For years now, Gatorade and Powerade have been synonymous with high energy and hydration. Gatorade has been a Super Bowl icon for over five decades, and its logo is plastered all over sporting goods, ads and stadiums. It still dominates the U.S. sports drink market with a 72.1% market share of sports drink sales.

Along with being a sports accompaniment, both these drinks have been an intrinsic part of American workout culture. They speed up rehydration after an intense workout, and users believe that they help in improving overall fitness and health. Despite the drinks’ fandom, sales growth for sports drinks has slowed down recently.

Consumers have begun to consider other drinks for hydration instead. Scientists, doctors, and lawmakers have pointed out the risks of sports drink consumption due to their high sugar content and calorie counts.

People are listening and switching to plain water for workout hydration. While many still view these sports drinks as a healthy addition for anyone who exercises, regular users are sticking to water.

As a result, Gatorade and Powerade have no choice but to change tactics and expand their product lines to adapt to changing tastes.

Gatorade Zero’s launch in 2018 helped bring some customers back. The brand also introduced Bolt24, which claims to have antioxidants that will offer health benefits along with providing energy, meant to lure consumers into having it throughout the day.

Similarly, Powerade is all set to launch Power Water and Ultra. The former is intended for joggers and leisure walkers, while the latter is for exercisers who are more focused on endurance. It remains to be seen how these versions do in the long run. It is, however, evident that for new-age consumers, natural and less sugar are the key elements to consider.

Sports drinks are mostly fortified and flavored water that contain electrolytes, carbohydrates, and some additional ingredients. To avoid dehydration, our bodies need replenish water loss by drinking water throughout the day. However, we may benefit from a sports drink after losing a lot of water and solid minerals through waste, respiration, and evaporation.

The U.S. sports drink market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.8% through 2025, but is that enough for survival? Increasing user inclination towards natural and organic beverages is hindering market growth.

While the sports drink category is larger and more established, it hasn’t kept up with the healthy living trend. Functional beverages that are plant-based and offer high protein are replacing energy drinks that have too many artificial ingredients.