12 Top Picks for a Healthy Alternative to Gatorade and Sugary Sports Drinks

by Millie
healthy alternative to gatorade
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When you’re exercising, you need to make sure that you’re keeping your body hydrated. That’s where Gatorade and other sports drinks come in – they help replenish the fluids and electrolytes that are lost when you sweat. But not all sports drinks are created equal. Some, like Gatorade, are loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients, while others are healthy and natural. Let’s take a look at my top picks for a healthy alternative to Gatorade and other sugary sports drinks. 

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Do You Need A Sports Drink?

A lot of people are curious about whether or not they need to drink a sports drink while exercising and after they finish.

When you exercise, your body temperature rises and you lose fluids through sweat. This can lead to dehydration, which can cause fatigue, cramps, and other problems. All of which can negatively impact your performance.

Drinking Gatorade or a sports drink can help replenish the fluids and electrolytes that you lose while sweating, especially in hot weather. It can also help keep your energy levels up, especially when you exercise for a long period of time so that you can perform at your best.

Furthermore, after you exercise, your body is working to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. Drinking a sports drink can help replenish the nutrients that your body needs to recover. It can also help you rehydrate after a workout.

Also read The Truth About Sugar Free Energy Drinks and Weight Loss

Is Gatorade Healthy?

Is Gatorade healthy?

There is a lot of debate over whether Gatorade is healthy or not. Some people say that it’s nothing more than sugar water and that it’s not good for you at all. Others claim that Gatorade is a great way to hydrate and refuel after physical activity. So, what’s the truth? Is Gatorade healthy or not?

The answer is a bit complicated. Gatorade does have some benefits, but it also has some drawbacks. 

On the plus side, regular Gatorade does contain electrolytes like sodium and potassium, which can be helpful for people who are sweating a lot or who are dehydrated. Gatorade can also help you rehydrate after a workout and replace the fluids and electrolytes that you’ve lost.

On the downside, Gatorade has a high amount of sugar. In fact, one 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade contains 34 grams of sugar (or 9 teaspoons), which is more than the recommended daily amount for adults. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain, cavities, and other health problems.

Another downside of Gatorade is that it contains food dyes, which have been linked to health problems like cancer and ADHD. So, if you’re concerned about your health and weight, you might want to avoid Gatorade altogether.

But what can you use instead of Gatorade and other sugary sports beverages? The good news is that there are many healthier alternatives.

Top Picks For a Healthy Alternative to Gatorade

Plain water is always the best choice for hydration for moderate activity, but if you’re looking for something with electrolytes, there are plenty of healthy alternatives. 

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a sports drink. First, make sure that it contains essential electrolytes like sodium and potassium. These electrolytes will help replace the ones that you lose through sweat. 

Second, choose a sports drink that is low in sugar. Ironically, too much sugar can actually lead to dehydration.

1. Coconut Water

coconut water healthy alternative to Gatorade
Coconut water is a great healthy alternative to Gatorade

Coconut water has been a popular drink in tropical countries for centuries, but it is just now becoming popular in the United States. Many people are choosing to drink coconut water instead of sports drinks because it is a great source of electrolytes and potassium.

Another benefit of coconut water is that it is low in calories and fa, making it a great alternative for those who are looking to lose weight or maintain their current weight.

If you are looking for a healthy and refreshing drink to take with you to the gym, consider coconut water. It is a great way to stay hydrated and get the necessary electrolytes your body needs. 

This is my favorite coconut water – the only ingredient is 100% coconut water.

2. Watermelon Water

watermelon water alternative to Gatorade
Watermelon water is healthy and refreshing

Watermelon water is a refreshing and healthy alternative to Gatorade and other sugary sports drinks. It’s rich in electrolytes and antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and improve recovery time after exercise. 

Watermelon water has natural flavors, no artificial sweeteners, or added sugar. It is also low in calories and fat, making it a great choice for those watching their weight. And, it’s a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as potassium. Plus, it’s a natural source of energy.

Whether you’re looking for a healthy way to hydrate before or after a workout, or you’re simply looking for a delicious and refreshing summer beverage, watermelon water is a great option.

You can find watermelon water at your local grocery store, or you can make it yourself at home as I do.

3. Chocolate Milk

chocolate milk alternative to Gatorade
Chocolate milk is a cheaper alternative to Gatorade

Chocolate milk? Yes! Now, I know what you’re thinking. Chocolate milk has sugar in it, so how can it be good for you? Chocolate milk has electrolytes in it that help replenish the ones you lose when you sweat. It also has carbohydrates which give your body the energy it needs to perform at its best.

In fact, chocolate milk was my recovery drink when I trained for and successfully completed a marathon a few years ago. It’s a good healthy alternative to Gatorade.

Chocolate milk has long been recommended as a post-workout drink. In addition to electrolytes and carbohydrates, it contains protein, which is essential for athletes. And the best news is that chocolate milk is much cheaper than sports drinks! 

