Comparative sports drinks market 2017 - Nicolas AUBINEAU

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Sports drink – 2017 comparative chart

Discover my 2017 comparative chart of 35 sports drinks sold on the market and based on their nutritional analysis with a notion of quality and price.

 

sports drinkFor 5 years and as a Sport Dietitian and nutritionist, I realise comparisons of sold sports products (drinks, bars, gels and recovery drinks) allowing to whoever wants to know the nutritional value of each brand and to make their choice knowingly.

 

The update of the chart in February 2017 is complete with 35 compared ernergy drinks, composition modifications, prices and especially the taking into account of the sugars’ quality brought through the sugar/carbohydrates ratio and the nutritional analysis! I should point out that 2 brands have now disappeared ! Coco & Rico® and Duo Tonic® whereas Maxim® and Authentic® nutrition were created.

 

Comparative principle and notation system

What makes this comparative chart a reliable tool are the following points, showing its neutrality:

 

Modalities

The entire comparison is realised via obligatory information given by the brand about their drink’s nutritional values, which implies no cheating. I analyse what they’re composed with and do not rely on the taste (which is very personal), or any potential public or commercial relations that I’m sometimes asked for (like “I give you an annual endowment and you only say good things about our brand”). I am always sceptical when I read some brand reviews from bloggers that really look like the texts I’m asked to write as an endowment counterpart.

 

Some brands like Herbalife®, Torq®… do not put over the Internet their composition and nutritional analysis, so I cannot include them in my chart!

 

Regulation point

It is important to note that since the allegations regulation, brands cannot communicate (chich does not stop most of them of doing it!) about an ingredient whose Nutritional Reference Value (NRV) are under 15%! As a consequence, a lot of brands give their nutritional information relating to 100g of their product and not to 1 serving/container. With 100g comparative basis, the information look like they fit in the regulation. Smart! But i’m careful with that trick.

 

Notation

Quality note: From nutritional analysis, I take off 3 points as soon as an important ingredient is missing or in too small quantities (under 50% of hourly needs): carbohydrates, sodium, potassium, magnesium, B vitamin, antioxidants (C, E vitamins or Zinc), BCAAs. 1,5 point is taken off if the ingredient is under dosed to + 50% of hourly needs.

 

2017 INNOVATION: Since this edition, I’m doing the sugar(carbohydrates ratio of the nutritional analysis and I take off 1,5 point if it is between 50% and 75%, 3 points if it is between 75,1% and 100%. Then, it favours the complexity of the carbohydrate ration between carbohydrates coming from different sources : simple (glucose, fructose, saccharose, dextrose…) and complex (maltodextrin, starch…). At the end, it gives us a larger panel regarding the assimilation speed (more or less quick), interesting for stamina sports (trail, marathon, ultra, triathlon…).

 

Price note: For each drink, I indicate the price per kilogram to which I apply a scale note.

 

You can find a PDF chart to download with all the results and also, on this page, a per ingredient per drink/ brand resume, very interesting.

 

Rant

On my opinion, some brands do not respect the Internet surfer and that’s the reason why : [March 14th 2017 Edit : The relation text of the GU drink on irun.fr has been modified so my rant has no more reason to be].

 

Fenioux Multisports®

As last year, there is brand calling its drink “BCAA Progressive Peformance Sports Drink” but which, in its nutritional analysis, mentions no BCAA values. As a reminder, BCAA are protein issued and represent in value between 10% and 100% regarding if only the BCAA have been extracted (see article BCAA). For Fenioux Multisports, it represents at best 0,67g per jar or at least 0,07g! The gap is far from neutral even if at the end, it is very marketed, especially when we know that several brands are above1g per jar!

 

Another point, Fenioux Multisports claims about those same BCAA with a nice “muscular integrity maintained thanks to the BCAA”. It’s a slightly exaggerated!

 

Nutrisens Sport®

This brand brings studies precising that the paragraph is no claim while claiming… Except that at one point, saying that their Booster Trail product has “an anti inflammatory action thanks to the nettle” is an over saying. However, their drink is pretty well ranked.

