For the past week or two Gatorade and the additives in Gatorade have been a hot topic. The makers of gatorade have been adding brominated vegetable oil to the citrus flavored beverages to keep the drink from separating. Doesn’t seem like a big deal…. or is it?
Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) has been used as an additive just like sacchrin and mannitol for the past 30-40 years. It wasn’t until the 1970s that it was removed from the GRAS list or the generally recognized as safe list that the FDA regulates. The FDA removed BVO from the list after a study revealed the toxic side effects of the additive. It an cause heart and muscle damage. Further testing still needs to be completed in order to determine it’s safety. If something hasn’t been tested in 33 years to prove it is safe to eat or drink, I would recommend avoiding it. Here’s the FDA’s take on the matter:
(b) The additive is used on an interim basis as a stabilizer for flavoring oils used in fruit-flavored beverages, for which any applicable standards of identity do not preclude such use, in an amount not to exceed 15 parts per million in the finished beverage, pending the outcome of additional toxicological studies on which periodic reports at 6-month intervals are to be furnished and final results submitted to the Food and Drug Administration promptly after completion of the studies.
To sum up what is being said, BVO can be used for a short, temporary time, and more studies need to be conducted before we know the true safety of the additive.
Bottom line: avoid Gatorade for the time being until BVO free products come out on the market. Rumor has it it will be within the next 2 months. The flavors they will be taking BVO out of: orange, citrus cooler, and lemonade Gatorade, Gatorade X-Factor orange, Gatorade Xtremo citrus cooler, and “glacier freeze” a powdered form of Gatorade.
If you’re an athlete who loves Gatorade, a person who drinks gatorade for hydration and now are not sure what to drink? Fear not we have plenty of options for you 🙂
These are some of my favorite electrolyte drinks: