Gatorade Vs. Propel

If you're a serious athlete, chances are you've guzzled Gatorade, Propel or both. These sports drinks can have certain benefits, among them quenching thirst and balancing nutrients, such as potassium and sodium. But the nutritional content of each beverage varies. Getting these nutrition facts will help you decide which, if any, of the drinks you'll include as part of your exercise regimen.

A man drinks Gatorade from a water bottle after working out. (Image: Francesco Ridolfi/iStock/Getty Images)

Calorie Count

A 12-ounce serving of Gatorade G Series, which comes in flavors such as orange, berry, lemonade and fruit punch, contains 80 calories. The low-calorie version of the G Series has 30 calories per 12-ounce serving. Propel workout water, which comes in flavors such as berry, black cherry, mandarin orange and cranberry lime, doesn't contain any calories. If the calorie count is your concern when choosing a sports drink, Propel can take the guesswork out of making your choice since it's calorie-free.

Sugar and Sodium Stats

Propel workout water doesn't have any added sugar, but Gatorade does contain added sugar. A 12-ounce serving of Gatorade G Series, in any flavor, contains 21 grams of added sugar, which is equivalent to about 5.25 teaspoons. Limiting your intake of added sugar to 6 teaspoons or less per day for women and 9 teaspoons or less per day for men is one way to prevent unhealthy weight gain. Twelve ounces of Gatorade also contain 160 milligrams of sodium, which is 11 percent of the 1,500 milligrams you should limit yourself to each day to keep your heart healthy, according to the American Heart Association. Propel contains 115 milligrams of sodium per 12-ounce serving. Depending on how much you sweat during your workout and how much sodium you lose, this amount might not be a big deal.

Vitamin and Mineral Power

Neither Gatorade nor Propel contain much in the way of minerals, aside from sodium, though Gatorade does supply 45 milligrams of potassium, which is still less than 1 percent of the 4,700 milligrams you need each day. Gatorade doesn't deliver any vitamins either. Propel, on the other hand, delivers 30 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and 15 percent of the daily value for vitamin E. Propel also contains 35 percent of the daily value of niacin, vitamin B-6 and pantothenic acid.

Synthesizing the Data

If you're looking for a calorie-free way to hydrate during a workout, Propel is the way to go. The water also supplies more nutrients than Gatorade. If you're restoring electrolytes after a particularly vigorous workout, Gatorade might be the way to go since it contains some potassium and sodium. A snack of fresh fruit, such as a banana or a serving of watermelon, will supply more potassium, however, without the added sugar found in Gatorade. Consider milk as an alternative to sports drinks. Milk is more nutritious than sports drinks and can help build muscle mass, according to a 2008 article published in "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition."

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