Love it, Like it, Hate it: Sports drinks for CCC 10-K

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The Crescent City Classic is Saturday, and one of the key things for runners and walkers to remember is to stay hydrated.  But replenishing fluids doesn’t have to mean drinking sugary sports drinks.  Today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on which fluid replacers are packed with electrolytes with little or no added sugar, and which sugar-bombs to steer clear of.


  • 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 – generally not needed during 10-K race like Crescent City Classic.





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 stevia & erythritol (sweeteners), sugar, fruit & vegetable juice for color, monkfruit


Coconut Water – e.g. ZICO

  • Per 16-oz: 90 calories – 22 grams carb – 19 grams sugar – 110 mg sodium – 900 mg potassium
  • 100% natural coconut water, no added sugar






  • Per packet: 30 calories – 8 grams carb – 5 grams sugar- 65 mg sodium – 200 mg potassium
  • Lower-sodium than often needed for a “sports” drink – but good for those who need to watch sodium


Ultima Replenisher

  • Per packet: 0 calories – 0 carb – 0 sugar – 55 mg sodium – 250 mg potassium
  • Lower-sodium than often needed for a “sports” drink – but good for those who need to watch sodium


Vitaminwater ZERO

  • Per bottle: 0 calories – 4 grams carb – 0 sugar – 0 sodium – n/a potassium
  • No sodium. Essentially same as water, from hydration perspective; won’t be as effective as sports drink





Vitaminwater ACTIVE

  • Per bottle: 100 calories – 26 grams carb – 23 grams ADDED sugar – 230 mg sodium – 80 mg potassium
  • Basically it’s a sugary sports drink, sweetened with cane sugar, just without the artificial colors.


MIO Sport + 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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