Rehydrating After the Gym: Why Popular Sports Drinks Fail to Impress My German Wife

Gatorade Sports Drinks v.s. Evian Water
“Wait, so sugar and salt work BETTER than water? That totally makes sense.” — Image Credit: Anna Hirsch ( — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

As you probably know, I’m an American expat and freelance graphic designer working from my home office in the city of Hannover, Germany. Like a lot of self-employed creative types, I am a spiteful little shut-in with introverted tendencies and a general sense of loathing for the bright, colorful world outside my nest of shadows. (Imagine a black-cloaked Nosferatu-type cringing in pain from the merciless gaze of the sun: “Hissssssss…”)

When I do manage to gather the willpower necessary to leave the house, it is only so I can go exercise at our local German gym. And since I make my own hours, I can do this whenever the hell I want. My poor wife, however, is a Gymnasium teacher; she’s gone all day long, and then when she’s home, she has to plan lessons the rest of the evening. It’s a tough job, so when she finally has time to go to the gym, she considers it a luxury.

My wife considers clean, abundant drinking water a luxury as well, and cannot fathom the attraction people — especially Americans — have for popular sports drinks. Sports drinks are supposed to help athletes replace the water, energy and electrolytes they’ve lost during training or after competitions, but I think we all maintain a little skepticism regarding their effectiveness. Even German people are skeptical about them, which I find rather contradictory, since they also believe herbal tea with honey is a panacea capable of curing all diseases and prolonging life indefinitely.

Anyway, the other day, when my wife came home from the gym, she set her bag down and took a long pull from her water bottle. She looked at it closely, then turned to me and asked in her adorable accent:

THE WIFE: “What do all the sport people drink again? Jen-er-ate?
ME: “…Gatorade.”

Graphic Designer in Portland, Oregon and Hannover, Germany - Grafikdesigner Illustrator Copywriter

14 thoughts

  1. My German other half is really suspicious about things that we Brits find normal, in his opinion half a paracetamol is only to be used in situations of seething pain, because of all the baddies they cause. Oh yeah and that the way they don’t trust paying on card, it’s odd but I like it

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My German ‘Schrottie’ sweats it out with plain water with Zitronensaft. But she has another problem. After initial reservations she’s more or less hooked to Holländisches Schmierfleisch. Whenever she visits the Netherlands -and that is often- she returns with this stuff. Beyond the eastern border typified as ‘Filet Americain’…


  3. I’m with the wife on this one – unless you’re doing the equivalent of a half marathon at your gym session, then you haven’t lost enough salt, etc to get any benefit.
    FYI – “Energy” is marketing code for sugar.


  4. Haha.

    I’m with her, I’m not a fan of those sports drinks. I just stick with water. And Diet Coke, when I need caffeine.


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