All posts by Pat Gustafson

Sports Drinks

Is Gatorade Bad For You?

According to Gatorade’s website, the drink was “born in the lab” when researchers looked at why athletes were falling ill after strenuous exercise in the heat. They found that these athletes were losing electrolytes and fluid with exertion, but not replacing them. Gatorade was developed to replace crucial electrolytes and carbohydrates while hydrating at the same time. While it’s marketed as a sports drink, Gatorade isn’t only consumed by athletes. Children drink it at lunch or after soccer practice, and it’s even developed a reputation as a hangover cure. But while Gatorade may contain less sugar than soda, is it actually good for you? <!–split–>

The “Good” Of Gatorade

When you exercise, it’s important to stay hydrated. Water is the most logical form of hydration. However, sports drinks like Gatorade contain sugar and electrolytes like sodium and potassium. Sports  drinks can help replace what we lose during longer duration exercise, especially in the heat.

Electrolytes and carbohydrates help athletes refuel and re-hydrate. This is what makes sports drinks popular. Electrolytes help regulate the body’s fluid balance while the carbs provide energy. Gatorade claims their product hydrates better than water because of these additional ingredients. Some research backs their claims. A report from the University of California, Berkeley says that sports drinks might be better than water for children and athletes who engage in prolonged, vigorous physical activity for more than one hour, especially in hot conditions. However, you should note that those exercising less than 60 to 90 minutes may not need Gatorade to maintain or improve performance.

The “Bad” Of Gatorade

So, what about use of sports drinks for the average person? The vast majority of people who drink Gatorade are not athletes. And according to the Berkeley study, most people who drink sports drinks at least once a day aren’t as physically active as they should be. A 12-ounce serving of Gatorade’s Thirst Quencher contains 21 grams of sugar. But because a regular bottle of Gatorade contains 32 ounces, you’re actually getting 56 grams of sugar.

While that’s still less sugar per ounce than your average soda, it’s not exactly healthy. In fact, Berkeley researchers say the sugar in sports drinks may be contributing to the child obesity epidemic by increasing caloric intake. When consumed often, the sugar content of Gatorade can also contribute to tooth decay, especially in children. For people who are less active, getting extra sugar and sodium throughout the day isn’t necessary or recommended. The extra calories from a sports drink could contribute to weight gain. The extra sodium could increase the risk of high blood pressure over time.

Also of importance to note is that Gatorade contains food dyes such as Red No. 40, Blue No. 1, and Yellow No. 5. These artificial dyes are derived from petroleum and may increase the risk of hyperactivity in children. They’ve also been linked to cancer.


Make the right decision for your kids.  While Gatorade can help you stay hydrated, it’s best to only drink it when needed. For people who are not exercising for at least one hour, five days per week, water is the best bet for staying hydrated. Electrolytes coming from natural sources without added sugars and dyes are recommended. Experts suggest parents limit their children’s consumption of sports drinks like Gatorade due to their sugar content and artificial coloring. A researcher who has worked with Gatorade in the past told NPR that Gatorade shouldn’t be singled out as the “bad guy.” She emphasized that parents need to evaluate sugar consumption from all sources when helping their child make the healthiest decisions.

For most children, water remains the best source of hydration, and foods like fresh fruits and vegetables are the best source of carbohydrates and electrolyte replacement.

-Written by Anna Schaefer and copied with permission.

Your Parish Nurse,  Kara

From the desk of Pastor Stan ….. Forgiveness

What is involved in the practice of forgiving someone—or indeed, being forgiven ourselves? Almost all of us sense the importance of forgiveness, aware as we are of situations and relationships where there has been a breach, or where unresolved conflicts cause harm year after year. Knowing these, we yearn for resolution, for ways of moving toward a future that is free of brokenness. But thinking about forgiveness, – to say nothing of finding the courage to practice it—can be difficult. <!–split–>

The very notion of forgiveness conjures up many painful images in our minds. Merely to consider this practice causes us to think about horrifying evil: slavery in the United States, or the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, or individual acts of rape, child abuse, and domestic violence. It is difficult even to comprehend the depths of pain and suffering in such situations. No wonder, then, that we are unsure whether forgiveness can make a difference—and if so, how.