 

STC Nutrition®

The specialty of this brand is that it has an official retailer : Sportfood Center. Which is weird is that for one product, there is 2 different nutritional analysis on their websites, and especially regarding the vitamins! For your information, I selected the more complete nutritional analysis but this is definitely unprofessional of them!

 

Punch Power®

This brand is communicating on the fact that they have BCAA, which is true at some point. They indeed have proteins (as a reminder, BCAAs come from proteins, see article), but they don’t mention it in their nutritional analysis! If they use that data as a marketing argument (which can be good), it’s preferable to detail it afterwards in the nutritional analysis of the product.

 

Analysis methodology

  1. Find the more present brands over the Internet => I counted 35 drinks
  2. Have a simple and efficient comparison point for the web surfers => I compare from the brand recommendations for 500mL (meaning 1 jar).
  3. Pop the important ingredients out and their basis weight, and find the missing ingredients => these ingredients and their basic weights are defined by the European law and some of my field feedback.
  4. Create a price per kilogram in order to compare the real cost of the drink.
  5. Note regarding a criteria that I created (and explained) the quality of the drink and its price in order to get a global note. This one can be modified if your basis criteria either price or quality.

 

Here are the compared brands (by alphabetical order) : Affysport® – Aptonia® – Apurna® – Authentic Nutrition® – Eafit® – Effinov Nutrition® – Ergysport® – Eric Favre® – Etixx® – Fenioux Multisport® – GU® – High5® – Inkospor® – Isostar® – Isoxan® – Maxim® – MX3® – Nutratlétic® – Nutrisens® sport (ex GO2®) – Powerade® – Overstim’s® – Oxsitis® – PiLeJe® – PowerBar® – Punch Power® – SIS® – Sponser® – Squeezy® – STC Nutrition® – +Watt® – Wiggle®

 

Comparative result of sports drinks 2017

The ranking is done as a function of the best quality/price note regarding the nutritional analysis established between the 4th and the 18th of February 2017. If you have more concern about quality, my chart can be helpful to chose with 3 brands having above 14/20.

 

Advised ingredients and comparison resume (35 compared drinks)

  • Carbohydrates: I advise a minimum of 30g (and 500mL of drink) by effort hour and by jar. The panel comes from 7g (Powerade®) to 59g (GU®). It is very important to be between 30 and 35g, under being too little, above bringing digestive disorders (but each individual has its own level of tolerance). 19 drinks have more than 30g, 2 brands have between 27,5g and 29,9g and 10 drinks have less than 27,5g. Average of the panel : 34,28g.
  • Carbohydrates/sugar ratio: 2017 innovation, I advise a sugar ratio under 50% in order to guide towards a qualitative and a larger panel of the different brought carbohydrates (maltodextrin, glucose, fructose, saccharose…). 9 brands are under 50%, 16 between 50% and 75% and the rest above 75%. Average of the panel : 56%.
  • Sodium : I advise a minimum of 300mg per effort hour. Impressive gap with the 12mg of MX3®(in other words it contains nothing!) and the 600mg of the High5® drink! Average of the panel : 245,9mg.
  • Potassium : The European Regulation authorizes 300mg per container, which I agree with. 3 brands are well dosed (Aptonia®, Effinov® and Nutrisens® Sport with Booster Trail), 6 have between 150 and 299mg, 12 have between 1 and 149mg and the rest don’t have any. Average of the panel : 151,97mg.
  • Magnesium : The European law alleges at 56mg which I agree with. 9 drinks are well dosed, 8 have between 28mg and 55mg, 6 less than 27mg and the rest do not have any. Average of the panel : 53,40mg.
  • B vitamin: I advise the presence of at least 2 B vitamins. 17 drinks have them, 7 have only one and the rest do not have any (mainly the “American” drinks).
  • Antioxidants: It is about C vitamins (minimum 12mg), E vitamins (1,8mg) or zinc (2,5mg). Those data are coming from the European law. 20 drinks have them, 1 is not correctly dosed and 16 have none. Average of the panel : 24,3mg of C vitamin.
  • BCAAs: I advise 1g per jar. This product is trendy, especially in Ultra. Some brands indicate having some without saying the dosage. 30 brands have none, 1 under 50% (Ergysport®), 2 between 0,5g and 1g (GU®, PiLeJe® and Overstim’s®) and 2 are correctly dosed (Nutratlétic® and Effinov® Sport).
  • Average price is 35,30€ per kg (+4,7% versus 2016) with a price starting at 8€ (Wiggle®) to 3,24€ (Effinov® Sport) per kg!

