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MLS Partners With BodyArmor — Is It The Best Sports Drink Out There Today?

It might not be as good as Powerade Strawberry Lemonade, but it’s also less likely to get you type 2 diabetes.

Major League Soccer announced a multi-year partnership with BodyArmor on Tuesday, making the brand the Official Sports Drink of MLS beginning in 2020. So instead of the customary Gatorade shower, Adrian Heath will be doused in a premium blend of coconut water-infused Knockout Punch after Minnesota United wins the MLS Cup next year. 

According to the press release, BodyArmor is on track to eclipse $700 million in retail sales by the end of 2019, and it’s now the No. 2 sports drink sold in convenience stores nationwide. That factoid caught me by surprise — although the product is the brainchild of people that are essentially gods when it comes to getting people to drink vitamin-infused, new age beverages with alternative sweeteners, so I guess it's not that surprising. (What a time to be alive!) 

But BodyArmor — despite initially conjuring images of imbibing a pair of Under Armour compression shorts that’ve been put through a blender — is certainly gaining a foothold in the sports drink market, so much so that the Coca-Cola Company now holds a minor stake in the independent company. (It's Coca-Cola's "higher" sports drink offering as compared to Powerade.)

If you’re wondering what the difference is between BodyArmor, Gatorade and Powerade, you’re probably wondering which sports drink has the most electrolytes. The biggest difference is that both Gatorade and Powerade use sodium as their key electrolyte while BodyArmor's primary electrolyte is potassium (a product of the coconut water in the drink).

BodyArmor also uses pure can sugar as opposed to dextrose (Gatorade) or high fructose corn syrup (Powerade). BodyArmor is a “premium” sports drink, so you’ll pay more for it — you won’t be getting those “2 for $2” deals that the gas station offers on Powerade 32oz drinks — but maybe that’s a good thing. Although, damn, I love a Powerade Strawberry Lemonade more than the next man.

If you’d like a direct comparison along with nutritional facts, here’s the breakdown of what each sports drink company offers in their respective Fruit Punch offerings.

Which Sports Drink Is The Best?

BodyArmor | Fruit Punch

  • Serving size: 16oz
  • Calories: 140
  • Total fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 40mg
  • Potassium: 700mg
  • Total carbs: 36g
  • Sugars: 36g
  • Protein: 0g

Ingredients

Filtered Water, Pure Cane Sugar, Coconut Water Concentrate, Citric Acid, Dipotassium Phosphate (Electrolyte), Vegetable Juice Concentrate (Color), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Magnesium Oxide (Electrolyte), Calcium D-Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Natural Fruit Punch Flavor with Other Natural Flavors, alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Zinc Oxide (Electrolyte), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin A Palmitate (Vitamin A), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)

Gatorade | Fruit Punch 

  • Serving size: 16oz 
  • Calories: 120
  • Total fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 230mg
  • Potassium: 60mg
  • Total carbs: 30g
  • Sugars: 29g
  • Protein: 0g

Ingredients

Water, Sugar, Dextrose, Citric Acid, Salt, Sodium Citrate, Monopotassium Phosphate, Modified Food Starch, Natural Flavor, Red 40, Glycerol Ester Of Rosin, Caramel Color 

Powerade | Fruit Punch 

  • Serving size: 16oz 
  • Calories: 133
  • Total Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 154.7mg
  • Total carbs: 34g
  • Total sugars: 34g
  • Protein: 0g

Ingredients

WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, LESS THAN 0.5% OF: CITRIC ACID, NATURAL FLAVORS, SALT AND MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE AND CALCIUM CHLORIDE AND MONO-POTASSIUM PHOSPHATE (ELECTROLYTE SOURCES), MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, GLYCEROL ESTER OF ROSIN, CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (TO PROTECT COLOR), MEDIUM CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDES, VITAMIN B3 (NIACINAMIDE), VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE), VITAMIN B12 (CYANOCOBALAMIN), RED 40, ASCORBIC ACID (TO PROTECT TASTE), GMO: This product includes ingredients sourced from genetically engineered (GE) crops, commonly known as GMOs.

Disclaimer: I am not a master of sports science. 

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