Is It Okay To Add Alcohol/Vodka to Gatorade/Electrolytes In Triathlon Races?


A lot of individuals ask if it’s okay to add Alcohol/Vodka to Gatorade/electrolytes while participating in a triathlon. This is a frequently asked question, so for this reason, here is an article about it.

With this question, comes a lot of factors; how much are you mixing, what percent of alcohol or vodka, and how much sugar is in the drink. Each answer varies for different factors. But all in all, each answer will relatively help you understand the answers to any question that you may have.

So, is It Okay To Add Alcohol/Vodka to Gatorade/Electrolytes In Triathlons? There’s a difference between whether something is ‘okay’ to do and whether you should or should not do it. You should not add alcohol to electrolytes in a triathlon. Your body is made up mostly of water. So, when consuming alcohol, make sure to drink lots of water to replenish the minerals lost to alcohol. 

When you’re home at a BBQ or a night on the town, mixing alcohol with electrolytes such as Gatorade may help an individual feel better while drinking (or the morning after). 

But you should not drink while participating in any events or sports where the body is forced to do high-intensity tasks such as running, biking, and swimming. Make sure to check our post on Triathlon Nutrition Guide: Before, During & After Race (What Not To Eat !!!)

On a side note, do not waste your money on useless gear purchases and check out my Best Triathlon Battle-Tested Budgeting Gear

So, when looking for the best substance to drink while competing, water or anything with electrolytes is the best substance to consume! 

When in doubt, drink water/electrolytes!

Check out this article on how long you should eat after a triathlon and what you should not eat during a triathlon. 

Let’s proceed further to talk more on Gatorade, its benefits, effects, and legality of mixing alcohol/vodka and Gatorade/electrolytes for a workout.

What is Gatorade?

Gatorade is a sports drink that contains electrolytes that can help hydrate the body and a high concentration of sugar that can provide energy to the body while working out or during any sporting activity.

Although the high level of sugar help to provide energy, it also poses some health risk such as weight gain and diabetes. But these side effects are less likely to happen if you are consistently engaged in high activity. This is because the high level of sugar will be used up by the body.

What are the benefits of taking Gatorade during a sports activity such as triathlon?

It helps to replace lost fluids and electrolytes after physical activity – when a person exercise, there is usually a loss of electrolytes such as potassium and sodium. 

Taking Gatorade will help replenish the fluid and electrolyte lost and help sustain the person’s muscles and nerves during the triathlon race

It also enables triathletes to perform better during the triathlon sport.

Asides from the benefits during sports, it helps to replace electrolytes that might have been lost due to any stomach or gut illness.  

Check out our article on Are Ready-made Energy gels better than their natural substitutes? Honey, Maple-Syrup, Dates & Four Easy Natural and Cheap Energy Gel DIY Recipes & Three Other Off The Shelf Alternatives

Does Gatorade really help improve one’s athletic performance?

Gatorade contains lots of electrolytes and sugar which can provide energy and proper hydration during any sporting event. It can also help maintain the body fluid lost through sweat.

With this advantage, Gatorade can help improve athletic performance.

The effects of Mixing Alcohol/Vodka and Gatorade/Electrolytes for a Workout

Before we jump into understanding the effects alcohol and electrolytes have on a body while completing a triathlon, let’s look into how it affects an individual while working out. 

Keep in mind that these effects will vary depending on the individual performing the different workouts in addition to how much is alcohol is being consumed. When consuming the two components of alcohol, and electrolytes the same effects still apply no matter what.

When you drink alcohol, it takes electrolytes away from your body. (Source

This means that the two substances have the potential to basically ‘cancel each other out (but in a more scientific way). 

Now we can ask ourselves; is it bad to mix the two while working out?

After loads of research, I can confirm it isn’t best to mix the two drinks while working out. As mentioned before, alcohol drains your body of water and slows down the body’s reaction time; slowly affecting the body’s center of gravity.

Again, keep in mind that answers will vary depending on how much alcohol is consumed.

But, speaking from my experience of working out consistently, I think I’ll take my chances with just water and Gatorade at the gym! It may seem like a good idea, given the way Gatorade and electrolytes fuel the body with nutrients, but, if you are wanting to drink alcohol while working out, it’s best to stick with lots of water too.

Check out the article written on how Many Calories Are Consumed In Triathlons

After researching the effects of alcohol, the notion of performing tasks while under the influence should be an at-home race (not public). Although, it would be entertaining to watch. 

Nonetheless, according to MensHealth.com, (Source), it is illegal to take shots or drink during a marathon. This means that it’s also illegal for a triathlon as it includes running. So, one can assume that it is not allowed to drink alcohol while competing in a triathlon; even if it is mixed with Gatorade.

But hey, maybe they won’t check your cup? (Don’t test that theory). It’s completely okay to drink a mixture of alcohol and Gatorade before and after a race. As long as you’re drinking responsibly and in moderation, you will be perfectly fine.

What Alcohol Goes Best with Gatorade (Recipe)?

Let’s be real, most alcohol goes with Gatorade, and most Gatorade goes with alcohol. 

But what’s the best recipe out there for you? 

We don’t know. But we can offer up a pretty great one to try. 

It also depends solely on what your taste preferences are. Are you a super sweet kind of person? Or more of a tangy bitter person? Maybe, you’re in-between. If you’re in-between, look no further! Below we have listed the perfect cocktail for you to try (and love). 

The Begola cocktail can be found at Barnonedrinks.com (Source) with the ingredients and a simple recipe (no worries, we’ll share it here too). This fun beverage only requires three ingredients;

To add these together, simply measure out the correct amount for each substance and mix them. Note: to obtain the best tasting drink, use the amount given in the list above. However, add as much or as little as you would like for your liking.

By mixing all these ingredients and adding a little fruit to the top (who doesn’t love a fun garnish), you are guaranteed to have a fun and fruity drink that you can drink by yourself or with any group of friends.

Once you finish your drink(s), then you can go out and try to complete a triathlon… just kidding. We do not recommend that.

While your body can easily handle the mixing of vodka and Gatorade without too much harm, the activities you perform while doing a triathlon can cause harm if under the influence of any large amounts of alcohol.

What’s the Best Alcohol to Electrolyte Ratio?

If you’re looking for a way to maintain hydration on a night out, the best option is to drink a glass of water for every glass of alcohol. Water still contains the nutrients that are lost when drinking in any amount.

A one-to-one ratio of water or electrolytes (with low sugar) can allow a person to not feel the consequences of alcohol to the full effect (depending on the amount consumed). When you have sugar while drinking alcohol, it can cause symptoms later that result in a hangover.

So, for the best result of a fun night without any regrets, drink your alcohol with water or an electrolyte drink with little sugar. As always, be safe and be aware of what your body needs.

Final Thoughts

Considering that alcohol takes away the electrolytes in the body, it wouldn’t be a good idea to add it to your Gatorade. This is because the ultimate aim of Gatorade is to provide adequate electrolytes to your body, provide energy, and help hydrate your body.

Having an alcohol mix will cancel that out.

Also, to avoid any form of disqualification, you should avoid mixing any form of alcohol with your Gatorade on race day. This is because it may be considered illegal in triathlon sport.

Taking this mix before the triathlon sport is also not encouraged because of the canceling out effect. It is better you avoid any form of alcohol before and during any triathlon sport, but you are free to enjoy your favorite cocktail after winning and enjoying your triathlon sport.

Recent Posts