Man, this world is a totally screwed up place. You'd think that millions of years of evolution would have attuned our bodies to be able to replenish themselves using readily available, natural means. But unfortunately that's not the case; in fact it wasn't until 1965 that scientists at the University of Florida finally cracked the secret to thirst quenching. Evolution really missed the boat on this one! You see, for millennia humans had been foolishly drinking water to quench their thirst, and they had totally neglected the necessity of 'electrolytes', and therefore were consistently slow and weak. The addition of electrolytes to drinks caused the Florida Gators to win the Orange Bowl, and gave mankind the energy and endurance to land on the moon, invent the supercomputer, and organize the world's largest coconut orchestra.
Yes folks, the above is all true, at least according to the marketing departments of sports drinks such as Gatorade, Powerade, and the barely-fit-for-human-consumption UK equivalent, Lucozade. These guys have seriously talented Madison Avenue wizards, as they have somehow managed to convince legions of people that if you try to play sports without consuming fluorescent salt water, you will not only lose the race but will unquestionably shrivel up and die.
Let's just stop for a second and take a look at what the heck 'electrolytes' really are. It's no secret really- listed on the back of every Gatorade it tells you that Gatorade contains sodium, potassium, and chloride. So, here's the first lesson for those of you who failed high school chemistry: TWO OUT OF THE THREE FREAKING ELECTROLYTES ARE JUST SALT. As for potassium, it's not really some kind of evasive nutrient either- bananas are full of them. So just to be clear: Gatorade is just water with sugar, salt, potassium, and yummy yummy artificial coloring.
And now, we interrupt this serious message to bring you some electrolyte-related humor, courtesy of the classic movie 'Idiocracy'. If you haven't seen this movie, go rent it now. (And sorry for the poor quality. It was the best I could find.)
If you fail to see the relevance of this video to the Gatorade argument, you fail.
So, how did humankind manage to build pyramids and outrun tigers without any sports drinks? Well, those clever people just ate food, and this food magically contained all the nutrients they needed. And when they were thirsty, they somehow managed with good old electrolyte-free water. Amazing, isn't it? So next time you're working out, save yourself a buck and grab a handful of pretzels and a banana instead of some glowing ooze. Your body and your wallet will thank you.