contains 100% of your daily recommended vitamin C. Vitamin C is an important immune booster, so getting enough when fighting sickness is key.

Potential Drawbacks of Orange Gatorade

However, there are some potential downsides to consider with orange Gatorade as well:

  • High sugar content – A 20 oz bottle contains 36 grams of sugar. Consuming excess sugar when sick can potentially feed bacteria and lead to further issues.
  • Artificial dyes – The orange color comes from Yellow #6, which is an artificial dye some people try to avoid.
  • Not enough electrolytes – For severe dehydration cases, orange Gatorade may not contain enough electrolytes compared to oral rehydration solutions.
  • Too many calories – The 130 calories per serving may promote overconsumption of sugar when fewer calories are actually needed.
  • Doesn’t treat the illness – While hydrating, Gatorade does not treat the underlying infection or cause.

Alternatives to Orange Gatorade When Sick

If the drawbacks of orange Gatorade concern you, there are a few suitable alternatives to consider instead:

Alternative Benefits
Coconut water
  • Natural electrolytes
  • Lower in sugar
  • Minimally processed
100% fruit juice
  • Natural vitamin C
  • Simple ingredients
  • Provide electrolytes
Oral rehydration solutions
  • Higher electrolyte content
  • Specialized for dehydration
  • Utilized by medical professionals
Herbal tea
  • Warming and soothing
  • Antioxidants to support healing
  • Calorie-free hydration
Bone broth
  • Warming and soothing
  • Provides electrolytes
  • Easily digestible protein

These alternatives provide more natural sources of hydration and nutrition to help you recover. Herbal tea and bone broth also supply comfort when you’re feeling miserable being sick.

Tips for Staying Hydrated When Sick

Here are some additional tips for staying hydrated and optimizing recovery when you’re sick:

  • Drink fluids at room temperature – Iced drinks can shock your system while hot drinks may irritate a sore throat. Room temperature is easiest to tolerate.
  • Sip slowly – Don’t guzzle large amounts. Sip small amounts continuously to allow your body to absorb the fluids.
  • Set reminders to drink – When sick, it’s easy to forget to drink enough. Set reminders on your phone to nudge you to drink up.
  • Eat hydrating foods – Soups, yogurt, applesauce, and ice pops also contribute to fluid intake.
  • Avoid fluids that dehydrate – Alcohol, coffee, and sugary sodas can lead to further dehydration.
  • Monitor your urine color – Pale yellow to clear urine means you’re well hydrated. Dark yellow suggests dehydration.
  • Rest up – Your body needs extra rest to recover when fighting an illness. Don’t push yourself unnecessarily.

If dehydration persists for over 24 hours, intravenous fluids may be needed. Seek medical care right away if you experience signs like dizziness upon standing, lack of urination, or inability to keep fluids down.


When sick, orange Gatorade can help provide hydration, electrolytes, and nutrition to aid your body’s recovery. However, it’s high in processed sugar and artificial ingredients. Coconut water, fruit juice, herbal tea, and bone broth provide more wholesome alternatives. Just remember to sip fluids regularly and get plenty of rest. With the proper self-care, your body’s natural defenses can fight back against whatever bug has gotten you down.