Gatorade Zero is a diet sports drink that’s made to help you rehydrate after a hard workout. It’s low-calorie and contains no added sugar — but does Gatorade Zero fit into a healthy keto-friendly?
Here’s a look at Gatorade Zero’s nutrition facts, how it fits into a keto diet, and other, similar sports drinks that are keto-friendly.
Technically, Gatorade Zero is keto-friendly. The low-carb sports drink is sugar-free and contains only one gram of carbs per serving, so it fits into the macronutrient profile of a ketogenic diet.
However, Gatorade Zero contains artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors that make it less-than-ideal as part of a healthy keto diet.
While having the occasional Gatorade Zero likely won’t impact your long-term health, there are healthier keto-friendly drinks that use natural flavors and no artificial sweeteners.
Gatorade Zero is an electrolyte drink. It contains sodium and potassium, two of the main electrolytes that your body loses when you sweat[*].
Gatorade Zero comes in seven different flavors:
- Fruit punch
- Glacier cherry
- Glacier freeze
- Lemon lime
Gatorade Zero has a serving size of 20 fl. oz.
One serving contains:
- 5 calories
- 1g carbs
- 0g fat
- 0g protein
Gatorade Zero is close to calorie-free. It also contains two electrolytes — potassium and sodium — and is marketed as a way to replenish lost electrolytes after exercise, keeping you hydrated.
It’s important to keep your electrolyte levels high, especially if you work out or play sports. You lose electrolytes through sweat, and having an electrolyte drink after exercise is a good way of replenishing your levels[*].
However, a serving of Gatorade Zero contains only:
- 2% DV (daily value) potassium
- 11% DV sodium
Studies have shown that while it’s marginally better than plain water, Gatorade doesn’t give you enough electrolytes to make a difference in hydration[*].
After intense or sustained exercise, you want more electrolytes than Gatorade Zero offers.
Gatorade Zero contains zero grams of sugar. Instead, it’s sweetened with two artificial sweeteners:
- Acesulfame potassium (ace-K) is used in a variety of diet sodas and other zero-calorie products. Ace-K disrupts the gut microbiome and causes weight gain in mice[*], and is correlated with changes in gut bacteria in humans[*].
- Sucralose (Splenda) causes liver inflammation and disrupts gut bacteria in mice[*]. Sucralose metabolites — the byproducts of sucralose after you digest it — may cause DNA mutation in humans[*].
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to avoid artificial sweeteners, even when they’re keto-friendly. There are better options out there that use natural sweeteners.
Gatorade Zero doesn’t have enough electrolytes to make a meaningful difference in hydration[*], and you may want to avoid its artificial sweeteners.
Instead, consider trying Keto Perform. It’s an energy drink specifically designed to support your workouts while you’re on a low-carb diet.
Keto Perform contains far more electrolytes than Gatorade Zero. A single serving of Keto Peform has:
- 46% DV calcium
- 63% DV magnesium
- 21% DV sodium
We designed Keto Perform’s electrolyte profile to prevent symptoms of keto flu and help you rehydrate after an intense workout.
Keto Perform also contains:
- Exogenous ketones for keto-friendly energy.
- MCT kil for energy and weight loss[*].
- Creatine for strength and faster muscle growth[*][*].
- Beta-Alanine for strength and faster muscle growth[*].
- L-Citrulline for muscle blood flow[*].
- Zero sugar and no artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors
- Zero grams of carbs per serving
If you’re looking for a high-quality sports drink that will keep you in ketosis, give Keto Perform a try.
Gatorade Zero is technically keto-friendly. It has no added sugar and is low in carbs.
However, it also contains artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors, and it doesn’t have enough electrolytes to help you rehydrate fully[*].
As a savvy keto dieter, your best bet is to stick to plain water, or to try a more natural keto-friendly sports drink.