Gatorade vs Powerade
If you are a sportsman (or sportswoman) you must have heard and even tasted Gatorade or Powerade. These are two of the most popular sport drinks available in the country. These are specially formulated drinks that are designed to replenish fluid and electrolytes that are lost through sweating during workouts or a match. Both the drinks contain similar ingredients and look same. However, there are differences in the electrolyte and carbohydrate contents that will be talked about in this article.
Gatorade came into existence in 1965 as a solution to provide Gator players some respite from loss of electrolytes from their bodies during practice and matches in Florida which has very hot conditions during summers. Drinking plain water can keep you hydrated, but vital electrolytes are lost causing cramping. Doctors who made this drink named it after the mascot of University of Florida, the Gator. Owned by Quaker Oats co. Gator is manufactured by PepsiCo in some areas. Powerade came up as a competitor to Gatorade soon after, in 1988, and since having been taken over by Coca Cola; Powerade has become very popular sports drink.
Gatorade and Powerade differ in the amount of sugar, sodium, and the type of sugar that has been used. During hard workouts and fast paced matches, a player loses 900-1400mg of sodium from his body per liter of sweat. Loss of sodium is crucial as it causes water level in the blood to go down. While Gatorade contains 450mg of sodium per liter, the sodium content in Powerade is just 225mg/L. This means that Gatorade is more effective in replacing the sodium lost through sweating.
More sugar in a drink means more sugar for the blood but it eventually slows down the rate at which water enters the blood. Gatorade is 6% sugar while Powerade is 8% sugar. Both the drinks fall within 4-8% levels which are considered best for the addition of sugar and water to blood inside body. There is not much to choose between Gatorade and Powerade.
As far as ingredients are concerned, here is the breakup for both the drinks.
For same serving size of 8 fl oz, Powerade has 70 calories whereas Gatorade has 50 calories. Powerade has 55mg sodium while Gatorade has 110mg sodium. Total carbs are 19mg in Powerade while Gatorade has 14g carbs. Rest of the ingredients potassium and sugars being equal, Powerade has 10% vitamin B6, 10% vitamin B12, and 10% Niacin.
Thus Powerade has only half of sodium while having more calories than Gatorade. For athletes low on sodium diet, Powerade is obviously a better choice. In hot climates such as that of Florida, Gatorade has a slight advantage over Powerade. However, for an average athlete experiencing milder climates, there is really not much of a difference between these two famous sports drinks. However, Powerade is more sugary making it taste better to some.