BodyArmor is a popular sports nutrition drink that positions itself as a healthier alternative to other sports drinks like Gatorade. The brand highlights onits website that their products contain antioxidants, “potassium-packed electrolytes" and no artificial sweeteners, flavors or dyes.
But is BodyArmor actually good for you based on its ingredients? What's in BodyArmor anyway? Is it healthier than Gatorade? And do BodyArmor drinks contain any unhealthy additive ingredients?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review the ingredients in BodyArmor original, BodyArmor Lyte (the no-added-sugar version) BodyArmor SportWater and BodyArmor Edge (the most potent version) to give our take on whether the drinks are healthy or not.
We'll compare the healthiness of BodyArmor to Gatorade and highlight some questionable ingredients in BodyArmor drinks.
BodyArmor Ingredient Review
BodyArmor drinks come in a variety of flavors, all of which have a similar formulation. The above ingredient label is from BodyArmor Blue Raspberry flavor, but our comments hold for all BodyArmor flavors.
The first thing worth noting is that this product contains a relatively high amount of cane sugar, at 21 grams (g). Medical research suggests that excessive intake of added sugar is associated with negative health outcomeslike cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Americans already consume a significant amount of added sugar daily, so we typically recommend avoiding foods and drinks containing added sugar. While a sweet drink can theoretically provide athletic performance benefits, we don’t believe that sugar-sweetened drinks are a good choice for most consumers.
Coconut water concentrate is a healthy, whole foods ingredient which is rich in potassium. We also consider it a good sign that this product is colored with vegetable juice concentrate, which is a much healthier option than artificial dye.
There are also some ingredients in BodyArmor we recommend avoiding.
Citric acid is a preservative and flavor enhancer that’s found in citrus fruit, but over 90% of its production for manufacturing comes from a fungus called Aspergillus niger, according to a medical review published in the Toxicology Reports journal. This review documents how citric acid can cause whole-body inflammatory reactions in a small subset of patients.
Natural flavorsis a broad categorization that fails to define the specific chemical compounds used as the flavoring agents. As we explained in our Isagenix reviews article, it seems illogical to consume anything without knowingexactly what it is. We recommend avoiding all food and drink products with "natural flavors" as a listed ingredient.
This drink has a large number of added vitamins, such as vitamin B6 and vitamin A. BodyArmor provides no explanation on their website as to why they include all of these vitamins, and we haven’t come across any medical evidence that supplemental synthetic vitamin blends improve athletic performance.
For consumers without a vitamin deficiency, consuming additional vitamins from fortified foods and drinkscould push blood levels of those vitamins (especially fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A) into an unhealthy range.
Overall we would not consider thisdrink to begood for you and we would not recommend it. We do consider BodyArmor to be healthier than Gatorade, because it contains less added sugar per bottle and is free of artificial food dye.
BodyArmor Lyte Ingredient Review
The ingredient list above is from BodyArmor Lyte Blueberry Pomegranate flavor.
The formulations of BodyArmor and BodyArmor Lyte are quite similar. BodyArmor Lyte contains citric acid, natural flavors and a blend of added vitamins; all ingredients we recommend avoiding.
It also contains coconut water and vegetable juice concentrate; both whole food ingredients we consider healthy.
The core difference between the two products is that BodyArmor Lyte is sweetened with natural sugar alternatives erythritol and stevia leaf. We consider these to both be healthier choices than added sugar, and to be excellent choices for a sugar-free sports nutrition drink.
Erythritol actually has anti-diabetic effects when appropriately dosed, as evidenced in an extensive meta-study published in 2020. This is the opposite effect of processed cane sugar. The researchers in the linked article noted that erythritol has documented metabolic benefits.
Stevia leaf has anti-inflammatory and potentially anti-hypertensive (blood pressure lowering) effects according to a medical review. The study authorsdid note that there is some early evidence suggesting that stevia may have an anti-fertility effect.
While we typically would recommend avoiding sugar alternatives altogether, and only consuming sugar in fruit or whole food form, we do believe that these natural sweeteners are healthier options than added sugar. We consider BodyArmor Lyte to be healthier than BodyArmor, and we consider BodyArmor Lyte to be significantly healthier than Gatorlyte (Gatorade's low-calorie drink).
BodyArmor Water Ingredient Review
BodyArmor sells a water product called “SportWater” with a relatively simple formulation: reverse osmosis (which is a filtration process) water and some added electrolytes.
The brand advertises that this water is alkaline, with a pH level greater than 9. There is actually some legitimate medical research suggesting that alkaline water may provide health and exercise benefits. A clinical trial published in the Journal of Human Kinetics found that alkaline water consumption improved anaerobic exercise performance compared to tap water.
