Should Gatorade Be One of Your Migraine Remedies?

In today’s age of quick fixes, everybody is looking for an easy way to get rid of their headaches and migraines. While migraine remedies are popping up all over the internet, very few of them are actually helpful when it comes to finding relief for migraine patients.

Gatorade is a common drink amongst migraineurs, which is why today, I will be taking a closer look at the sports drink and its effect on migraines.

About Gatorade

Let’s take a look at what goes into a bottle of Gatorade. The main ingredients in Gatorade are water, sugar, electrolytes, modified food starch, yellow 5 (proven to cause cancer) and other artificial food colorings  and a bit of natural and artificial flavoring. The idea behind this cocktail is to fuel sports performance, primarily with the refined sugar and electrolytes.

The electrolytes are simply salt and potassium. These are usually harmless and can actually help migraines in some cases. The most dangerous component of Gatorade is the sugar. One bottle of the stuff contains 8 teaspoons, and as any well-informed migraine patient should know, sugar is not one of your migraine remedies.  In fact, for many it’s a major trigger.

Why Migraine Remedies Shouldn’t Include Gatorade

So, if Gatorade is essentially just water, sugar, salt, dyes, and a bunch of LABORATORY PRODUCED ingredients, why do people think it will help their migraines? While the electrolytes might be helpful in some cases, the sugar, yellow 5 or other colors and other ingredients are anything but.

Sugar causes inflammation, which can make the pain worse on its own. That isn’t even the worst news, though. Sugar can directly cause migraines in some migraineurs because of the way it spikes your blood sugar.

While the science hasn’t totally explained why blood sugar and migraines are linked, we do know that sugar stresses your adrenal glands, and  this can and will negatively affect your migraines.

New research also suggests migraine sufferers may have a unique relationship to certain chemicals related to blood sugar, which might explain why sugar can be so harmful when it comes to migraines.

Regardless of the exact reason sugar causes or worsens migraines, we know it does affect them in some way. I have seen numerous patients who have had great success cutting out sugar from their diet. This is one of the first things I suggest.

Sugar is not the only cause of migraines, but it is certainly one of them, and eliminating fake and simple sugars like those found in Gatorade will be helpful to any migraine patient.

What You Should Be Doing Instead

If you are suffering from a migraine caused by an electrolyte imbalance, one of the quicker ways to rebalance your electrolytes is to drink juice made from celery, apple and lemon. Another option is to drink coconut water with chia seeds or mix or blend together banana, nut milk and kale.  These options will provide you real food solutions to rebuilding the electrolytes you need without the harmful sugars found in drinks like Gatorade, Powerade, etc.

While adding electrolytes into your diet might help momentarily, real migraine relief requires an individualized, whole body approach. If you’re ready to start taking control of your migraines, reach out and contact me. Together, we can get you on the path to a pain-free life.


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