For as long as I can remember, I’ve relied on Gatorade as my electrolyte replacement sports drink of choice. It’s one of the few exceptions I make to my personal “no high fructose corn syrup” rule, and the nutrition section of the Gatorade website explains their seemingly sound rationale for using HFCS in their sports drink formulation.
Of course, one of the benefits of Gatorade for me is that the product is gluten-free. (I’m fiercely loyal to the original Holy Trinity of Gatorade flavors: lemon-lime, orange, and fruit punch.) On my most recent trip to the grocery store, I couldn’t help but notice a total overhaul in the labeling, which has coincided with Gatorade’s new image and switch to the “G” logo with the orange lightning bolt through it.
Concerned that this new label might also indicate a change in the formulation of the drink, I quickly checked the ingredients list. Sure enough, I found something new that wasn’t there before: modified food starch. As you know, MFS can often be a hidden source of gluten in foods, so I immediately contacted Gatorade customer service.
I heard back earlier today from Gatorade Customer Relations. The modified food starch is used “to help thicken our products,” I was told. (Why they need to thicken a sports drink, I don’t know.) However, they also explained that their MFS is corn-based, and that their drinks remain gluten-free. So, without belaboring the Gatorade issue longer than I need to, the take home message is this: drink up, gluten-free athletes. Your sports drink is safe.