By Alicia Shay
Gatorade is very high in fructose and sucrose and these sugars do not fuel muscle directly. Since the liver can only convert about 1 calorie of fructose into glucose per minute during training, Gatorade increases body fat more than it fuels muscle. Your body can convert stored fat into energy but it is longer and more timely process than just directly fueling muscle with the carbohydrates you are taking in.
Gatorade is better than not taking in any fuel during a marathon but there are better products out there that will help maximize performance. Use a maltodextrin based drink or simply drink water and take gels (Hammer, GU, Cytomax, etc.) during a marathon because you can absorb more overall carbs from the drink or gel and thus better fuel active muscle tissues.