As an athlete, you’re well aware of the importance of drinking plenty of water. And we’d be the first to tell you that staying hydrated is key to your performance—it helps you avoid cramps, keeps your muscles functioning properly, and ensures that your body is working at its best.
But did you know that staying hydrated alone isn’t enough? Your body needs electrolytes too! Electrolytes are minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium that your body needs to function properly. When they’re in balance with each other, they help keep your muscles strong, your nerves firing properly, and your blood pressure steady. But when they’re out of balance—which can happen when you sweat a lot or don’t drink enough liquids—you can experience fatigue, muscle cramps, and weakness.
Electrolyte drinks like Gatorlyte and Pedialyte have been developed specifically for athletes because they provide a source of key electrolytes that help prevent these kinds of problems from developing during heavy exercise. In this article, we will compare Gatorlyte and Pedialyte so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your situation.
Recommended Daily Intakes of Common Electrolytes
Your body contains many electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, and phosphate.
Sodium is the most common electrolyte in the body. It keeps your body’s fluids balanced, helps maintain blood pressure levels, and assists with muscle contraction. Potassium works closely with sodium to maintain a proper balance of fluids inside your cells. Calcium is important for building strong bones. Magnesium helps turn carbohydrates into glucose, which provides energy for the body. Chloride helps regulate blood pressure.
The amount of electrolytes needed by the body depends on age, gender, activity level, and other factors. The following are the recommended daily intakes, in milligrams (mg), for some common electrolytes:
- Sodium — (1500 mg for people under 50 | 1300 mg for people over 50 | 1200 mg for people over 70)
- Potassium — (4700 mg)
- Calcium — (1000 mg for people under 50 | 1200 mg for people over 50)
- Magnesium — (420 mg for men | 320 mg for women)
- Chloride — (2300 mg for people under 50 | 2000 mg for people over 50 | 1800 mg for people over 70)
What is Gatorlyte?
Gatorlyte is a new sports hydration drink from Gatorade, designed for athletes with high electrolyte losses. It’s designed to be a rapid rehydration product, so you can get back out there and exercise as quickly as possible.
It contains five key electrolytes—calcium, magnesium, and chloride—in addition to the usual potassium/sodium combination found in regular Gatorade.
This product is an upgrade from Gatorade’s previous offerings because the additional electrolytes help to replace what your body loses during exercise and help restore hydration levels quickly.
What is Pedialyte?
Pedialyte is an electrolyte solution with a long history of helping people maintain proper hydration levels. In the 1960s, Abbott Laboratories developed Pedialyte as an alternative to water in cases where water alone cannot rehydrate the body—for example, when you’re suffering from diarrhea or dehydration. The electrolytes it contains are essential for maintaining proper hydration levels, but they can also help you feel less nauseous if you’ve been drinking too much alcohol.
Another use for Pedialyte is for athletes who have overindulged on sports drinks during practice or competition and need to replace their bodies’ lost fluids with something more palatable than plain water.
It comes in a variety of flavors and formulas that are designed to appeal to different tastes and needs.
How Do They Stack Up Nutritionally?
Gatorlyte and Pedialyte are both electrolyte-based drinks, but they differ in nutritional content.
Gatorlyte has more calories and sugar than Pedialyte products. Pedialyte has 25 to 40 calories per bottle and 6 to 9g of total sugars, while Gatorlyte has 50 calories per bottle and 12g of total sugars.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Gatorlyte has less sugar content than regular Gatorade.
Electrolyte Comparison Table
The first thing we noticed is that Gatorlyte has more electrolytes than Pedialyte.
Both products have sodium, potassium, and chloride; however, Gatorlyte has more magnesium in its product than Pedialyte does, which means that it can help you recover from muscle cramps faster than its competitor can. This makes it a great choice for athletes who need extra help recovering from a tough workout.
|Gatorlyte Rapid Rehydration||12 g||490 mg||350 mg||105 mg||120 mg||1040 mg|
|Pedialyte AdvancedCare Plus||7 g||490 mg||280 mg||0 mg||0 mg||630 mg|
|Pedialyte AdvancedCare||6 g||370 mg||280 mg||0 mg||0 mg||440 mg|
|Pedialyte Sport||5 g||490 mg||470 mg||40 mg||0 mg||690 mg|
|Pedialyte Immune Support||7 g||490 mg||280 mg||40 mg||0 mg||690 mg|
|Pedialyte Classic||9 g||370 mg||280 mg||0 mg||0 mg||440 mg|
While this may seem like a win for Gatorlyte, it’s important to note that Pedialyte Sport and Immune support has trace amounts of magnesium as well.