4. Herbal Teas and Green Tea

herbal tea alternative to Gatorade
Herbal tea can help before and after a workout

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to sugary sports drinks, herbal teas and green tea are great options. Both are low in calories and packed with antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and improve recovery after exercise. 

Plus, they’re hydrating and refreshing, making them perfect for sipping before or after a workout. Just be sure to choose a variety without added sweeteners, as they can offset the health benefits.

5. Aloe Water

aloe water alternative to Gatorade
Aloe water is a great way to hydrate after a workout

Aloe water is another healthy alternative to Gatorade and sports drinks. Aloe water is made from the juice of the aloe plant, and it is a great way to hydrate after a workout. It is also low in calories and sugar, making it a better choice than many sports drinks. 

Furthermore, it helps improve digestion, detoxifies the body, and boosts the immune system. And is packed with vitamins and minerals. 

Aloe water has a pleasant taste that will make you forget all about those sickeningly sweet energy drinks. So next time you’re reaching for a sports drink, consider grabbing a bottle of aloe water instead. Your body will thank you for it!

6. Cactus Water

cactus water alternative to Gatorade
Cactus water can improve athletic performance


This unique beverage is made from the sap of the cactus plant, and it is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Cactus water has been shown to improve athletic performance, hydrate the body, and reduce inflammation. It is also a great source of electrolytes, which can keep you feeling energized. Plus, it is also high in antioxidants, which can help your body recover after a workout. 

In addition to its health benefits, cactus water also has a light, refreshing taste that makes it a great alternative to sugary sports drinks. If you are looking for a healthy way to stay hydrated, cactus water is a great choice!

7. Vitamin Water Refresh

This electrolyte-enhanced water is perfect for replenishing your body’s fluids and restoring essential electrolytes and potassium. You’ll also get 100% of recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and more. 

Vitamin Water Refresh comes in a variety of delicious fruity flavors, so you can always find one that you love. And, because it contains no artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors, you can feel good about what you’re drinking.

8. Roar Organic Sports Drink 

Roar Organic sports drinks are perfect for athletes of all levels. This sports drink is made with all-natural ingredients like coconut water, blue agave nectar, and sea salt to give you the electrolytes and hydration your body craves after a workout without any of the sugar-crash-inducing additives. 

Roar Organic is also vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and contains no artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, or preservatives, so you can feel good about what you’re putting into your body.

This is a healthier, all-natural alternative to traditional sports drinks. And at only 50 calories per serving, it’s a guilt-free way to hydrate and refuel after a workout. 

9. Nooma Organic Electrolyte Drink

Nooma is an electrolyte sports drink made with coconut water, and natural fruit flavors. It contains no sugar, calories, or artificial sweeteners. It’s the perfect way to hydrate after a workout or on a hot day. 

Plus, it provides electrolytes and vitamins B and C and is only 90 calories. It’s available in four delicious flavors: peach mango, strawberry lemonade, mixed berry, and cucumber lime. Nooma is also vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO.

10. BodyArmor Super Drink

This delicious drink is made with coconut water, and natural fruit flavors and contains no artificial colors or sweeteners. It’s the perfect way to hydrate after a workout, long run, or on a hot day. Plus, it provides electrolytes and vitamins B and C and is only 90 calories.

There are about 12 flavors to choose from, grape, mixed berry, orange, tropical punch, and more.

11. Raisins

raisins alternative to Gatorade
Raisins is a healthy alternative to Gatorade

Raisins are a great healthy alternative to Gatorade and sports drinks. They are high in potassium, which can help prevent muscle cramps, and they also have anti-inflammatory properties. 

In addition, raisins are a good source of fiber and antioxidants. Studies have shown that raisins can improve athletic performance as well. So next time you are heading to the gym, pack a few raisins instead of that sports drink!

12. Bananas 

banana alternative to Gatorade
Try a banana after your next workout

Bananas are an affordable and healthy alternative to Gatorade and sports drinks, and they can be just as effective in replenishing your body’s fluids and electrolytes. 

Bananas are a good source of potassium, magnesium, and sodium, all of which are important for athletes. Bananas also contain electrolytes, which help to keep the body hydrated. And they are also a good source of carbohydrates, which is an important source of energy for athletes.

Will You Ditch Gatorade?

Will you ditch Gatorade?

Most sports drinks like Gatorade are loaded with sugar, artificial colors, and other additives that can actually zap your energy levels. But now you have many options to choose from if you want a healthy alternative to Gatorade and other sugary sports drinks.

You can have a healthier drink like coconut water, watermelon water, or even chocolate milk. There are also better options like Roar and Nooma if you still want a drink specially designed for sports. So next time you reach for a water bottle, consider one of these healthy alternatives. Or drink water and have a banana or raisins. 

12 Top Picks for a  Healthy Alternative to Gatorade and Sugary Sports Drinks
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