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Gatorade Vs Powerade: Which is Better?

You may have noticed refreshment drinks like Gatorade and Powerade in your local grocery store / supermarket.

The main purpose of these drinks is to replenish your sodium (which is lost via sweat).

When you perspire, your body loses about 900 to 1400 milligrams of sodium per litre of sweat. Now a litre is a lot of sweat, but you might be surprised at how much you really do sweat during an intense workout. If you find yourself thirsty and drinking a lot, its because your body has shed a lot of water (and sodium) and is seeking to replenish it.

The problem however is that water doesn't have sodium in it, so you keep feeling thirsty because you are low on sodium.

That is where Gatorade and Powerade come in, by replenishing your sodium. However to taste well (instead of salty) they also add sugar and flavouring.

So which has more sodium in it???

Well Gatorade has 110 mg of sodium per 240 mL.

And Powerade has 100 mg of sodium per 240 mL.

So not much difference.

However sodium isn't the only factor. The sugar in the drink serves a 2nd purpose. Adding more sugar to a beverage increases the delivery of sugar to the blood, but slows the rate at which water enters the blood. So how much sugar is in the drink is a delicate balance.

According to two different studies by the American College of Sports Medicine and Coyle & Montain (1992) the optimal percentage is between 4 and 8% (of total mass) to provide adequate amounts of water and sugar to the body during exercise.

Gatorade is 6% sugar, whereas Powerade is 6% sugar. Both have 14 mg per 240 mL.

There is another factor: What Kind of Sugar is in the Drink?

There is a lot of research into whether glucose, sucrose, fructose, polymer sugars (eg. maltodextrin) or a combination of different kinds of sugars provide the best results. Various scientific studies have determined that a mixture provides the best results and the most energy boost.

In this category Powerade is the clear winner as it uses a mix of both polymer sugars and glucose. In contrast Gatorade uses mostly sucrose.


They're both basically the same. While Gatorade may have 10% more refreshing sodium, Powerade uses better quality sugars that provide a better energy boost.

As for me, I am missing a drink they sell in Asia called "Pocari Sweat" which has more sodium in it than both Powerade and Gatorade. 117.6 mg of sodium per 240 mL, plus comes with added vitamins, minerals and electrolytes in it. You can find the drink in Canada, but you will need to shop at supermarkets which cater to Asians.

1 comment:

  1. I use a product that costs the same as Gatorade/Powerade but is much more nutritious and healthier.


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