Gatorlyte also contains calcium, an essential electrolyte for bone health. Pedialyte does not contain any calcium at all.
Taste & Flavor Profiles
Gatorlyte is thick and sweet, like old-school Gatorade—but it doesn’t have any of the weird artificial vibes that you get from many other sports drinks. It’s great for recovering after a hard workout or a night out, for daily bike rides, and whenever you want to stay hydrated.
It’s less sugary than the original, which is great for people who don’t like overly-sweet things. The slightly tart flavors make it a refreshing treat. It’s made with no artificial sweeteners or flavors.
There are currently three flavors:
- Strawberry Kiwi
- Cherry Lime
Orange is my favorite flavor, and it tastes like orange Gatorade. I personally don’t like the cherry lime and kiwi strawberry flavors, as they taste a bit too sweet for me. I hope they continue to offer flavors that taste like or remind consumers of, cool blue or lemon-lime.
These do contain stevia, but it is the new, improved kind of stevia that has no aftertaste.
Pedialyte is a great choice for summertime hydration—it’s cool and refreshing, and it won’t cause bloating like some other rehydration beverages. It’s easy to drink, even for kids who don’t like the taste of some other rehydration drinks.
Pedialyte offers a variety of flavors to keep your taste buds happy. Some of the more popular flavors include:
- Orange Breeze
- Berry Frost
- Iced Grape
- Kiwi Berry Mist
- Chilled Cherry
- Lemon Lime
- Fruit Punch.
When you first try Pedialyte, it may have a syrupy taste. However, after a few sips, you’ll get used to the flavor and actually start to enjoy it! It’s not necessarily the most delicious beverage, but when you’re dehydrated it really works miracles.
The best way to drink Pedialyte is chilled. If you find it sweet, you can always add water to dilute the flavor until it suits your taste buds better!
Packaging and Portability
Both products come in easy-to-carry bottles, and both are great for traveling.
When it comes to size, Pedialyte wins out over Gatorlyte because it comes in a larger bottle than its rival. I keep large bottles of Pedialyte in my refrigerator because they can be reused many times, but there is a drawback – if you open one and don’t use it within 48 hours, it will go bad.
Gatorlyte comes in a rectangular cubed shape bottle, which is great for storage. However, I found it to be too large and clunky for jogging or other activities that require frequent handling.
Unlike Gatorlyte, Pedialyte comes in powder form as well, which allows you to mix the powder with water and create your own flavor combinations.
Which is Less Expensive?
While both Gatorlyte and Pedialyte are expensive to buy on a regular basis, the cost difference between them is significant.
A 20 oz bottle of Gatorlyte costs about $2.30, while a 33.8 oz bottle of Pedialyte costs about $5.40.
If you’re looking to maintain proper hydration, 1-2 liters of Pedialyte may be needed per day—which means you’ll be spending more than $10 every time you need to rehydrate yourself with this product.
With Gatorlyte, you’ll get more bang for your buck! It has more electrolytes per ounce than Pedialyte, which means that you’ll be able to hydrate your body faster.
Which One is Better, Pedialyte or Gatorlyte?
Gatorlyte and Pedialyte are both designed to help you recover quickly from dehydration, whether you’re running a marathon or just having a rough day at work.
Gatorlyte has a higher concentration of electrolytes than Pedialyte. That said, Pedialyte AdvancedCare+ has prebiotics to help support digestive health—something that Gatorlyte doesn’t have. It also contains less sugar than Gatorlyte—which means that if you’re trying to lose weight while recovering from dehydration, Pedialyte may be better for you!
Both formulas have a high sodium concentration (the main electrolyte lost through sweat), which is critical for people with POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome).
If you need hydration as fast as possible and don’t mind paying a little extra, Gatorlyte might be your best bet. But if you’re looking for something to help your gut microbiome heal and want a few more flavor choices, Pedialyte is the way to go!
The Bottom Line
Hydration is important to your health, energy level, and athletic performance—and Pedialyte and Gatorlyte are two products that can help. Both products are designed to help replenish the fluids lost during exercise, and both have their pros and cons.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which one works best for you. There’s no right answer or wrong answer here; all that matters is what works for your body. The only way to find out is by giving it a try!