G Organic, the organic version of Gatorade, is out for sale in three different flavors, strawberry, mixed berry and lemon — and yes, it is nothing but organic sugar water.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved PepsiCo's G Organic after two years of research, and it is now available in some Kroger supermarkets. In a couple of weeks, G Organic can be bought countrywide in select natural and convenience stores and groceries. The retail price of a 16.9-ounce bottle is $1.69, which is 50 cents more than Gatorade Thirst Quencher.
Gatorade is going organic since the market for natural and organic foods among U.S. consumers is rapidly increasing. The beverage company, which controls over 70 percent of the sports drink market, faces stiff competition lately from growing organic drink companies like Coconut Water. As a matter of fact, the country's organic food industry sales increased by 11 percent in 2015.
Brett O'Brien, Gatorade senior vice president and general manager, said that the company came to know through its nutritionists that quite a number of athletes now prefer organic sports drinks to artificial ones. There is a 10 to 12 percent market scope for the drink among sports people.
The organic version is more interesting than flavored drinks; however, experts note that both the versions are more or less similar. Haemi Choi, a sports medicine doctor at Loyola University Medical Center, said that G Organic is natural but that it is not a healthy alternative.
According to Choi, organic sugar added to the drink is still sugar, and that makes no big difference in the nature of the drink. Sugar present in a drink bottle is much closer to the amount of carbohydrates a woman needs to take in during an entire day. It may be an option for people who perform an hour-long vigorous workout, but not for those who do light jogging. Drinking water is all that is needed to quench thirst and rehydrate the body.
Lisa Cimperman, a clinical dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, noted that excess sugar consumption increases the blood sugar level, which elevates the risk of heart disease. Calling the drink organic will make people believe that it is healthy to consume, and ironically, that is not true.
"Sugar is sugar, so no matter if it's organic or not, it's still going to have the same effect on your body," said Cimperman, as reported by NPR. "I think it's a marketing ploy to apply this organic health halo to this product."
Photo: Mike Mozart | Flickr