 

Complete ranking

Here is the complete ranking from the best quality/price ratio to the worst. You can find in the PDF chart below all the details, per ingredients.

You can search your drink by typing it in the browser below:

DRINK MY OPINION GENERAL QUALITY PRICE
Iso +
(Aptonia®)
iso + Everything is well dosed except the BCAAs (missing). Sugar quality has to be reviewed (76,2%) for a price per kg among the lowest. Generally above the other drinks (+2,25 points on the second!) 16.75 14 19.5
Power Drink
(Inkospor®)
inkospor Power Drink Well dosed in carbohydrates, sodium, B vitamins and antioxidants, it is low with magnesium (for 1mg), with the sugar ratio (66,7%) and has no potassium and BCAAs. Its price is low which explains its ranking. 14.5 11 18
Boisson énergétique 2-4h
(Eafit®)
eafit boisson énergétique Well dosed with carbohydrates, sugar ratio (under 50%), sodium, B and C vitamins, it is low with potassium, magnesium and has no BCAAs. Interesting price per kg. 14 11 17
Hydrixir Longue Distance BCAA
(Overstim’s®)
hydrixir longue distance overstims Well dosed with carbohydrates, sugar ratio, B vitamins, magnesium and antioxidants. Despite its appellation, BCAAs are weakly dosed, as well as sodium (44mg versus the advised 600mg). No potassium. Price slightly above average. 13.75 12.5 15
Booster Trail
(Nutrisens® Sport)
Booster trail go2 nutrisens sport Well dosed in magnesium, potassium, sugar ratio (22,8%), B vitamins and antioxidants. It is light in carbohydrates and too light in sodium. No BCAA. Price slightly above average but still reasonable. 13 12.5 13.5
Bio Drink Longue Distance
(Punch Power®)
punch power biodrink longue distance Well dosed in carbohydrates, magnesium, B vitamins and antioxidants. A sugar ratio of 67,3%, a little light in sodium and no BCAA. A price per kg slightly above average. 13 11 15
Energie progressive
(Fenioux®)
fenioux energie progressive Well dosed in carbohydrates, sodium and antioxidants, it has not enought B vitamins, a low sugar ratio. Potassium is too low (12 versus the advised 300mg), no magnesium and BCAAs at all. Price per kg pretty low. 12.75 8 17.5
Hypotonic Sport Drink
(Maxim®)
maxim hypotonic sport drink Well dosed with carbohydrates, sugar ratio (25,9%), B vitamins and antioxidants. Sodium, potassium and magnesium are light in quantity, there are no BCAAs. Price per kg above average. 12.5 12.5 12.5
Ergysport Effort
(Ergysport®)
ergysport effort Well dosed in magnesium, B vitamins and antioxidants, it is missing carbohydrates (25,4g versus advised 30g) and a little weak in sodium and potassium. Sugar ratio at 58% almost no BCAAs. Average price. 12.5 9.5 15.5
Isotonic
(Etixx®)
etixx isotonic Well dosed in carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium, slightly under dosed in sodium and no B vitamins, antioxidants and BCAAs. A little high sugar ratio (61,4%). Cheap price which explains its ranking. 12.5 8 17
Nutraperf (Nutratlétic®) nutraperf Well dosed in carbohydrates, sodium and magnesium, B vitamins, antioxidants and BCAAs. It only misses potassium and its sugar ratio is a bit high (53,9%). Its expensive price lowers the rate. 12.25 15.5 9
Hydrate & Perform
(Isostar®)
isostar hydrate et perform Well dosed in carbohydrates, sodium and magnesium, it has not enough B vitamins, antioxidants and BCAAs. Its sugar ratio is at 80%! Cheap price explains the ranking. 12.25 6.5 18
Hydrixir antioxydant
(Overstim’s®)
hydrixir antioxydant overstims Well dosed in carbohydrates, B vitamins and antioxidants. Not enough magnesium, sugar ratio at 54,3%, not enough sodium (33mg b=versus advised 300mg) and no BCAAs nor magnesium. Average price. 12 8 16
Sali + Performance
(+ Watt®)
+watt sali+ Well dosed in carbohydrates, magnesium and antioxidants. A little low in sodium and B vitamins. Potassium is very low and there are no BCAAs. No mention of sugars in the nutritional analysis!!!! Average price. 12 8 16
Hydraminov
(Effinov® Sport)
hydraminov effinov sport Well dosed regarding almost all the ingredients excetp carbohydrates (26,3g versus advised 30g). It is the most expensive drink per kg which explains its ranking. 11.75 15.5 8
Authentic Booster
(Authentic Nutrition®)
authentic booster Well dosed in carbohydrates, sugar ratio, B vitamins and antioxidants. Too weak in sodium and no potassium, magnesium and BCAA. Average price. 11.5 8 15
Energie progressive BCAA
(Fenioux®)
fenioux energie progressive bcaa Well dosed with carbohydrates and antioxidants. The sugar ratio is a little high. It is light in sodium, misses 1 B vitamin, is too weak in potassium (12 versus advised 300mg) and has no magnesium nor BCAA (no indications!!!). Price per kg slightly under average. 11.5 6.5 11.5
Mix Drink
(MX3®)
