Comparing the benefits of power drinks: Which are the best?

By Ryan Connors

Looking for a refreshing drink after a hard workout or an exhausting Netflix binge? Today, there are more options than ever to choose from, with new brands entering the market everyday. Some of the more popular drinks are Gatorade, Powerade and Body Armor.

Photo courtesy of Semi-Rad.com

Photo courtesy of Semi-Rad.com

Gatorade:

Gatorade was invented in 1965 when an alarming number of players on the University of Florida football team were suffering from heat-related illnesses. An assistant coach sat down with a group of university physicians to figure out the problem. The physicians determined that players were losing electrolytes and carbohydrates and were not adequately replenishing them. Gatorade was born, the name derived from the nickname of the school.

At 75 percent, Gatorade have the lion’s share of the market, according market research company Mintel, and Forbes lists their brand value at $4.8 billion.  The drink is available in a wide variety of flavors, ranging from “Frost” to “Grape.”

Since this university is a “Pepsi” school, Gatorade can be readily found in convenience shops and in the soda machines at the North and South Campus Diners.

“It’s the only sports drink I have in my dorm, and it’s easily all my friends’ favorite,” said Zack Lessner, a sophomore enrolled in letters and science.

Powerade:

Created in 1988 by The Coca-Cola Company as a direct competitor to Gatorade, Powerade has 20 percent of the sports drink market share.

“I think Gatorade just tastes better than Powerade,” said sophomore business student Shawn Bassett. “They have the same flavors, but for some reason Gatorade just tastes better.”

The company employs LeBron James as a spokesman and caught criticism during the NBA Finals when James cramped up and had to miss the end of Game One. Powerade was the official sports drink of the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Body Armor:

Introduced in June of 2011, Body Armor is the upstart underdog. Two men who, between them, had a hand in founding Vitamin Water, FUZE and NOS Energy Drink created the drink. However, it still lacks brand awareness.

“I’ve never even heard of that drink,” said sophomore aerospace engineering major Josh Goldman. “I haven’t even seen a commercial.”

Each athlete associated with Body Armor has invested in the company. These athlete-investors include Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, Los Angeles Angels centerfielder Mike Trout and Houston Rockets guard James Harden. Kobe Bryant is also a shareholder, purchasing 10 percent of the stock through Kobe Inc.

Thus far, Body Armor has yet to make a dent on Gatorade or Powerade, as the company owns less than 1 percent of the sports drink market share, according to Mintel.

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