We consider SportWater to be BodyArmor’s healthiest formulation and would recommend it. There are no questionable additives in this formulation. Interested consumers can check out BodyArmor SportWater at this link to the product's Amazon listing.
BodyArmor Edge Ingredient Review
BodyArmor Edge is the brand’s most potent formulation, and not in a good way. The product contains 44 g of sugar, which is 5 g more than a 12 ounce Coca-Cola (source). For this reason alone, we would recommend avoiding this product. Even for elite athletes that may need simple sugars to refuel, we feel there arehealthier alternatives to this high of a dose of cane sugar.
For the average, sedentary American consumer we would consider this product to be a terrible health choice.
Edge also contains 100 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, which is a safe dose equivalent to around one cup of coffee. Consumers with high blood pressure may want to avoid this caffeine dose but for healthy adults it shouldn’tbe an issue.
All of the other ingredients are essentially the same as regular BodyArmor, although the electrolyte levels in this product are slightly higher which we don’t believe makes a significant difference.
We consider this to be BodyArmor’s worstformulation from a health perspective.
Are Sports Drinks Really Necessary?
One of the most popular YouTube videos evaluating whether sports drinks like BodyArmor are necessary for the average consumer is published by CBC News and has been watched over 600,000 times.
The reporters actually test whether sports drinks improve athletic performance for regular individuals and speak with a range of medical experts to determine whether the drinks are necessary. One of the medical experts interviewed ran tests and concluded that only 2% of consumers exercise to a degree of intensity to where sports drinks are necessary over water:
Our Natural Sports Nutrition Drink Recommendation
We recommend Vital Proteins Collagen Water as a healthy beverage for consumers who are seeking a sports nutrition drink.
Vital Proteins Collagen Water is flavored with whole foods ingredients. As an example, Vital Proteins Blackberry Hibiscus Collagen Water is flavored with blackberry juice, lemon juice, hibiscus extract and orange oil. These are all nutritious botanical ingredients.
This drink also contains 10 g of protein in the form of collagen. A medical review published in the Frontiers in Nutrition journal found that consuming protein pre-and-post workout increases muscle protein synthesis (what causes new muscle to be formed).
Vital Proteins Collagen Water is free of any toxic or questionable additive ingredients. It has no preservatives, no artificial sweeteners, no vitamin blends and no citric acid.
Interested consumers can check out Vital Proteins Collagen Water at this link to the product page on the brand's website.
BodyArmor is decently formulated and we consider it to be a healthier option than Gatorade because it's lower in added sugar and free of artificial food dye. However, we don't recommend the drink overall due to the added sugar, citric acid and flavoring agents.
We don't recommend thebrand’s other formulations BodyArmor Lyte and BodyArmor Edge because they contain the same questionable additive ingredients, although we consider BodyArmor Lyte to be a healthier option than original BodyArmor because it's naturally sweetened and lower in sugar.
BodyArmor SportWater has a clean and effective formulation. It's just alkaline water with added electrolytes. This is the only BodyArmor drink we recommend.
In our opinion, the vast majority of consumers do not need specialty sports nutrition beverages andshould just drink regular water. For consumers intent on purchasing a sportsnutritiondrink or for elite athletes that want to optimize performance, we recommend choosing a brand free of flavoring additives.
Is BODYARMOR actually good for you? ›
BodyArmor is decently formulated and we consider it to be a healthier option than Gatorade because it's lower in added sugar and free of artificial food dye. However, we don't recommend the drink overall due to the added sugar, citric acid and flavoring agents.Does BODYARMOR have nutritional value? ›
Per ounce, BODYARMOR contains nearly twelve times as much potassium as the leading traditional sports drink, yet just a fifth the amount of sodium. BODYARMOR also packs a much wider array of vitamins and minerals, and in significantly more substantial amounts.What is the healthiest sport drink? ›
Skratch Labs Sport Hydration Drink Mix takes the top pick among sports drinks. One scoop contains 80 calories and 21 grams of carbohydrates, necessary for optimal recovery and rehydration, along with 380 milligrams of sodium to help you replenish fluids lost during exercise.Which is healthier Gatorade or BODYARMOR? ›
This makes Body Armor a healthier option than Gatorade. Moreover, Gatorade has 250mg sodium and 65mg potassium as opposed to 15mg sugar and 300mg potassium in Bodyarmor. Also, Body Armor contains fewer calories than Gatorade and has a higher amount of electrolytes which is a plus since it can give you better hydration.Is it safe to drink BODYARMOR every day? ›
Can I drink BodyArmor every day? Yes, you can drink BodyArmor Super daily, but with caution. Drinking too much can increase calorie and blood sugar levels excessively.What are the benefits of drinking BODYARMOR? ›
For starters, this delicious beverage has over twice the amount of electrolytes than the leading sports drink. BODYARMOR also contains 100% of your daily Vitamins A, C and E, and is packed full of healthy antioxidants. All that super nutrition and super hydration, and deliciously refreshing too.Does BODYARMOR have processed sugar? ›
BODYARMOR LYTE is the Low Calorie, No Sugar Added Sports Drink with Natural Flavors, Natural Sweeteners and No Colors from Artificial Sources. BODYARMOR LYTE combines Coconut Water, Potassium-Packed Electrolytes & Vitamins to provide Superior Hydration.How many BODYARMOR should you drink a day? ›
I bet you also want to know how many you should be drinking each day in order to see these milk supply increases. Most breastfeeding moms say that the sweet spot for them is anywhere between 2-5 Body Armor drinks per day.Can diabetics drink BODYARMOR? ›
Unfortunately, Body Armour drink is not a good option for diabetics due to its high sugar content. One 8 fl oz bottle of Body Armour contains 30g of carbohydrates, of which 28g are from sugar. This excessive sugar consumption can lead to a rapid spike in blood glucose levels due to its high glycemic index.What is the number 1 healthiest drink? ›
Water is the best choice for quenching your thirst. Coffee and tea, without added sweeteners, are healthy choices, too. Some beverages should be limited or consumed in moderation, including fruit juice, milk, and those made with low-calorie sweeteners, like diet drinks.