mixdrink mx3 Good sugar ratio (43,7%), well dosed in antioxidants, averagely dosed in potassium and magnesium but not enough in carbohydrates, sodium, B vitamins. No BCAAs. Cheap price. 11.5 6.5 16.5
Boisson énergie
(Apurna®)
apurna boisson energie Well dosed in carbohydrates, B vitamins, antioxidants, slightly underd dosed in sodium, potassium and magnesium. A too high sugar ratio (80,3%). No BCAAs. Price above average. 11 8 14
Sport pro
(Isoxan®)
ISOXAN Sport Pro Well dosed in sodium and B vitamins. Too weak in magnesium. Too many carbohydrates missing (25,9 versus 30g). Bad sugar ratio (87,9%), no BCAAs nor potassium. Price per kg pretty cheap explaining its ranking. 10.75 5 16.5
AC +
(Nutrisens® Sport)
ac+ go2 nutrisens sport Well dosed in carbohydrates, antioxidants, B vitamins. A little light with sodium, potassium, magnesium and sugar ratio (52,2%). No BCAAs, price way above average. 11 11 11
VO2 max
(STC® Nutrition)
VO2 max stc nutrition This drink has a lot of active ingredients but rarely correctly dosed (only B vitamins and antioxidants). Not enough carbohydrates (25g), sodium, potassium and no BCAAs. Good sugar ratio. Price close to average. 10.5 5 16
Energy source 4:1
(High 5®)
high5 Energy Source 4 1 It has only 2 active ingredients, carbohydrates and sodium are well dosed. Sugar ratio is average (60%). The rest (potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, antioxidants and BCAA) is not existing. Affordable price, explaining the ranking. 10.5 3.5 17.5
Isoactive
(PowerBar®)
Isoactive powebar Well dosed in sodium, very close in carbhydrates, the rest is either not dosed in the right proportions (potassium, magnesium), or inexistent (B vitamin, antioxidant and BCAA)! Too high sugar ratio (69,3%). Cheap price. 10.5 2 19
Energy drink
(Wiggle®)
wiggle energy drink Brand only sold over the Internet, it has only well dosed carbohydrates. The sugar ratio is too high (78,3%). Not enough sodium, potassium even less dosed and all the rest is missing (magnesium, B vitamins, antioxidants and BCAA). It is the cheapest price of the panel! 10.25 0.5 20
Roctane Energy Drink Mix
(GU®)
gu roctane energy drink mix Well dosed in carbohydrates and sodium, the sugar ratio is interesting. A little light in BCAAs, the rest is eiter under dosed (potassium)or inexistent (B vitamins, antioxidants and magnesium). High price regarding pretentions. 10 6.5 13.5
Competition
(Sponser®)
sponser COMPETITION SPORTDRINK Well dosed in carbohydrates, the rest is slightly under dosed (sodium) or too under dosed (potassium and magnesium) or even inexistent (B vitamins, antioxidants, BCAAs). A little high sugar ratio (55,1%). Its price is affordable… 10 2 18
Go Electrolyte
(SIS®)
science in sport go electrolyte Well dosed in carbohydrates, sodium is a little light and the rest is either too weak or inexistent. An interesting sugar ratio. Average price. 9.75 3.5 16
Energiz’heure Tempéré
(Oxsitis®)
Oxsitis energize heure tempere Well dosed in carbohydrates and B vitamins. A too high sugar ratio (78,3%), little light in sodium and ridiculous in potassium (1mg versus advised 300mg!). No antioxidants nor BCAA. Average price. 9.75 3.5 16
Hyprosport effort
(PiLeJe®)
hyprosport effort pileje Drink that has a lot of active ingredients but badly dosed (except sodium and antioxidants). A little light in potassium, magnesium and BCAA. A little low sugar ratio (53,6%). One B vitamin is missing but it is very low in carbohydrates (23,3 versus advised 30g). Pretty expensive price. 9.5 8 11
Bio Drink
(Punch Power®)
Punch Power Bio Drink Contains only 3 active ingredients : well dosed carbohydrates, not enough sodium and one B vitamin missing. The sugar ratio is good. The rest does not exist (potassium, magnesium, antioxidants and BCAAs). Average price. 9.5 3.5 15.5
Energy drink
(Squeezy®)
squeezy energy drink Well dosed in carbohdrates, a little low in sodium. All the other active ingredients are missing (potassium, magnesium, B vitamin, antioxidant and BCAA)! Weak sugar ratio, affordable price. 9.5 2 17
Boisson isotonic Worldriderz
(Eric Favre®)
 eric favre boisson isotonic Worldriderz Well dosed in sodium, B vitamins and antioxidants. A little light in potassium, too light in carbohydrates, magnesium and absence of BCAA with a 100% sugar ratio! Expensive price per kg. 5.5 3.5 7.5
Hydrenergy 4
(Affysport®)
hydrenergy 4 Only C vitamin is correctly dosed, the rest is either inexistent or too weakly dosed except sodium. Price per kg being, weirdly, very high!!! 2.75 -4 9.5
Ion4
(Powerade®)
powerade ion 4 Nothing is correctly dosed, Coca Cola is a marketing master!! 7g of carbohydrates only, a 100% sugar ratio!! No vitamins nor minerals (50mg of sodium). -14,5 in quality note!!!! Do not use that drink during the effort! Cheap price per kg. 2 -14.5 18.5

