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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

BodyArmor wins the gold among sports drinks competitors

BodyArmor+wins+the+gold+among+sports+drinks+competitors
Daniel Wu

2023 has arrived and good old-fashioned water is now officially obsolete. Behold the almighty sports drinks. Packed with replenishing electrolytes to satisfy your hydration needs, they also come in a seemingly endless variety of zesty flavors.

In a quest to find the best of the bunch, we put our taste buds to the test and sampled the hottest sports drinks on the market. We also compared their nutritional value and took into account whether they contained excess sugars that outweighed the supposed benefits.

Gatorade: 4/5 Falcons

As the true king of the sports beverage market, Gatorade is by far the largest player in the industry, occupying over half of the world’s sports drink market share. From its iconic Thirst Quencher lineup to healthier zero-sugar alternatives such as Gatorade Zero, there are seemingly infinite options to choose from. 

For our review, we stuck to the classic Thirst Quencher. We sampled Gatorade’s best-selling flavor, Fruit Punch. Packaged in a 12-ounce bottle, the beverage contains 21 grams of added sugar. As for electrolytes, it includes 160 milligrams of sodium and 50 milligrams of potassium. A total of 80 calories come in each bottle.

Fruit Punch provides a well-balanced palate that includes slight hints of tropical fruit. The taste is reminiscent of Kool-Aid, providing an element of nostalgia from childhood birthday parties. In addition, it skips out on the infamous overly salted and medicinal taste that plagues other brands’ fruit punch offerings. 

While Gatorade’s flavors are diverse with choices for everyone, they aren’t exactly the healthiest option. The addition of excess sugar and artificial sweeteners negates the benefits from the included electrolytes, though if sugar isn’t a concern, their curated flavor formula sure does wonders.

 

BodyArmor: 4.5/5 Falcons

Marketed as a natural and healthy alternative to popular brands like Gatorade, BodyArmor incorporates a coconut water base that provides natural sweetness along with vitamins and minerals.

After careful deliberation, we settled for their renowned Blackout Berry flavor. It contains an equal amount of sugar as the Gatorade Thirst Quencher, with 21 grams of added sugar in a slightly larger 16-ounce bottle. However, BodyArmor went was filled with electrolytes, packing 530 milligrams of potassium and 30 milligrams of sodium, accounting for 560 milligrams in total. BodyArmor lists 90 calories per bottle.

Packaged in a secretive and stylish black bottle, Blackout Berry exudes an aura of mystery. The liquid inside is just as striking with deep purple and black hues. Taste-wise, you’ll be thrilled. For all the berry lovers out there, this would be the equivalent of liquid gold with a sweet and tangy sensation. It mostly tastes like blackberry juice, with a pleasant aftertaste of raspberry.

We found the taste of BodyArmor to be more soothing compared with Gatorade, which left a rather unpleasant artificial aftertaste. While the sugar content is equally high, it is more diluted and offers a greater dosage of those key electrolytes.

 

Powerade 4/5 Falcons

Often viewed as Gatorade’s cousin, Powerade appears to be just as ubiquitous, lining supermarket shelves and even vending machines on our school campus. 

That being said, the question remains whether Powerade can truly stand out or forever lurk in Gatorade’s shadow. Its coveted ION4 Advanced Electrolyte System is a major selling point, boasting four electrolytes including sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. To make a fair comparison with Gatorade, we selected fruit punch for our review. 

Our initial impression was positive, with fruit punch checking all the boxes for both sweetness and tanginess. However, the flavor leaned more toward the sweet side, leading us to believe added sugars were present.

Our suspicions were proven right as we discovered that each bottle contained 21 grams of sugar, creating a significantly sweeter taste than the other sports drinks that we tasted. This excess sugar could add some extra downsides to drinking Powerade since your body doesn’t need all the excess sugar. 

Overall, Powerade gave us a noticeable boost in energy and at the same time was refreshing and flavorful. Except for the relatively higher sugar content, Powerade is a great choice of an energy drink.

 

PRIME: 3/5 Falcons

Currently the hottest name in the sports beverage industry, PRIME is the brainchild of former rival YouTubers and boxers KSI and Logan Paul. Released in 2022, the drink has seen ludicrous hype. The product has been cleared from shelves by ravenous consumers, and bottles are being resold online for up to $25, a grand $23 above their retail cost.

Luckily, we managed to secure two bottles of Tropical Punch and Blue Raspberry at the local Target. For nutritional facts, PRIME contains zero added sugars but does include artificial sweeteners. Additionally, they went absolutely overkill for electrolytes with a whopping 700 milligrams of potassium included.

Tropical Punch came straight out of the gates with an overdose of raw sweetness. We both strongly disliked the overall flavor, considering it too over the top in artificial sweeteners with zero hints of the “tropical” and too much of a sugary “punch.”

As for Blue Raspberry, the flavor strikes a wonderful balance between sweetness and flavor. The taste reminded us of slushies similar to the ones at movie theaters, a pleasant surprise. 

PRIME Hydration has certainly posed itself as a major rival to established sports drinks companies like Gatorade and BodyArmor, considering the large fanbase of KSI and Logan Paul. In general, we found their flavors to be hit or miss, largely due to an inconsistency of sweetness between flavors. Nonetheless, Blue Raspberry is surely a top pick of ours and one we recommend.

 

Conclusion

For us, we crowned BodyArmor as the king of sports drinks, with Gatorade coming in at a close second. They both offer a strong yet enjoyable flavor and do wonders to boost your energy. Powerade and PRIME fall slightly behind the top two, not quite meeting the same marks.

There are a plethora of sports drinks to choose from and deciding which ones to drink boils down to a couple of key factors: your personal tastes and dietary needs, among others. Keep in mind that sugar has adverse effects on some people and it is important to always know what you are drinking. 

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