Thinking about forgiveness also causes us to consider the smaller, day–to-day struggles involved in living with others at home, in church, or in the workplace. These struggles involve annoyances that seem petty but that nonetheless can sow the seeds of bitterness, as well as specific conflicts that sometimes fester into large and painful wounds. In these situations, it may be easier to understand that forgiveness is the right response than to be able to give or receive forgiveness, or even to want to do so.

Most of us would admit that sometimes we just don’t want to forgive someone or ask them for forgiveness, even when we know we should. The “should” may be based in our deepest beliefs; whenever we pray the Lord’s Prayer, after all, we ask God to “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Or the “should” may arise from our wish for peace, from our yearning for relationship restored. Even so, we just don’t feel able to forgive, or to ask for forgiveness; the

wounds are too raw, or we sense that the other person is unwilling to repent or to grant us the forgiveness we seek. And sometimes we simply prefer to let the conflict fester. Church council records from 16th-century Switzerland tell of a man who pretended that he could not remember the Lord’s Prayer because he knew that if he said it he would have to forgive the merchant who had cheated him. This was something he had no intention of doing!

Many of us believe in the importance of forgiveness and long to find ways of making it more central to our life together. Yet we wonder whether and how this can happen. On paper, forgiveness is great. The problem comes when we try to take it off the page and live it in our actual relations with one another. Can we do this?

Part of the problem is that we are often less sure of what and whom we love than we are of what and whom we hate. Indeed, we too often stake our identity on being against some person or group. We define ourselves against those who are strange to us, hoping perhaps to overcome our own uncertainty and vulnerability by defining them as less than human. Or we define ourselves against those from whom we have become estranged, whom we perhaps once loved by now see as enemies or threats to our well-being.

As a result, we allow feelings of hatred or bitterness to define and consume our lives, even to our own destruction. The story of two shopkeepers illustrates this. Their shops were across the street from each other, and whatever one did, the other would try to match and, if possible, exceed. One night, an angel of the Lord came to the first shopkeeper and said, “The Lord has sent me to you with the promise that you may have one wish that, no matter how extravagant, will be granted to you. There is only one catch: whatever you receive, your rival shopkeeper will receive twofold. What is your wish?” The first shopkeeper, thinking of his rival, responded: “My wish is that you would strike me blind in one eye.”

 Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. We never get rid of an enemy by meeting hate with hate; we get rid of an enemy by getting rid of enmity. By its very nature, hate destroys and tears down; by its very nature, love creates and builds up. Love transforms with redemptive power.

– Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love

Kitchen Cleaning in July

Looking for volunteers to help clean the Activity Center kitchen.  Two cleaning sessions are scheduled:  Tuesday, 27 July starting at 9 am, and on Thursday, 29 July starting at 12:30 pm.  Come help on whichever date works best for you. UMW is organizing the effort and welcomes help from all.  Contact Pat Gustafson if questions.

Food Pantry

Remember to bring your donation for the local food pantry!  According to the Feeding America web site, 42M Americans face hunger, including 13M children. YOU CAN HELP!  Bring your donation to church any time during the week or on Sunday morning, and place in the donation cart. We have two donation carts:  one in the Activity Center (near the kitchen), and the other in the narthex (near the office).  Here’s a list of the top 20 food items recommended for donation:  <!–split–>

  • Applesauce
  • Canned beans
  • Canned chicken
  • Canned fish (tuna and salmon)
  • Canned meat (SPAM and ham)
  • Canned vegetables
  • Cooking oils (olive and canola)
  • Crackers
  • Dried herbs and spices
  • Fruit (canned or dried)
  • Granola bars
  • Instant mashed potatoes
  • Meals in a box
  • Nuts
  • Pasta
  • Peanut butter
  • Rice
  • Shelf-stable milk
  • Soup, stew, and chili
  • Whole grain cereal


If You Are Hospitalized

Due to patient confidentiality laws, if you or a family member are hospitalized, please let the Pastor or Kara Ade know. When you check into the hospital, let them know that your church is Bethel Wesley UMC and/or have a friend or family member call the church to inform us. Also, if you know someone that is home-bound and needs a visit, please let us know and we will make sure that you (or they) are visited.

From the desk of Pastor Stan ….

