Is there anything better than a refreshing sports drink after a long, hard training session? We don’t think so! And the Gatorade brand offers a ton of flavor options to choose from too.
But as you may know, along with the electrolytes and thirst-quenching abilities comes a TON of sugar. So, Gatorade, like any sensible brand, decided to release a Zero range that contains no added sugar and virtually no calories.
So, what are the best Gatorade Zero flavors? Today we will rank 9 out of the 10 options you can find. These are mainly based on general popularity and personal preference. The top 3 flavors include Glacier Freeze, Berry, and Orange.
But keep reading to discover more and exactly what makes them so great! And if you want to learn more about other wonderful products, we release weekly product reviews for your convenience. Let’s get to it!
What Is Gatorade Zero? And Why Is It So Popular?
Gatorade is a global brand by anyone’s standards. And especially if you are into sports, you’ve likely come across this product before.
Yet, very few people actually realize that Gatorade released a range of “Zero” sports drinks. “Zero” refers to the zero calories or added sugars that it contains. To better appreciate this new range, you must look at the original versions.
Gatorade has been designed and marketed as a sports drink that helps a quick release of energy during events or practice. It’s also loaded with electrolytes (like all sports drinks) to replenish what is lost through sweating.
What makes it especially popular amongst athletes is the massive variety of flavors available. According to what we could find, they have about 22 Thirst Quencher flavors. Obviously, some are easier to find than others because of their popularity.
But as time passed, the term “health” took on a different meaning between individuals. Energy drinks and sports beverages became much more controversial, and (luckily) brands adapted to the change.
So, while a decade ago you wouldn’t even have been able to find a zero-sugar alternative if your life depended on it, today it’s a lot more common.
Gatorade Zero has about 10 flavors in their range. And today, we will be ranking most of them.
In contrast to the original drink, Gatorade Zero contains no sugar at all and only about 10 calories. But don’t worry about flavor because they do still use artificial sweeteners, just not sugar (granulated).
How Did We Rank the Gatorade Zero Flavors Today?
Now, ranking a range of flavors is always incredibly difficult. All of them are on the market for one or another reason. But what they all share in common is that enough people love them.
So, when we are asked how we rank flavors, there are usually two main factors that ultimately determine the ranking.
The first is popularity amongst all consumers, and the second is personal preference between a couple of friends (aka our personal preference).
So, first, let’s take the popularity part and break it down.
Even though you will likely never see actual sales statistics for these drinks (and believe us, we tried), there are some ways you can make an educated guess as to which options are the most popular.
First, what does every store sell? Likely, you will only see two or three flavors sold at every single store. That’s a pretty good indicator that they are among consumer favorites.
Secondly, which flavors are always sold out? That could, of course, mean that the seller didn’t stock up on much, but more likely, it means it was the most popular option in the store.
And finally, what has been on the market the longest? If flavors are discontinued, they didn’t sell. But flavors like Orange or Glacier Freeze have been on the market forever! That’s because they sell!
Next up, our personal preferences. Now don’t worry. For better results, we had a couple of people try all of the flavors and made ranking decisions based on the feedback.
But this is something that will ALWAYS have different ranking outcomes. So even if our ranking isn’t necessarily your ranking, doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to enjoy what you enjoy.
And were there any specific factors that we took into consideration? Like mouth feel or a refreshing factor?
Subconsciously, maybe. But the criteria literally just is “What do you like?”
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the best Gatorade Zero flavors and how we ranked them.
9 Best Gatorade Zero Flavors (Ranked)
For the best results, we did blind taste tests. Meaning we didn’t allow any taster to see what flavor they are drinking. This prevents your mind from unconsciously making biased decisions.
Secondly, all of the Gatorade Zero flavors were purchased on the same day. While this doesn’t ensure they all have the same manufacturing date, it does help ensure that they didn’t sit in a hot cupboard for several months right before tasting.
We also tasted each flavor cold and at room temperature. Plus, between tastings, we cleansed our palates with a bland slice of bread.
1. Glacier Freeze
Glacier Freeze is a flavor we like to describe as the “original sports drink.” A more accurate description would be something along the lines of cranberry, citrus, and strawberries.
This drink is very sweet but has a tart undertone that helps break through that and make it a lot more palatable.
But how does it stack up against the original version? It’s pretty much the same. And we would go as far as to say that the average person cannot notice the difference.
Overall, this flavor is uber-refreshing, especially when chilled (like we recommend for all of the Gatorade Zero flavors). It’s a fantastic way to quench your thirst while getting a boost of energy in the process.
Each bottle (12 fluid ounces / 360 ml) contains 10 calories, 0 grams of added sugar, 110mg of potassium, and 380mg of sodium. The potassium and sodium are where the electrolytes come from.
The sweetness comes from the addition of sucralose.
All in all, few people will argue against this ranking. Glacier Freeze has long been a fan favorite, and we don’t see it going anywhere soon.
Next up, another long-time bestseller, we have a classic berry flavor. To be completely honest, ranking this one second was hard.
It‘s pretty much as delicious as the Glacier Freeze. The only reason Glacier Freeze “won” was because it’s hands-down more refreshing.
This berry drink tastes 100% like berries. It’s unmistakable. Plus, it has a slightly sour or tart undertone that helps create a more balanced flavor profile and makes the beverage easier to drink. Because as much as sugar is addicting, sometimes it can be too sweet.
The nutritional build for the berry-flavored Gatorade Zero sports drink looks similar to most others. It contains 0 calories, 0 grams of added sugar, 100mg of potassium, and 380mg of sodium.
The biggest difference between these beverages is usually the food coloring used and the flavorings. Of course, you may also see some other flavor balances (like citric acid), but the differences are minute.