Packagings are coming from the brands associated websites.

 

RESULTS OF THE COMPARATIVE CHARTS OF SPORTS DRINKS 2017

 

Classification by notes

PODIUM QUALITY/PRICE PODIUM QUALITY PODIUM PRICE
podium sport drink best sports drink sports drink
  • Quality/price podium : Iso+ d’Aptonia® (16.75/20) in front of Power Drink d’Inkospor® (14.5/20) and 2-4h energy drink of Eafit® (14/20)
  • Quality podium : Nutraperf of Nutratlétic® and Hydraminov d’Effinov® Sport with 15.5/20 followed by Iso+ of Aptonia®
  • Price podium : Energy drink of Wiggle® (20/20) in front of Iso+ of Aptonia® et 19.5/20 and Isoactive of PowerBar® at 19.

 

Here is my comparison of sports drinks. It is appreciated as it’s independent, based on the nutritional analysis which is legally mandatory.

 

I hope I did help you in your sports drink choice.

 

Know that every sportsman needs to choose the drink that better fits him/her!

 

Sportingly.

 

Nicolas AUBINEAU
Dietitian Sports Nutritionist

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Comparative sports drinks market 2017 - Nicolas AUBINEAU
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Discover my 2017 comparative chart of 35 sports drinks sold on the market and based on their nutritional analysis with a notion of quality and price.
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Nicolas AubineauFrench Clinic and Sports Dietitian Nutritionist, I created this site to meet the needs of athletes in sports nutrition.

You will find many free articles and home recipes. I also propose personalized diet plans for those who prepare a competition, seek a nutritional balance corresponding to their way of life and their sporting activity.

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