Get Fueled with Molly | Love it, Like it, Hate it: Sports drinks + Electrolyte Replenishing Drinks

Get the Skinny

The summer heat can be brutal. And when it comes to staying well-hydrated, ordinary sports drinks aren’t always our best answer.  Molly has the inside scoop on the best & worst sports drinks on shelves to fuel performance and optimize hydration for athletes and non-athletes alike.

  • It’s essential to replenish electrolytes, particularly when losing large amounts of sweat
  • Sodium is the main electrolyte lost in sweat,
  • Sugar-containing sports drinks are typically only needed when exercise is longer than 60-90 minutes

LOVE IT!

Sports drinks with little or no sugar | good for workouts lasting one hour or less

Body Armor LYTE

  • The LYTE version is hands down my top pick for a regular grab-and-go sports drink
  • Per 16-oz bottle: 20 calories – 18 grams carb – 2 grams sugar – 40 mg sodium – 700 mg potassium
  • No artificial sweeteners or colors (sweetened with stevia; colored with natural juice extracts)

nuun hydration electrolyte drink tabs

  • Per tablet: 10 calories – 4 gram carb – 1 gram sugar – 300 mg sodium – 150 mg potassium
  • No artificial sweeteners or colors (sweetened with stevia; colored with vegetable juice extracts)

Ultima Drink Powder

  • Per scoop: 0 calories – 0 grams carb – 0 grams sugar – 55 mg sodium – small amount potassium
  • Ingredients include cane sugar, dextrose, minerals

Pickle Juice

  • The acetic acid in pickle juice can help relieve a cramp within seconds

LIKE IT!

Sports drinks with moderate sugar content | good for workouts > 90 min and/or high sweat losses

nuun ENDURANCE Drink Powder

  • Per scoop: 60 calories – 16 grams carb – 15 grams sugar – 380 mg sodium – 200 mg potassium
  • Ingredients include sucrose, dextrose, natural blueberry flavors, beet juice powder, stevia.

MyHy Active [by former LSU QB Matt Flynn]

  • Per packet: 60 calories – 12 grams carb – 12 grams sugar – 640 mg sodium – 130 mg potassium
  • Ingredients include sugar, minerals, sweetened with stevia

Bolt 24 by Gatorade

  • 16.9-oz: 80 calories – 20 grams carbs – 19 grams sugar – 230 mg sodium – 60 mg potassium
  • Contains sugar, stevia, natural plant-based colors

HATE IT!

Sports drinks with added sugar and/or artificial sweeteners, plus artificial food dyes

Powerade ULTRA & Gatorade ZERO:

  • Per 12 ounces: 0 calories – 0 carb – 0 sugar – approx. 300 mg sodium – approx. 100 mg potassium
  • Contains artificial food dyes and artificial sweeteners (sucralose and acesulfame potassium)

G2

  • Per 12 ounces:  30 calories – 8 grams carb – 7 grams sugar – 160 mg sodium – 45 mg potassium
  • Contains artificial food dyes and artificial sweeteners (sucralose and acesulfame potassium)

Gatorade & Powerade

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

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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 NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune!   Follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram:  @MollyKimballRD – and check out her weekly podcast; just search ‘Molly Kimball’ on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.

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