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What Are the Healthiest Sports Drinks in 2024?

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Warmer weather can be brutal and really do a number on our hydration levels. When looking for options to stay hydrated, many turn to ordinary sports drinks, which may not always be the best answer, as many are packed with copious amounts of added sugar. So, what is the healthiest sports drink? We've found a few options out there that optimize hydration and fuel performance without overloading you on the sweet stuff.

Read on for our picks for the healthiest sports drinks on store shelves -- and the ones to avoid.

Key points to keep in mind:

  • It’s essential to replenish electrolytes, particularly when losing large amounts of sweat.
  • Sodium is the main electrolyte lost in sweat.
  • Sugar-containing sports drinks are typically only needed when your exercise session is longer than 60 to 90 minutes.


Sports drinks with little or no sugar. Good for workouts lasting one hour or less.

Body Armor LYTE

  • The LYTE version is hands down my top pick for a regular grab-and-go sports drink
  • Per 16-ounce bottle: 20 calories, 18 grams carbs, 2 grams sugar, 40 milligrams sodium and 700 milligrams potassium
  • No artificial sweeteners or colors (sweetened with stevia; colored with natural juice extracts)

nuun hydration electrolyte drink tabs

  • Per tablet: 10 calories: 4 grams carbs, 1 gram sugar, 300 milligrams sodium and 150 milligrams potassium
  • No artificial sweeteners or colors (sweetened with stevia; colored with vegetable juice extracts)

Ultima Stick Packs or Powder

  • Per scoop: 0 calories, 0 carbs, 0 sugar, 55 milligrams sodium and a small amount of potassium
  • Ingredients include cane sugar, dextrose and minerals

SOS Hydration

  • Per stick pack: 10 calories, 3 grams carbs, 3 grams sugar, 350 milligrams sodium, 190 milligrams potassium
  • Ingredients include sugar, salt and other minerals; sweetened with stevia

ICONIC Protein Drink

  • Per 12 ounces: 140 calories, 8 grams carbs, 0 grams sugar, 20 grams protein, 85 milligrams sodium, 350 milligrams potassium
  • Ingredients include grass-fed milk protein isolate, prebiotic chicory root fiber; sweetened with monkfruit and stevia

Pickle Juice

  • The acetic acid in pickle juice can help relieve a cramp within seconds


Sports drinks with moderate sugar content. Good for workouts longer than 90 minutes and/or high sweat losses.

nuun ENDURANCE Drink Powder

  • Per scoop: 60 calories, 16 grams carbs, 15 grams sugar, 380 milligrams sodium and 200 milligrams potassium
  • Ingredients include sucrose, dextrose, natural blueberry flavors, beet juice powder and stevia

MyHy Active [by former LSU QB Matt Flynn]

  • Per packet: 60 calories, 12 grams carbs, 12 grams sugar, 640 milligrams sodium and 130 milligrams potassium
  • Ingredients include sugar, minerals, stevia

Bolt 24 by Gatorade

  • 16.9-ounce: 80 calories, 20 grams carbs, 19 grams sugar, 230 milligrams sodium and 60 milligrams potassium
  • Contains sugar, stevia, natural plant-based colors

Liquid IV

  • Per stick pack: 45 calories, 12 grams carbs, 11 grams sugar, 500 milligrams sodium, 380 milligrams potassium
  • Ingredients include sugar, salt, more minerals; sweetened with stevia

Coconut Water

  • Per 16 ounces: 90 calories, 23 grams carbs, 20 grams sugar, 75 milligrams sodium, 979 milligrams potassium
  • Ingredient: Coconut water (occasionally less than 1% sugar and vitamin C added)


Sports drinks with added sugar and/or artificial sweeteners, plus artificial food dyes

Powerade ULTRA & Gatorade ZERO:

  • Per 12 ounces: 0 calories, 0 carbs 0 sugar, approximately 300 milligrams sodium and approximately 100 milligrams potassium
  • Contains artificial food dyes and artificial sweeteners (sucralose and acesulfame potassium)

To schedule a nutrition consult, whether virtually or in-person, contact us at or call us at 985-898-7050.


  • Per 12 ounces: 30 calories, 8 grams carbs, 7 grams sugar, 160 milligrams sodium and 45 milligrams potassium
  • Contains artificial food dyes and artificial sweeteners (sucralose and acesulfame potassium)

Gatorade & Powerade

  • Per 12 ounces: approximately 80 calories, 21 grams carbs, 21 grams sugar, 150-160 milligrams sodium and 35-45 milligrams potassium
  • Ingredients include sugar/high fructose corn syrup and artificial food dyes

Mio Sport

  • Per squeeze: 0 calories, 0 carbs, 0 grams sugar, 75 milligrams sodium, 35 milligrams potassium
  • Ingredients include minerals, vitamins; sweetened with sucralose and acesulfame potassium; colored with artificial food dyes

Editor’s note: Registered dietitian Molly Kimball offers brand-name products as a consumer guide; she does not solicit product samples nor is she paid to recommend items. A version of this originally appeared on WGNO’s “Get the Skinny” segment.

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