The minute that I pick Rocket up from camp, he always makes his request for "something cold." Last week it was especially hot, and I felt it too because I was at the camp, taking pictures out in the hot sun. We were drained. Rocket, looking like a wilted flower, said, "Mommy, (big sigh) I'm so hydrated."
"Oh good news!"
"I get it. It's good to hear."
"I'm so firsty..."
"You mean dehydrated."
It was one of those days that I regretted not getting Gatorade into the refrigerator.
My kids were born on Gatorade, Clover, quite literally. I was exactly 35 weeks pregnant to the day and the end was near, if not for the pregnancy, than for me. I couldn't pee, which along with other problems, meant my organs were closing up shop beginning with my kidneys. My doctor sent me across the street to walk, eat and drink as a last chance to get my body righted again. I got a giant Gatorade because I'd felt so dehydrated. I still couldn't pee, my ankles and feet were painfully huge, and preeclampsia was winning. Clover was born hours later via an emergency c-section.
While this isn't my favorite subject, urine was a big part of that pregnancy. I had to do a couple of 24 hour urine tests, which requires filling a gallon jug with pee collected over a day. Once, while on hospitalized bed rest, the jug was lost. How someone in a hospital misplaces a giant jug of pee is beyond me. The upside of all this pee talk was that I learned how to tell if I was hydrated or not based on color. Gatorade breaks it down easily: lemonade colored pee means hydrated, apple juice means dehydrated, Guinness means get to the hospital.
Like most, my kids love Gatorade. We always have it around, but that doesn't mean we're drinking it. It's saved for times of exertion, dehydration, or special occasions (we take it on our annual camping trip). I hate it when I see kids flop around, drinking it like a soda, yet they somehow act like they're drinking a health drink that's helping them build muscles.
The surprising thing is that Gatorade, the company, feels the same way. They became more of a beverage brand in pursuit of sales volume, losing innovation, and failing to meet the needs to true athletes. Gatorade has spent the last few years turning that around, getting back to science and meeting the needs of athletes, from teens to professionals to fitness athletes - including moms - and this goes beyond brightly colored drinks.
With the talk of sports nutrition, it all came back to pee. Kids can check their own hydration by looking at the color of their pee, unless you're lucky like me, when any trip into the kids' bathroom allows me to check hydration. Some day, I'll break down and install an automatic flushing toilet, like we're at the airport.
I took Rocket's word on his dehydration. We put the G2 Natural in the refrigerator. With no artificial colors or flavors, (and Gatorade does not use high fructose corn syrup in any of its products) G2 Natural is natural enough that it's sold at Whole Foods, making it a great option when water is not enough. And water is not always enough. When you work out hard, recovery requires more than a fluid boost. Salt and carb grams lost need to be replaced too. All athletes need carbs, fluid, and electrolytes, but in different amounts depending upon age and intensity of exercise. After exercise, everyone needs protein to help with muscle recovery. Water alone cannot do that.
The G2 Naturals has chilled, so the next time we nearly melt into a sweaty puddle, it'll be ready.
Disclosure: Gatorade sent me to Chicago in May to learn more about sports nutrition as part of their Sports Mom program. I went in skeptical, but I came out waving a G towel. All opinions are my own.