Taste Test

Our Definitive Gatorade Ranking: Which One Should You Bring to Your Workout?

January 10, 2020

Gatorade is a constant sight during workouts, sports events, or bouts of dehydration. The sports drink supposedly helps enhance your performance during rigorous exercise, as well as replenishes liquid and  electrolytes lost during sweat. It was originally created to help the University of Florida football team (called Gators, hence the name) for that reason. Gatorade’s original recipe was based on oral re-hydration therapy; made with just water, salt, sugar, citrus, and food coloring. Nowadays, it also includes dextrose, citric acid, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, and other artificial flavoring and colorants. These additional ingredients have allowed them to design an entire line-up of different flavored sports drinks in corresponding neon colors. We found seven of them in the local supermarket. How do they compare?

Note: Studies have shown that Gatorade’s high sugar content (about 34 g in a regular 20 oz bottle) can increase people’s risk of weight gain and other diseases (e.g. Type 2 Diabetes) if consumed regularly. It is recommended that Gatorade only be consumed during intense activity, or when advised by a medical professional after illnesses that involve vomiting or diarrhea, or dehydration.

7. green apple

Disclaimer: We came into this taste test already hating fake apple flavor. (Why do it?)

If the radioactive color is any indication, then we can assume that the green apple Gatorade might not be the most real in terms of… well, everything. It had an odd smell, and tasted very artificial; kind of like applejack or apple-tini mix—if you tasted them after they’ve been left in a closet for over a year.

6. citrus quench

The first Gatorade (c. 1965) specifically used lemon as its flavoring. So it’s no surprise that their citrus quench looks and tastes like lemonade. Although, it’s not a very good lemonade; more like a very watered down version. Nevertheless, it’s inoffensive. A member of the team even said that “[it’s Gatorade] you could drink even if you don’t need to.”

5. grape

Grape is the closest to its advertised flavor, and is the least watery of the lot. However, it tastes more similar to artificial grape juice than it does actual grape juice (so don’t expect too much). But that’s great if you’re looking for a tetra pack juice type of thing.

4. tropical fruit

We were pretty pleased with tropical fruit, since it reminded us of four seasons-flavored juice, though with a bit of a medicinal aftertaste. It’s very sweet, but it isn’t the type of sweetness that coats your mouth. Perhaps this is where the wateriness of Gatorade comes as a plus.

3. orange chill

Orange chill has a very similar smell to tetra pack orange juice. It also feels the same way when you drink it, just not as thick. There’s a strong artificial orange flavor, accented by another citrus-y aftertaste. It’s like you took an orange Zest-o, and mixed it with citrus quench Gatorade.

2. lemon lime

The yellowish hue and candy-like smell of lemon lime is a bit off-putting, heralding another overly fake flavor. But surprisingly, it wasn’t at all bad. The addition of another strong acidic citrus flavor made it taste like “the mom of citrus quench;” like an almost-there actual lemonade.

1. blue bolt

If you’re going to sell yourself into the artificial world of Gatorade (have you noticed we’ve said the same about all flavors?), you might as well go all in with their most questionable flavor. According to its label, blue bolt is “natural identical flavor,” which means it’s synthetically or chemically-obtained. Why it’s blue, we’ll never know. Snarky comments aside, we actually really do like blue bolt. It basically tastes like blue lemonade, and it’s somehow the most refreshing. 

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