The recommendation to drink Blue Gatorade for increasing milk supply is a popular one that floods mommy groups everywhere. But does it actually work? Here are my thoughts!
Having spent much of the last six years running a Facebook breastfeeding group, I’ve seen my fair share of recommendations on how to increase milk supply.
No recommendation have I seen more than Gatorade (especially blue Gatorade).
Quite literally the first or second comment every time I see someone ask for tips for increasing supply, Gatorade is answered.
After seeing this for years, I decided to do a little research to if there’s any science behind this claim and what other moms have experienced.
Now, let’s dive into some of the reasons why some mothers find that Gatorade is causing an increase in supply. There aren’t really any studies that have been done – so I’m just speculating based on what I’ve observed and researched myself.
Remember – the key to making more milk is emptying the breast more frequently. No drink or food can replace that. Understanding milk supply and how it works can be essential to your breastfeeding success – one of our on demand breastfeeding classes are a great resource for this!
Gatorade for Milk Supply
There are a few things that might be the reasoning behind people feeling like Gatorade has increased their milk supply.
But before we dive into that, I wanted to share the ingredients for Blue Gatorade.
Water, Sucrose, Dextrose, Citric Acid, Natural and artificial flavor, Salt, Sodium Citrate, Monopotassium Phosphate, Modified Food Starch, Glycerol Ester of Rosin, Blue 1.
Galactagogues are considered foods, herbs, or medicines that increase milk supply. I do not see a single ingredient on that list that I’ve seen listed as a galactagogue.
Could some strange combination of some of those ingredients somehow combine to make some milk making super power? Maybe. But I doubt it.
It does have some Potassium, so maybe if you are deficient in Potassium, it’s helping on that side of things.
While being dehydrated may not necessarily cause a drop in milk supply, it can make you feel pretty crappy. And when you feel pretty crappy, you might not nurse as frequently or for as long.
When you start downing Gatorade, it helps to rehydrate you. Many women who drink it for milk supply may be more experiencing the effects of coming out of dehydration and being able to nurse more.
Some women may experience a decrease in supply due to not drinking enough fluids. While it’s not recommended to overhydrate, either, if you are severely underhydrated, it could potentially help.
Because Gatorade has electrolytes in it, replenishing those in your body could potentially help with rehydration.
Unless you are getting one of the low calories versions of Gatorade, you are actually taking in quite a few calories from the Gatorade when you drink it – an entire container has around 220 calories in it!
I know moms who say they experienced an increase after “downing bottles” of Gatorade – and even if “bottles” was just two – that could be over 400 extra calories.
It is important to eat enough calories to make milk – according to Kelly Mom, you need a minimum of 1500-1800, and less than that may put you at risk for decreased milk supply.
So perhaps, it’s the calories from drinking Gatorade that help!
The placebo affect is real! I do believe that this can play a part in why people feel like it’s helpful.
Does the color matter?
I know people swear by Blue Gatorade…but I truly don’t believe there’s something magical about it. Unless Blue 1 is the key to milk making 🙂
What Other Moms Say
I posted about Gatorade on my Instagram account. Obviously, not a scientific study, but it’s a fairly good sample size.
528 mothers responded to my question, “If you tried Gatorade to increase your milk supply, do you feel like it helped?”
109 people said yes and 421 people said no. So, 20% of mothers found that it helped while 80% did not.
A good number of moms messaged me to say that they said yes, but they were either really dehydrated, and they think it helped them rehydrate. OR they didn’t like drinking water, and this was an easier way for them to get fluids – not even necessarily to increase milk supply.
So, take that with a grain of salt, but that’s what over 500 moms said in regards to Gatorade.
My conclusion? Well, it probably isn’t going to hurt you, but I would suggest trying other foods and drinks beyond Gatorade, simply because the ingredients aren’t the best, and it has a lot of sugar. If you are struggling with your diet, make sure you check out my breastfeeding meal plan/recipe book.
Could it help? Possibly – but more so in the case of dehydration and caloric deficiencies. But even then, that’s just speculating.
So feel free to keep drinking your Blue Gatorade…but I suspect that if you are struggling with milk supply, there might be other things to investigate first.