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Powerade vs. Gatorade: What’s The Best Sports Drink?

An athlete wearing sports attire rehydrating himself.

 

Doing any sort of physical activity will dehydrate you. It doesn’t really matter what kind. Whether you’re pumping iron at the gym or a professional athlete, whatever causes you to sweat will make you lose electrolytes.

For this reason, water may not be enough. Sports drinks are the most popular hydration option. They’re specially made to rehydrate your body by restoring electrolytes and other essential nutrients that you’ve lost when exercising for a long time.

Powerade and Gatorade may come into mind when shopping for options. They may look the same at first glance—a similar sounding name, both brightly colored, and boasts a variety of flavors.

But you might ask yourself: what’s the difference between Gatorade and Powerade?

Here are what we’ll be covering:

 

What Is in a Sports Drink?

It may be best to start off with what a sports drink doesn’t have. One popular question asks if any sports drink has any caffeine in it. The answer is no. Neither Powerade nor Gatorade have caffeine in them, as it’s a known diuretic that does the opposite of rehydrating the body.

What a sports drink does have are electrolytes.

Electrolytes are essential minerals that carry an electric charge. They’re found in your blood and other body fluids. They play very important roles in several processes like muscular function, your body’s pH level regulation, and hydration levels. The most common electrolytes in the body include: calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, chloride, and phosphorus.

You would be sweating out your body’s electrolytes with continuous exercise, so replenishing them is key to sustaining your athletic performance.

Gatorade vs Powerade: What’s The Difference?

There are key differences between Gatorade and Powerade: the sweeteners they use, and the electrolytes and vitamins they’ve included in their formula.

Sweeteners

Many people do find that Powerade tastes sweeter, although no official test has been done to confirm it. The taste difference may be because of the different sweeteners used. Powerade uses high-fructose corn syrup, which tastes sweeter than the easily digestible simple sugars called dextrose and sucrose used in Gatorade. Another thing that may factor into the taste difference would be the added vitamins in Powerade.

Regardless of the taste however, both high-fructose corn syrup and dextrose have the same negative effects on insulin levels, appetite response, and obesity risk.

Electrolytes

Both Powerade and Gatorade contain sodium, potassium, and magnesium, with Gatorade having a slight advantage with 10mg more sodium and 10mg more potassium. This makes it slightly more adept at replacing electrolytes.

Vitamins

Between Powerade and Gatorade, Powerade has more vitamins and micronutrients like magnesium, niacin, and vitamins B6 and B12, which play important roles in your body and better promotes energy production.

Are There Any Sports Drinks Alternatives Available?

For those who are understandably wary of the sugar added in sports drinks, worry not as there are other options available for you. There are electrolyte supplements available in powder and capsule forms. Powder versions usually have less sugar, while most capsules can guarantee no sugar added at all!

As diverse as the flavor choices are, there are some people who are not too keen on the flavors added on sports drinks. One advantage of capsule-form supplements is that they're flavorless. This makes it easier to take the electrolytes you need, rather than products with artificial flavors like fizzing tablets or popular sports drinks.

A great capsule-based alternative would be Polyfit’s Salt Pills and Keto Electrolytes, both of which have no artificial sweeteners, flavor, or coloring. This ensures that you are only taking in what’s beneficial for your body in the long run.

If you happen to be on a low-carb diet like keto, neither Gatorade nor Powerade is ideal due to the carb content that’s quite high. One fantastic option would be a zero-carb electrolyte supplement like Polyfit’s Keto Electrolytes that’s perfect for someone on the keto diet.

Both the Polyfit products offer more essential minerals. Along with sodium, potassium, and magnesium, they also have other important electrolytes like calcium, chloride, and zinc which gives a complete replenishment of your body’s needs.

When it comes to added vitamins, the Salt Pills in particular is unique in that it not only contains Vitamin B6, but also Vitamin D3 which aids in helping your body absorb the calcium in the pill.

Summary

  • Although they’re sweetened with different types of sugar, they both have the same amount of carbs and nutrients.
  • Neither has any fat nor protein.
  • Gatorade has more calories and sodium, whereas Powerade gives you magnesium, niacin, Vitamin B6 and B12.
  • It would be best to note that however their difference in taste and ingredients, there is no significant difference with how they affect your overall athletic performance.

 

However, it’s definitely best to avoid products with added sugars as it may negatively affect our health.

At the end of the day, we want to choose the right hydration option that not only sustains our athletic performance, but benefits our body’s overall health too in the long run.