Powerade oder Gatorade: Was ist das beste Sportgetränk?

Powerade or Gatorade: Which is the best sports drink?

Malte Wagenbach

Physical activity, like exercise, increases your heart rate and dehydrates you. To perform at your best, it's important to stay hydrated-whether you're working out in the gym or playing professional soccer. But which of the many "replenishing" sports drinks on the market today should you reach for? 


When you stroll down the sports drink aisle at your local supermarket, you'll quickly notice that there's a wide variety of products to choose from. However, there are two brands in particular that have emerged as the most popular sports drinks for protection against dehydration: Powerade and Gatorade. Each of the two mineral-rich drinks promises to provide you with electrolytes and other valuable nutrients, but the big question, of course, is: which sports drink is better? Let's find out!


What is a sports drink? 

Before we take a closer look at these two popular sports drinks, let's first get the basics straight - what exactly is a sports drink anyway?

Sports drinks are characterized by the following main components: Carbohydrates and electrolytes, usually with a high percentage of water. Each of these main ingredients is important for its own reasons, but all are related to the effects of physical activity.

Carbohydrates are burned during activity, for example. The Federal Ministry of Health says you should eat carbohydrates before any exercise that lasts longer than an hour. It is also recommended that you consume carbohydrates during exercise if you are exercising intensively. This is the case, for example, if you are hiking up a mountain, running a marathon, or playing a very active sport like basketball. The recommendation for sports drink consumption is 150 to 200 milliliters per 15 to 20 minutes of activity after the first hour. One thing to keep in mind here is that you should not consume more than 100 grams of carbohydrates per hour. Because otherwise your body can no longer hydrate effectively.

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Electrolytes, on the other hand, are essential minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electrical charge. They play an important role in various bodily processes, such as muscle function, pH regulation and hydration in the body. 

You lose electrolytes naturally through your sweat, so physical activity is incredibly taxing. The most common electrolytes in the body include:

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  • Calcium
  • .
  • Sodium
  • Magnesium
  • potassium
  • chloride
  • Phosphorus

Gatorade

Gatorade was designed to solve a problem. The assistant coach of the University of Florida football team noticed that his players were suffering from the blistering heat of the Florida sun. Sluggishness, exhaustion and dehydration plagued his players. So in 1965, the coach asked a university research team if they could help. The researchers found that the players were losing important minerals with their sweat that were not being replaced. In addition, the players were burning up all their carbohydrate stores and losing energy. To counteract this, they developed a drink called Gatorade (like "Gator-Aid" after the team name "The Gators"). This potent drink helped the Gators defeat their opponents and win the Orange Bowl for the first time. From then on, other teams started asking for the Gators' secret formula, which led to private sales, and the rest is history!

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Powerade

Powerade doesn't exactly have the same motivational origins as its competitor, but it was developed by Coca-Cola in 1988 to compete with Gatorade. Coca-Cola promised that Powerade would have the same hydration benefits, and it was named the official sports drink of the Olympics that same year. That catapulted Powerade into stores and into the hands of athletes around the world. 

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The Difference Between Gatorade and Powerade

Although Gatorade and Powerade are very similar, there are some important differences. Let's take a look at the individual nutritional components of these popular drinks and find out where the main differences lie. 


We will use the following three categories for comparison:

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  • Carbohydrates
  • Electrolytes
  • Vitamins and minerals

Carbohydrates

Both Gatorade and Powerade contain about 25 g of carbohydrates per 354 ml of drink. However, the ingredients that provide these carbohydrates are different. While Gatorade contains glucose and sucrose - simple sugars that are easily digested by the body - the carbohydrates in Powerade come from high fructose corn syrup. 

High fructose corn syrup has been used as a sweetener in processed foods for decades. Over the years, however, it has been demonized by medical and nutrition experts because it is associated with many health risks, including increased belly fat - and who wants that?

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The bottom line is that carbohydrates are good for athletic performance. You just have to make sure you're getting them from the right sources. However, if you're on a low-carb diet like the keto diet, neither sports drink is ideal because of the high carbohydrate content. Opt for an electrolyte supplement drink like our Yuzu Low Carb, which is highly effective, fast-acting and easily absorbed by the body - without carbohydrates. 


Electrolytes

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Powerade and Gatorade contain similar amounts of electrolytes, but Gatorade contains 10 mg more potassium and 10 mg more than its competitor, making it slightly better at replacing the electrolytes you lose during exercise.


Vitamins and Minerals

Gatorade may have Powerade beat in the carbohydrate and electrolyte categories, but Powerade wins when it comes to vitamins and minerals. Both sports drinks contain small amounts of about a dozen different vitamins and minerals, but Powerade has added much larger amounts of vitamins like B-3, B-6 and B-12 to its formula to improve energy production in the body.


Conclusion

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Now you know the nutritional value of each drink in detail - but what does all this have to do with the thirst you have after a strenuous workout?

Basically, the loss of electrolytes causes dehydration. Therefore, the sports drink that replaces all the essential electrolytes is best to control thirst and dehydration of the body. 

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So what is the best sports drink, you may ask? 

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The answer is Gatorade. Electrolytes are important. Plain and simple. Since Gatorade has a higher electrolyte concentrate than Powerade, it's easy to see why it's the best sports drink. 


Whether you use Gatorade, Powerade, or a potent electrolyte blend like our le melo sports drinks, dehydration doesn't feel good. Make sure you're always replenishing electrolytes to support your active lifestyle and keep you in top shape! 



Sources:

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002458.htm

https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/fileadmin/Dateien/5_Publikationen/Gesundheit/Broschueren/180828_IN_FORM_66Tipps_WEB_barrierefrei.pdf

https://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/everyday-innovations/who-invented-sports-drinks1.htm

https://coca-cola.fandom.com/wiki/Poweradeent.

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