What are the Best Sport Drinks

Updated: Nov 21


blue  and pink small hand weights and a hand holding a pink drink, Sport Drink,

We love staying fit, but it can be hard to balance our goals at the gym with those hydrating, but sugary sports drinks. That's why we took a look under the hood of the biggest brands of sports drinks to see which ones are the best.


Let’s find out which hydration solution is the best for you.


● The Health Stats For Sports Drinks

● What is the Best Sports Drink?


The Health Stats For Sports Drinks


Let's check out the seven biggest brands of sports drinks to find out which ones are healthy and which ones are soda in disguise.


Gatorade


Gatorade is one of the most recognizable brands of sports drinks, but what's in this iconic thirst quencher?


Gatorade can contain dyes like Red No. 40, Blue No. 1, and Yellow No. 5, but you can get Gatorade G Organic which contains no dyes and only natural ingredients. The carbs in Gatorade can help your body recover after a workout.


A 20 ounce bottle contains:


● Calories: 140

● Fat: 0g

● Sodium: 270mg

● Carbohydrates: 36g

● Fiber: 0g

● Sugars: 34g

● Protein: 0g

● Potassium: 75mg


Pros


● Hydration improves athletic performance

● Carbs provide more fuel

● Great for replenishing Electrolytes


Cons


● Gatorade has liquid carbs which are easy to over-consume and do not give an accurate sense of fullness after eating

● Extra sugars can contribute to Type 2 Diabetes risk


Powerade


Powerade is Gatorade's biggest rival when it comes to sports drinks. Like Gatorade, you can find zero sugar varieties of Powerade. However, there are no versions of Powerade without artificial dyes. These dyes can have potentially negative health impacts.


Here are the stats for your regular bottle of Powerade:


● Sodium 150mg

● Total Carbohydrate 21g

● Total Sugars 21g

● Protein 0g

● Potassium 40mg

● Niacin 3mg

● Vitamin B6 0.3mg

● Vitamin B12 0.9mcg


Pros


● Powerade has more vitamins than Gatorade

● Extra carbs before, or during, a workout can boost performance


Cons


● Powerade has more vitamins than Gatorade

● Unless you work out for more than 60 to 90 minutes, you might not benefit from the electrolytes in this drink


LiquidIV



LiquidIV has some interesting health benefits when compared with the competition. This is a powder that you can sprinkle into your water to have some vital electrolytes. Since it's a powder, it comes with fewer potentially harmful ingredients like added sugars and dyes.


Per packet nutrition stats:


● Calories: 45mg

● Cholesterol: 0mg

● Sodium: 500mg

● Potassium: 380mg

● Vitamin C: 80%

● Niacin: 140%

● Pantothenic Acid: 230%

● Vitamin B12: 280%

● Vitamin B6: 140%


Pros


● Fewer potentially harmful ingredients when compared to other drinks

● Easy to add to water bottles


Cons


● Flavor can get “stuck” in a water bottle and won’t go away until you wash it

● Much higher in salt than other drinks


Pedialyte


Pedialyte started out as an electrolyte hydrating beverage for kids, but it's recently picked up an audience with adults as well. Pedialyte's new popular is amongst adults has less to do with fitness and more to do with Pedialyte as a potential hangover cure.


Here’s the health stats for 12 oz of Pedialyte:


● Calories: 40

● Sodium: 370gm

● Total Carbohydrate: 10g

● Total Sugars: 9g

● Potassium: 280mg

● Zinc: 2.8mg

● Chloride: 440mg


Pros


● There are sugar and artificial dye-free versions of this drink

● Lower sugar than other brands

● Designed originally as a health product to keep kids hydrated when ill


Cons


● May contain artificial sweeteners depending on flavor


Nuun


Nuun tablets let you add an electrolyte boost to your regular water bottle. They are convenient and use no artificial dyes. All you need to do is pop a Nuun tablet into your water bottle, and you're good to go!


This also means it's easier to carry a few Nuun tablets with you instead of an extra bottle of Gatorade. Water is the best source of hydration and Nuun lets you stay balanced between sports drinks and good ol' H20.


Here’s what you get in one Nuun tablet:

Calories: 15


Total Carbohydrate: 4g


Total Sugars: 1g


Calcium: 13 mg


Magnesium: 25 mg


Chloride: 40 mg


Sodium: 300 mg


Potassium: 150 mg


Pros


● Very affordable

● Easy to carry multiple Nuun tablets

● Can balance Nuun with regular water easily

● Very low sugars and carbs


Cons


● Sodium levels might be higher than you need

● Nuun flavor tends to “water down” easily and get chalky


LMNT


LMNT is the unique hydration solution on this list. It’s mostly a huge salt bomb that could help replace depleted salt levels after an intense workout. No dyes, hardly any salt compared to other drinks, and a unique product make LMNT really stand out, but is it any good for you?


Here are the nutrients in one stick pack of LMNT:


● Calories: 10

● Sodium: 60gm

● Total Carbs: 22g

● Total Sugars: 7g

● Potassium: 40mg

● Calcium: 20mg


Pros


● Research suggests that working out can mitigate high salt intake

● Vegan and gluten-free

● Natural flavors mean you could even add this to a pre-workout smoothie

● Powerful for restoring electrolytes


Cons


● Extremely high sodium levels might be unsuitable for some diets

● Needs to be added to water or another drink


GU


GU is an “energy gel” that aims at both hydration and a boost of energy. These products contain caffeine, so they might not be right for every athlete.


GU gel packs contain plenty of carbs which could reduce fatigue.


GU Energy Gel contains:


● Calories: 100

● Sodium: 1000mg

● Total Carbs: 22g

● Potassium: 200mg

● Magnesium: 60mg


Pros


● Caffeine has a potent effect on restoring energy during a workout

● Extra calories and carbs to boost energy during hard workouts


Cons


● Caffeine might not be suitable for every diet

● “Gel” has a unique texture that isn’t for everybody


What is the Best Sports Drink?


Overall, we have to go with either Gatorade G Organic or Pedialyte Classic Unflavored. These drinks can help yourecover from a hard workout and do not containpotentially harmful artificial dyes.

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