Home Nutrition Powerade Vs. Gatorade – The Differences and Similarities

Powerade Vs. Gatorade – The Differences and Similarities

Written by Jenoye Campbell, LPN

If you are a fitness lover or are into sports, physical activities and exercise must be a part of your everyday routine.

If this is so, you should know that Powerade and Gatorade are two very popular sports drinks that may have thrown the world into a divide.

One set for the Powerade sports drink and the other for the Gatorade sports drink.

These are two performance-enhancers that make promises of replacing electrolytes lost with their many flavors, including lemon-lime, fruit punch, and sugar-free versions.

Both Gatorade and Powerade are quite popular among athletes and sportspersons and may in fact be the most popular sports drinks globally.

Have you ever been curious about drinking sports drinks or maybe you have gone to the store and come across these two being displayed in the same fridge?

So, it must have crossed your mind, Powerade VS. Gatorade: Which is better?

Which actually enhances athletic performance and which may cause increased abdominal fat?

In this article, we present a comprehensive comparison between Powerade and Gatorade.

Therefore, by the end of this post, you will be able to determine which one is better for you!

What Is The Difference Between Gatorade And Powerade?

Why Do You Need a Sports Drink?

Before we begin with the formal comparison, let’s find out why you may need one of these drinks.

Exercise, gym, and any sports or physical activity demand a significant amount of energy usage.

When you do such activities, your heart rate rises, you sweat, and your body dehydrates. When you sweat, your body loses common electrolytes like potassium, calcium, and sodium.

These can be lost through other body fluids too.

Electrolytes are quite essential since they aid with many physical processes, such as the body’s regulation of blood pressure and muscular function.

However, consuming popular beverages like Gatorade and Powerade Sports drinks like Powerade and Gatorade may help to improve hydration levels, improve athletic performance, and aid with electrolyte replacement.

These drinks are purposefully manufactured to provide you with the right amount of water and minerals lost during exercise.

Thus, keeping dehydration at bay and replenishing your essential mineral content, ensuring electrolyte balance and pH levels.

For a workout and activities in general, your muscles also use up a substantial amount of carbohydrates and sugar for energy.

Having Gatorade or Powerade may actually restore carbohydrates that were burnt during activity.

Some of these beverages may also contain and replace protein, added vitamins, and other nutrients.

Nutritional Comparison Between Powerade and Gatorade

The Gatorade drinks was created by scientists at the University of Florida.

Back in the year 1965, scientists manufactured this “magical drink” for the football team of the Florida Gators College.

This drink was a great effort to keep the students hydrated and make up for their lost fluids during practice and exercise.

The original formula mainly combined water, simple sugars, sodium, potassium, phosphate, and lemon juice.

However, it has changed a little over the years to include even brominated vegetable oil.

On the other hand, Powerade is the product of the well-known Coca-Cola Company and was launched in 1988.

The formula mainly contained sugar, water, and some essential electrolytes. However, in 2001 it was added with B vitamins to help you as consumers with your energy metabolism.

Coca-Cola also launched “Powerade Zero,” which had a similar formula but with no sugars and zero calories.

Currently, the primary ingredients in both Powerade and Gatorade are water, a type of sugar, citric acid, and table salt.

But let’s look a bit closer to find out how Gatorade and Powerade differ.

1) Carbohydrates and Sugar

Both sports drinks work to keep their consumers hydrated after a heavy round of exercise or sporting activity.

They mainly supply them with sugar and electrolytes.

The sugar content in Gatorade and Powerade fuels the body for further activities and the electrolytes make up for those lost during sweating.

There is not much difference between the two unless it’s the total carbohydrates which may be different based on the added sugars.

The average bottle of Powerade contains 21 grams of carbohydrates per serving size of 12 ounces. Gatorade offers 21 grams of carbohydrates (sugars) per 12 ounces.

However, each drink is formulated with added sugars.

For example, Powerade includes high fructose corn syrup, whereas Gatorade has sucrose and dextrose (sucralose and acesulfame potassium).

The former is linked with various health risks like diabetes and heart diseases but the latter is the common table sugar and supplies you with bouts of energy.

Gatorade and Powerade are also available in low-sugar options having seven grams of sugar per 12 ounces. These products are popularly known as G2 and Powerade Zero respectively.

2) Electrolytes

The electrolyte comparison between these two popular drinks of which Gatorade may be the most popular sports drink shows that they both provide you with the primary electrolytes, which are potassium and sodium.

However, the amount you get from each may differ between the two.

Each Gatorade serving comes with 45 mg of Potassium and 160 mg of Sodium.

On the other hand, Powerade provides you with 35 mg of Potassium and 150 mg of Sodium.

3) Calorie Content

Both sports drinks also provide you with similar caloric values although Gatorade once had more calories than Powerade.

A 12 ounce serving of Gatorade had 95 calories but has now been changed to 80 while Powerade has the same 80 calories for the same serving size.

4) Nutrients

Powerade may provide you with fewer calories electrolytes but one thing that gives it a slight edge is the inclusion of B vitamins in its formula.

As mentioned above, in 2001 the Powerade formula was revived with the addition of B vitamins. Thus, it provides you with healthy doses of B-3, B-6, B-12, etc.

These vitamins are crucial to the healthy distribution of water and energy in the body.

Additionally, Powerade uses magnesium and calcium in its formulation and offers niacin and potassium to its consumers.

Gatorade also contains potassium.

5) Flavors and Additives

Both products come in a variety of flavors.

The Powerade line of sports drinks comes with 16 different flavors along with Powerade zero flavors. It has added and natural flavors.

Gatorade offers a host of artificial and natural flavors, including white cherry, lemon-lime, and glacier freeze.

Who Should Avoid Sports Drinks?

Some of these formulations on the market today, including popular sport drink options contain caffeine, which we know can be both good and bad.

As such there are certain people for whom these products would not be suitable.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • people with high blood pressure
  • people with heart disease (the electric charge to the heart from the electrolytes and caffeine can become too strong)
  • people with urinary or kidney issues

Which One is the Better Option?

There isn’t much of a difference between Powerade and Gatorade when it comes to taste.

Plus, both products provide electrolytes to aid in the replenishment of body fluids lost during physical activity.

You’ll also benefit from the sugar, which will provide you with a boost of energy.

When you compare the nutritional information for the main Gatorade and Powerade products, you’ll notice that they’re almost identical.

Both sports drinks contain roughly the same amount of calories, potassium, sodium, and sugar.

While Gatorade may provide a few extra milligrams of electrolytes, Powerade contains more vitamins.

There is one significant difference in nutritional content worth mentioning.

Powerade contains high fructose corn syrup, while Gatorade contains sucrose and dextrose which are easier for your body to break down and digest.

It converts to energy faster than corn syrup, making it a better choice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

Final Thoughts

Both Powerade and Gatorade are great products and provide very similar benefits.

So if you perform light-to-moderate exercise, like walking or jogging for less than one hour, you won’t need large quantities of sugar but you still need to replace those electrolytes.

The next time you need to make a choice, ask yourself, do I need more electrolytes or electrolytes plus other nutrients?

That will make your decision easier!

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