For the past month, I’ve been reading a book written by Dorothy Bass entitled Practicing Our Faith a way of life for a searching people. I was also thinking about a song we used to sing when I was a member of the Miles College Gospel choir in Birmingham AL. The words were simple but loaded with some very impactful words. The race isn’t given to the swift or the strong but to the one who endured to the end. <!–split–>

The Christian life is like an athletic competition, the apostle Paul once wrote. A great prize awaits those who run their race well, but the running requires great exertion. “Athletes exercise self-control in all things” in order to win their contests, even though their prize is only a laurel wreath that will soon wither. Christians ought to run their race with just as much exertion and self-control, Paul urged, for they pursue a prize that is “imperishable.”  (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).

Many of us long to grow stronger in the Christian life. But we are really ready to exert ourselves? Being spectators comes much more easily. We prize the football player’s skill and strength; we admire the dancer’s trim, toned body; we applaud the pianist’s dexterity. But when it comes time to actualize our own plans for physical exercise or for rehearsals, too often we prove half-hearted and fickle. The slogan “no pain, no gain” cuts close to the bone. We are conditioned by our modern culture to count on immediate results; we want the gain, but we shrink from the pain. If we find it difficult to respond to the demand of athletic training, then it is not surprising that we find it difficult to engage in the Christian practices so sorely needed for the development and growth of the interior or spiritual life.

Throughout Christian history, it has been clear that spirituality is not a spectator activity. Tough decisions and persistent effort are required of those who seek lives that are whole and holy. If we are to grow in faithful living, we need to renounce the things that choke off the fullness of life that God intended for us, and we must follow through on our commitments to pray, to be conscientious, and to be in mutually supportive relations with other faithful persons. These acts take self-discipline. We must learn the practice of saying no to that which crowds God out and yes to a way of life that makes space for God.

Training For Faithful Living

“I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air,” Paul wrote, continuing the athletic image (1 Corinthians 9:26). It was the apostle’s passionate concern to nurture women and men in living worthy and holy lives in expectation of the Lord’s return. That, he knew, would require them to be deliberate and purposeful, for saying yes to life in Christ would mean saying no to that which harms. Christians who wish to inherit the kingdom of God must curb their appetites and passions, he told the young church in Galatia; they must renounce “fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these.” (Galatians 5:19-21).

Irrespective of social status or wealth or cultural attainment, they shared a communal life centered on uncompromising faith in Jesus as Lord. They gathered to remember Jesus, and they zealously met the needs of strangers, the infirm, the imprisoned, and the poor. The way these women and men lived gave rise to a distinctive Christian way of being in the world, or Christian spirituality.

Spirituality: Choosing Life

Our spirituality is our capacity to relate to God, to other human beings, and to the natural world. Through these relationships, we give meaning to our experience and attune our hearts and minds to the deepest dimensions of reality. Thus spirituality is integral to the ways in which we live our lives. It is about the kinds of persons we are and the kinds of persons we hope to become.

Far too often, however, our attention to these deeper questions wanders, and our spirituality stagnates. We find ourselves merely drifting along. But then some painful event or demand for decision jolts us. We look up and find ourselves on a path that mocks our deepest longing, a road to joy that suddenly takes a treacherous curve. And it is no longer possible merely to drift along. At such times, we find out that only we ourselves can decide that we, by our choices and commitments, are to make of ourselves. We are compelled to acknowledge the persistent yearning, the subtle pull toward a new and different way of living. We are drawn on by questions: What is most necessary in our lives? For what are we living? What does it mean to be a human person?

Peace With Justice Sunday – May 30th

The United Methodist Church has designated May 30th as Peace With Justice Sunday.  At Bethel Wesley, a portion of our annual Easter Offering supports Peace With Justice Sunday.

Peace with Justice Sunday enables The United Methodist Church to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs. The special offering benefits peace with justice ministries in the annual conference and through the General Board of Church and Society. In today’s world, communities face social challenges, nations are divided, human rights are violated, and slavery of all kinds still perpetuates our existence. As the United Methodist Church, we are moved by Christ’s love to pursue reconciliation and peace, honoring the dignity of every individual made in God’s image. We will not turn a blind eye to injustice.

To learn more about Peace With Justice Sunday, go to

If You Are Hospitalized

Due to patient confidentiality laws, if you or a family member are hospitalized, please let the Pastor or Kara Ade know. When you check into the hospital, let them know that your church is Bethel Wesley UMC and/or have a friend or family member call the church to inform us. Also, if you know someone that is home-bound and needs a visit, please let us know and we will make sure that you (or they) are visited.