Best-Rated Sports Drinks

Canstar Blue’s first-ever review of sports drinks compares Powerade, Maximus and Gatorade on taste, effectiveness, range variety, packaging design, value for money, and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Best sports drinks 2022

Most Satisfied Customers | Powerade

Powerade was rated best in Canstar Blue’s first-ever review of sports drinks, with five-star reviews for taste, effectiveness, range variety, packaging design, and overall satisfaction.

Fact Checked Fact Checked

Powerade sprints to #1 in sports drinks review

If you’re looking to rehydrate after sweating through a hard day’s work or exercising, sports drinks are a great way to replace your electrolytes quickly and efficiently. What’s more, 23% of Aussies we surveyed feel that sports drinks improve their performance in sports, work, or other activities.

To find out which sports drinks are worth trying out, Canstar Blue surveyed nearly 400 consumers for their feedback on the sports drinks they’ve purchased (from a supermarket or grocer) and consumed within the last three months. Respondents rated their respective brands on important factors including taste, effectiveness, range variety, packaging design, value for money, and overall satisfaction. Those that received the minimum required survey sample size of 30 responses are included in our results.

Powerade was rated the best brand for sports drinks with five-star reviews for overall satisfaction and in the majority of categories!

Best Sports Drinks

Powerade

Here are the best brands of sports drinks in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s inaugural review:

  1. Powerade
  2. Maximus
  3. Gatorade

Powerade took out the top spot in our sports drinks ratings after scoring five stars for taste, effectiveness, range variety, packaging design, and overall satisfaction. Runner-up Maximus was the only brand to rate five stars for value for money and also scored top marks for taste. Meanwhile, Gatorade rated five stars for effectiveness, range variety and packaging design.

Top Sports Drink Brand – Powerade

Powerade compared

Powerade was created and manufactured by Coca-Cola and is today one of the leading sports drinks brands around the world. All Powerade products contain an advanced electrolyte solution called ION4 that helps replace the four electrolytes lost when you sweat (sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium). The Powerade range features three main products including Powerade, Powerade Zero Sugar, and Powerade Power Water. The brand now also offers sports freezer bars to help athletes stay cool and refuel.

  • Powerade was rated five stars for taste, effectiveness, range variety, packaging design, and overall satisfaction. It got four stars for value for money.

What do sports drinks do?

Sports drinks, also known as electrolyte drinks, are marketed as functional beverages that help replace glucose, fluids, and electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium) typically lost during high-intensity exercise. Some sports drinks also contain B vitamins to improve energy levels and endurance. Sports drinks are typically marketed towards athletes in recovery. More than half of Aussies we surveyed (58%) consume sports drinks to replace electrolytes after exercise. Sports drinks are not to be confused with energy drinks which contain caffeine and are designed to increase energy and mental performance.

Are sports drinks healthy?

Sports drinks aren’t healthier than water but they may in some cases replenish your body’s electrolyte stores faster, especially after strenuous exercise or excessive sweating. Just keep in mind that some sports drinks contain sugars, so check the nutritional value on the packaging or opt for sugar-free versions. Almost one in three Aussies we surveyed (26%) prefer sports drinks over water.

About the author of this page

Megan Birot

This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Content Lead, Megan Birot. She’s an expert on household appliances, health & beauty products, as well as all things grocery and shopping. When she’s not writing up our research-based ratings reports, Megan spends her time helping consumers make better purchase decisions, whether it’s at the supermarket, other retailers, or online, highlighting the best deals and flagging anything you need to be aware of.

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Picture credits: Powerade Facebook.

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased (from a supermarket or grocer) and consumed sports drinks within the last three months – in this case, 356 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

  • Best sports drink for overall satisfaction: Powerade was rated best overall.
  • Best sports drink for value: Consumers rated Maximus the best bang for buck.
  • Best sports drink for taste: Powerade was seen as the tastiest energy drink.
  • Best sports drink for effectiveness: Powerade also placed first for perceived effectiveness.
  • Best sports drink for range variety: Gatorade took the top score when judged on the range of flavours available.
  • Best sports drink for packaging design: Gatorade also scored best for packaging design.

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