If you want a deliciously sweet, fruity, slightly zesty, refreshing summer drink, this choice is best!
Can you ever go wrong with an orange-flavored beverage? We think not! And that’s exactly why the Orange Gatorade Zero drink has been around for ages!
What we especially appreciate about this particular flavor profile is that it doesn’t taste fake. Plus, unlike many other citrus-flavored beverages, this one isn’t sickeningly sweet. It has the perfect balance of sweet, zesty, fruity, and tartness.
Another thing we loved about this flavor is its thirst-quenching abilities. And unlike many others in this range (or all sports drink options for that matter), this flavor is great at room temperature as well. It doesn’t lose its tang.
And again, no sugar, has 10 calories, and it’s loaded with electrolytes to replenish that which you lose during training.
4. Lemon Lime
Lemon Lime is another citrus flavor in the Zero range. And honestly. If it wasn’t for the general popularity of Orange, this one would likely be ranked higher.
What we love about this flavor profile is its uniqueness. Because if you thought that lemon and lime have the same flavors, you’d be wrong.
This combination combines the sourness (and sweet undertone) of lemons with the tangy tartness of limes.
It is very artificial (like most sports drinks flavors) but not in a bad way. The combination creates the perfect balance of sour flavors that makes this option drinkable still.
One thing we will say is that this option is not nearly as sweet as the regular Lemon Lime Gatorade.
Now, if you thought that this drink should only be used at sporting events, you’d be wrong.
A quick Google search will reveal thousands of unique recipes that specifically incorporate Lemon Lime Zero Gatorade into some type of dessert or beverage.
You can make refreshing lemon-lime Gatorade jello shots, citrus cakes, buttercream frosting, or milkshakes. Weird, we know. But the unique sour-sweet flavor of this drink makes it a versatile ingredient.
5. Fruit Punch
A fruit punch sports drink that actually tastes like fruit punch? We’ve finally found it folks! And it’s not loaded with that yukky artificial flavor that you’d expect.
A classic fruit punch profile should have a balance of tart, sour, and sweet flavors. As to the type of fruits used for the “fruit punch flavor,” we can’t say.
There’s definitely some apple, berry, and possibly citrus in the mix. But unless you work at the product development center at Gatorade, you’ll never really know.
Either way, this is a delicious sports drink loaded with electrolytes that are perfect for hot summer days. It’s super refreshing and will re-energize you in minutes!
This flavor was a shocker. It was surprisingly difficult to find, meaning it’s likely not as popular. Maybe it’s new to the market (doubt it), or maybe all the places were sold out because it’s THAT popular. But either way, we LOVED it!
In our opinion, the grape is a difficult flavor to artificially mimic. Especially because these days you can easily buy SO many different types of grapes from the supermarket. So a red grape doesn’t just taste like a red grape anymore.
But we must say, Gatorade really did a good job of developing this classic flavor. It’s not super artificial (just slightly), instantly makes you think of red grapes, and has a delicious refreshing fruity, floral flavor you associate with this fruit.
And before you worry about the color staining your tongue and teeth, it doesn’t!
7. Glacier Cherry
We love the Gatorade Glacier flavor range, but this one just doesn’t hit that sweet spot as the Glacier Freeze option does. Maybe it’s the cherry. Or maybe it’s the balance of flavor profiles. It’s difficult to say.
However, that doesn’t make this a bad drink. It’s just very specific to personal preferences. Some people LOVE it, and some people don’t care for it at all.
So, what to expect? The Zero-options taste is very similar to that of the original. It’s not super artificial with a good balance of sweet and tart cherry flavors. It’s fruity, floral, and slightly zesty, but none of the notes are overpowering.
And another thing we love is that it isn’t colored dark or bright red to mimic the fruit. It’s a whitish color and is often confused with lychee at first glance.
This drink is uber-refreshing (again, if you like the flavor) and has to be served chilled. If not, the impact kind of mutes away.
8. Cool Blue
Nearing the end of the list, we would be crazy to not include the famous Cool Blue Gatorade flavor, now also sold as part of the Zero flavor range.
We aren’t sure why they called it “Cool Blue” because it’s actually raspberry flavored. Nevertheless, it’s super hydrating and has just the right amount of fruity flavors to make you easily drink more.
It’s not overwhelmingly sweet, doesn’t have sour or super tart flavors, and is similar to the traditional Gatorade drink.
9. Strawberry Kiwi
Last but not least, an option that is definitely increasing in popularity, Strawberry Kiwi will make you feel like you are sitting on an island, sipping on a refreshing tropical cocktail – minus the booze of course.
This flavor combination and balance were done well!
The sweet, fruity, and flavor flavors of the strawberry are dominant in this mixture. But the kiwi helps add some tart, sour flavors to bring the two in balance.
And as a reminder again, all of the Gatorade Zero drinks contain very few calories (usually 10 calories per 12-fluid-ounce bottle), no added sugar, and are packed with electrolytes.
Is Gatorade Zero Better Than Water?
Gatorade has its benefits. But we wouldn’t ever say that a drink is better than water. Why? Because often people don’t take into consideration the effect that artificial and chemical additives have on their diet and body. Water has nothing. It’s pure goodness that will refresh and rehydrate you. The only advantage that Gatorade Zero offers is that it replenished your electrolytes quickly.
How Much Gatorade Should You Drink?
Never drink more than a bottle a day. But that’s just our opinion. Having some experience with nutrition (we are not nutritionists), there is such a thing as “too much” when it comes to sports drinks.
These drinks are often very acidic, contain loads of additives, and the colorants are also not great for your gut biome. So always consult your doctor before making a decision like gulping down 5 bottles a day.