What’s your favorite sports drink? There are so many out there, from Gatorade to Powerade to BodyArmor and more, they all serve a similar purpose.
You might have seen people drinking sports drinks during a workout, but do you know why they are helpful? They help replenish the electrolytes that leave our bodies during intense exercise.
What are electrolytes?
We get electrolytes from what we eat and drink. They help with functions in our body such as chemical reactions and fluid balance. Electrolytes leave our bodies through sweat and urine, and they play a major role in hydration and muscle contraction.
Why sports drinks may be helpful:
- Sports drinks were designed to replace fluids, electrolytes, and carbohydrates that are lost in sweat during exercise.
- They can be beneficial for long exercise or endurance events due to the capabilities of replenishing carbohydrate stores, which is an important source of energy.
- Sports drinks can be helpful if exercise lasts for over an hour.
- They contain carbohydrates in the form of sugar, which is added to allow for faster hydration.
- Sports drinks should contain 3-8% of the daily intake value for carbohydrates, 110-220 mg sodium per 8 oz, and 30 mg of potassium per 8 oz.
There are several different sports drinks on the market, all slightly different from each other.
One of the most popular brands of sports drink on the market with a large line of sports drinks and a variety of flavors.
Gatorade also created Propel, which is another electrolyte water available. Propel offers different vitamins and electrolytes through a variety of flavors.
Gatorade has 12% of the daily intake value for carbohydrates, 306 mg of sodium per serving (8 oz), and 135 mg of potassium per servings (8 oz). These exceed the recommendations listed above and make Gatorade a good option when heat or humidity are high.
Powerade is another brand of sports drinks created by Coca-Cola, and is another leader in the industry of sports drinks. Similarly to Gatorade, Powerade also has a large product line featuring drinks with different levels of electrolytes and flavors.
The Mountain Berry Blast Powerade has 12% of the daily value intake for carbohydrates, 400 mg of sodium per serving (8 oz), and 80 mg of potassium per serving (8 oz). Values change depending on the flavor, the Grape Powerade has 8% of the daily value for carbohydrates, 240 mg of sodium, and 80 mg of potassium, still fulfilling the requirements mentioned above.
BodyArmor is much newer to the sports industry in comparison to competitors like Gatorade and Powerade. One unique aspect of BodyArmor is that they claim to use no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or dyes in their sports drinks. Instead, the drinks use coconut water to help replenish electrolytes.
A 12 oz BodyArmor provides 8% of the daily value of carbohydrates, 30 mg of sodium, and 530 mg of potassium. The sodium is much lower than the 110-220 mg of sodium per 8 oz recommendation for sports drinks.
Vitamin Water is another sport drink on the market. These drinks offer vitamins such as vitamins A, B, and C, as well as electrolytes.
Like Powerade, Vitamin Water differs depending on the flavor. The Dragon Fruit flavor provides 10% of the daily value of carbohydrates, but 0 mg of sodium and no significant source of potassium. The Orange flavor provides no carbohydrates, 0 mg of sodium, but 190 mg of potassium.
Favorite Sport Drinks for Teens:
For teens, a sports drink like those listed above may be good as a quick source of energy to replenish the carbohydrate stores and electrolytes like sodium and potassium used during intense exercise. However, if exercise isn’t over an hour, water may be a better option.
Let us know your favorite sports drink in the comments!
Written and research by Lauren Long