Are Sports Drinks Really Good For You?

Staying Hydrated During Cancer treatment


by Katie O’Grady

Why it’s important to stay hydrated during cancer treatment:

Hydration is key to flushing out chemicals from treatment that can cause damage to your bladder & kidneys. Taking in lots of fluids also decreases the chances of becoming dehydrated and experiencing side effects such as nausea and replenishing electrolytes and loss of fluid from diarrhea.

While water is a great option for staying hydrated, patients tend to experience an electrolyte imbalance during treatment. Oncologists recommend beverages that function as electrolyte replacements. There are so many options out there, but it’s important to know what you’re putting into your body because some sports drinks can do more harm than good, especially when it comes to an already compromised gastrointestinal tract…

The truth is, when it comes to cancer treatment, hydration is just a small piece of the puzzle. While treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy are highly effective in targeting rapidly dividing cancer cells, they also damage many of the good cells in our bodies–including those that line our gastrointestinal tracts. When these cells are damaged, our ability to absorb nutrients is compromised. 

We’ve all heard about pre- and probiotics and how it’s important to care for the bacteria living in your gut. It’s incredibly important to note, however, that this bacteria is meant to live in your gut and not in the rest of your body. Our GI has a barrier that keeps this bacteria where it’s supposed to be. Cancer treatments can damage that barrier, causing the bacteria, along with other toxins, to enter the bloodstream. When this happens, symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, dehydration, fatigue, and unwanted weight loss can all occur. 

Sports drinks often contain ingredients that may exacerbate these symptoms. Doctors recommend avoiding the following: 

  • sucrose
  • fructose
  • crystalline fructose
  • sucralose
  • high fructose corn syrup

Excess sugar has also been shown to deplete minerals, decrease immunity, and increase the amount of bad bacteria in your gut. Additional additives such as artificial colors or dyes can also inhibit mitochondrial respiration–in other words, they affect your cells’ abilities to convert food into energy. Examples of these dyes are red 40, yellow 5 and yellow 6.

The best way to stay hydrated while maintaining optimal gut health is to drink electrolyte replenishing beverages with no sugar or artificial ingredients. 

What is a suitable alternative to sports drinks?

Enterade is a great alternative to sports drinks because it has three principal functions that you will not get by drinking a sports drink. These three principal functions are rebuilding, protecting, and hydrating. People tend to mistake Enterade as another type of electrolyte drink, but it is a clinically proven medical food that will help rebuild your gut after cancer treatment, protect your gut from potential pathogens and toxins, AND keep you hydrated.

How does Enterade work?

The select amino acids in Enterade help rebuild the villi in your gut which is responsible for nutrient absorption, increase the crypt cell count, protect the GI tract, and support a healthy immune function. Enterade also delivers total body hydration to replenish fluid loss.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and proteins are what make up all the organs and tissues in your body. Therefore, ingesting protein after treatment is important in rebuilding damaged villi. Enterade has five specific amino acids that work in targeting the villi in your gut. When the villi are left untreated, they will become blunted, and gaps will open along with the barrier function. This allows for bacteria and toxins to get stuck and enter the bloodstream which causes side effects like nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, and dehydration.

What are the ingredients in Enterade?

Enterade is formulated with all natural ingredients: water, amino acids blend, natural flavor, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, and stevia leaf extract. The proprietary blend of plant-based amino acids consists of five  is an all-natural plant-based product with no sugar. To give it a very light taste, stevia has been added to give Enterade two select flavors, orange, and vanilla. Enterade is made up of five select amino acids that support healthy GI function. Electrolytes like sodium and potassium are also found in Enterade to help keep you hydrated. Enterade should be taken 30 mins before or 60 mins after food because the ingredients in Enterade could lose their efficiency in helping your gut if mixed with anything other than water or ice.


When it comes to cancer treatment, staying hydrated is very important in helping manage the side effects. Sports drinks help replenish a lot more than just regular water but being aware of the ingredients in most sports drinks is imperative when it comes to your health. If you are looking for an alternative that has the added benefits of rebuilding and protecting your gut from chemo and radiation, then Enterade is the perfect option.

Best Electrolyte Drinks for Chemo 2020 |

Protein Needs During Cancer Treatment | OncoLink