Love it, Like it, Hate it: Sports drinks

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When it comes to staying well-hydrated, traditional sports drinks aren’t our best bet.  Today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on some of the best & worst sports drinks on the market to help optimize hydration for athletes and non-athletes alike.


  • It’s essential to replenish electrolytes when losing large amounts of sweat, even during shorter workouts
  • Sodium is the main electrolyte lost in sweat, so a higher-sodium fluid replacer may be more desirable
  • Sugar-containing sports drinks are typically only needed when exercise is longer than 60-90 minutes





nuun hydration electrolyte drink tabs

  • Per tablet: 10 calories – 4 gram carb – 1 gram sugar – 360 mg sodium – 100 mg potassium
  • No artificial sweeteners or colors (sweetened with stevia; colored with vegetable juice extracts)


SOS Hydration Drink Powder

  • Per packet: 13 calories – 3.5 grams carb – 2.5 grams sugar – 330 mg sodium – 195 mg potassium
  • Ingredients include sucrose, dextrose, natural blueberry flavors, beet juice powder for color, stevia.


Hydra-Guard Recharge

  • Per bottle: 35 calories – 17 grams carb – 5 grams sugar – 115 mg sodium – 481 mg potassium
  • Ingredients include Truvia (stevia & erythritol), sugar, vitamin/minerals , fruit & vegetable juice for color, monkfruit extract





Vega Clean Energy + Electrolytes

  • Per scoop: 100 calories – 25 grams carb – 20 grams sugar- 125 mg sodium – 115 mg potassium
  • Ingredients include: Coconut palm nectar, brown rice syrup, black and green tea extract, sea salt, fruit + veggie powder for coloring + 80 mg caffeine
  • 20 grams added sugar, but lower-glycemic than regular sports drinks, with nothing artificial


Gatorade Organic

  • Per bottle: 120 calories – 30 grams carb – 29 grams sugar – 230 mg sodium – 65 mg potassium
  • Ingredients include organic sugar, sea salt, sodium & potassium






Powerade Zero:

  • Per 20-ounce bottle: 0 calories – 0 carb – 0 sugar – 250 mg sodium – 60 mg potassium
  • Contains artificial colors and artificial sweeteners (sucralose and acesulfame potassium)


Gatorade & Powerade

  • Per 12 ounces: 80 calories – 21 grams carbs – 21 grams sugar – 150-160 mg sodium – 35-45 mg potassium
  • Ingredients include sugar/high fructose corn syrup + artificial colors






Want more from Molly?  Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in|The Times-Picayune!   And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram:  @MollyKimballRD

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