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Powerade Vs. Gatorade: Sports Drink Brands Face-off

Powerade Vs. Gatorade: Sports Drink Brands Face-off

Did You Know?
Way back in 1984, Gatorade became the official sports drink of the NBA and continues this association till date.
Gatorade and Powerade, two rivals in the sports drinks’ industry have been the top choices among athletes and gym-goers. Both these sports drinks are primarily targeted at those engaged in competitive events. Unlike plain water, these sports drinks contain a host of nutrients. Thus, these drinks not only quench thirst but also help maximize one’s athletic performance by delivering more energy to the muscles.
Although sports drinks help in replenishing electrolyte loss, there is a slight difference in what these two sports drinks offer. The calories as well as the vitamin B content in both Gatorade and Powerade is not the same. Also, Gatorade having been formulated two decades before Powerade, its popularity is way ahead of the latter. Here we discuss the differences between these two sports drinks and tell you which is better.
Gatorade (8 ounces) Powerade (8 ounces)
Electrolytes ♦ Every 8-ounce serving of Gatorade provides 95 mg of sodium and 37 mg of potassium. Magnesium is absent, whereas calcium is present in negligible amounts. ♦ Powerade contains approx. 44 mg of potassium and 54 mg of sodium per 8-ounce serving. Powerade ION4 (the latest version introduced in 2009) is fortified with all the 4 electrolytes; namely, potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium. 100 ml Powerade ION4, contains 0.6 mg of calcium, 1.3 mg of magnesium, 50 mg of sodium and 12.5 mg of potassium.
Calories ♦ The low-calorie line of Gatorade drinks, commonly referred to as G2 contains less than 50% of the calories present in the original Gatorade drink. A 12-ounce serving of G2 thirst quencher contains just 30 calories. ♦ To compete with Gatorade’s G2 line of low-calorie drinks, Powerade has come up with a zero-calorie sports drink. Available as ‘Powerade Zero’, the drink provides a calorie-free way to replenish lost fluids.
Vitamin B ♦ Powerade contains a slightly higher amount of B vitamins than Gatorade. An 8-ounce of Gatorade has 0.5 mg of vitamin B3 (3% DV) and 0.1 mg of vitamin B6 (3% DV). ♦ An 8-ounce of Powerade delivers 3.8 mg of vitamin B3 (19% DV) and 0.4 mg of vitamin B6 (19% DV). Moreover, the drink also has vitamin B12, which is 3.3 mcg (56% DV), per serving.
Phosphorus ♦ An 8-ounce serving of Gatorade provides a whopping 24.4 mg of phosphorus, which is 2% of the daily value. ♦ Compared to Gatorade, Powerade contains a very less amount of phosphorus – just 2.4 mg for every 8-ounce serving.
Sweetness ♦ Sucrose and dextrose are the two simple sugars added in Gatorade to make the drink palatable. ♦ High fructose corn syrup is commonly used to add sweetness to Powerade. It is a highly processed sugar and basically a corn-based sugar, containing a mix of fructose and glucose.
Popularity ♦ Gatorade that was introduced in 1965 has ousted Powerade by a significant margin. Considering the yearly global retail sales, Gatorade is PepsiCo’s 4th-largest brand as of 2013 and has a whopping 69.5% market share in the U.S. sports drinks’ industry. ♦ On the other hand, Powerade formulated in 1988 holds a 28.8% market share in the U.S sports drinks’ market.
Which is Better?
Gatorade has a higher concentration of potassium and sodium but the new Powerade ION4 formulation has all 4 electrolytes. Considering that sodium and potassium are primarily dissipated through sweat during any rigorous activity, taking Gatorade might be a better option. However, a calorie-conscious consumer may go in for Powerade, as it has a zero calorie version, which Gatorade does not provide. Also, Powerade has more vitamin B content. Moreover, vitamin B12 that has not been included in Gatorade, is present in Powerade in significant amounts.

From a health standpoint, Gatorade seems to have an edge over Powerade. This is because Powerade uses high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as one of the main ingredients to add sweetness to the drink. Increased consumption of HFCS has been linked to a wide range of health problems including obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular diseases.

On the whole, the ones looking for more electrolytes may prefer Gatorade, whereas those wanting to cut down calories may opt for ‘Powerade Zero”. So, be it Powerade or Gatorade, the choice will vary depending upon individual needs. A point to note here is that both Gatorade and Powerade sports drinks have been formulated for athletes who are into intense physical activity. Those into casual exercising are certainly not required to use these sports drinks to meet their fluid needs.

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