What are the top 5 healthiest drinks? ›
- Smoothies. Most of the time, many people perceive smoothies as a cool way to eat fruits outside of their solid shapes. ...
- Green Tea. ...
- Milk. ...
- Sparkling Water. ...
- Coffee. ...
- Green Juice. ...
- Fruit Juice.
Bodyarmor Lyte: Is the low calorie, no sugar added sports drink with natural flavors, natural sweeteners & no colors from artificial sources. Bodyarmor Lyte combines coconut water, potassium packed electrolytes & vitamins to provide superior hydration.Does BodyArmor have high fructose corn syrup? ›
Unlike Gatorade and Coca-Cola's own Powerade, BodyArmor is marketed as a premium sports drink through its use of coconut water, low sodium and high potassium levels, absence of artificial colors and use of sugar in place of high fructose corn syrup.Does BODYARMOR boost immune system? ›
Body Armor is a supplement to boost your immune system and a special blend of mushrooms and herbs that absorb and flush out the toxins from your body.Does BODYARMOR have erythritol? ›
I can tell you that based on communications with the manufacturer body armor light has 16 grams of erythritol per bottle of body armor light. Therefore, of the 18 carbs it is only two net carbs per bottle of body armor light.Can you drink too much BODYARMOR? ›
They are packed with electrolytes, performance ph8 for exercise recovery, as well as many sweeteners and flavorings. Even though these drinks taste terrific, drinking too much has negative impacts: electrolyte imbalance, over-hydration, and too many calories.What are the symptoms of too much electrolytes? ›
Too much is defined as hyperkalemia, which causes muscle pains and cramps, lethargy, nausea, and trouble breathing. Once again, kidney issues are a culprit, along with severe bleeding, unchecked diabetes, and dehydration.What 3 drinks should diabetics avoid? ›
- Regular soda. Soda takes the top spot on the list of drinks to avoid. ...
- Energy drinks. Energy drinks can be high in both caffeine and carbohydrates. ...
- Sweetened or unsweetened fruit juices.
- Water. You can never go wrong with drinking water — it does make up about 60 percent of the human body. ...
- Unsweetened tea. ...
- Coffee. ...
- Plant-based milk. ...
- Whole-fruit smoothies. ...
- Flavored carbonated water. ...
- Any low-sugar beverages.
- Water is the best all-round drink. ...
- Tea, coffee, chai and hot chocolate – cut back on sugar and use semi-skimmed or skimmed milk.
- Herbal teas can make a refreshing change and most are caffeine-free.
What is the healthiest drink for hydration? ›
Water is your best bet for everyday hydration, since it is free of sugar, calories, and caffeine. All of your daily food and beverages contribute to your daily fluid needs.Is there a healthier version of Gatorade? ›
Gatorade Fit is generally healthier than regular gatorade. There are no artificial dyes or flavors, and the sugar content is nearly zero.What can I drink instead of Gatorade? ›
- Coconut water. Coconut water, or coconut juice, is the clear liquid found inside of a coconut. ...
- Milk. ...
- Watermelon water (and other fruit juices) ...
- Smoothies. ...
- Electrolyte-infused waters. ...
- Electrolyte tablets. ...
- Sports drinks. ...
If you're looking for an energy drink that contains zero calories, sugars, and carbohydrates, consider Aspire. According to the brand, these drinks offer multiple health benefits, including ones that aren't provided by more generic energy drinks.