Best-Rated Sports Drinks

See Our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Powerade

Powerade was rated best in Canstar Blue’s sports drinks review for the SECOND year in a row, earning five stars for taste, perceived effectiveness, variety & range, packaging convenience, and overall satisfaction.

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How we rate sports drinks

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. Australia agrees, with 25% of those surveyed believing that sports drinks improve their performance in sports, work, or other activities. To find out which sports drinks are worth trying out, Canstar Blue compares the top brands on the market.

Canstar Blue surveyed 579 Australians for their feedback on the sports drink brand(s) they purchased and consumed within the last three months.

  • The outcomes reported in these ratings are measured via accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics.

Respondents rate their satisfaction with their sports drink brand(s) from zero to ten, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. Brand satisfaction was rated by respondents on the following criteria:

  • Overall satisfaction: measures consumer satisfaction with a sports drink brand as an individual score NOT a combined total of all criteria.
  • Taste: the sports drink had a pleasant taste and flavour was as expected given the description (i.e. lemon & lime, raspberry, orange, etc.).
  • Perceived effectiveness: the sports drink seemed effective at improving energy levels, alertness, and hydration.
  • Value for money: the sports drink was reasonably priced given the quality and quantity.
  • Packaging convenience: the can/bottle of sports drink was easy to open and had a striking design.
  • Variety & range: the brand had various sports drink flavours and sizes available, as well as dietary alternatives (i.e. sugar-free).

The winning brand is the one that receives the highest Overall satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.

  • Overall satisfaction is asked as a specific question and represents an individual measure, not a combined total of all criteria.
  • When we cannot determine a clear winner from the criteria for the Overall satisfaction rating, we will then look at the other criteria measured in the rating.
    • The brand with the highest number of five-star ratings within the supporting criteria will become the five-star recipient in overall satisfaction, and thus win the award. If a clear leader still cannot be determined from the supporting criteria, joint winners will be declared.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.

  1. Powerade
  2. Maximus
  3. Gatorade

Powerade served a strong return with a win for the second year running, scoring five stars for taste, perceived effectiveness, variety and range, packaging convenience, and overall satisfaction. Maximus was the only other brand to earn five stars for value for money.

Find more detailed information on our ratings methodology.

Top Sports Drink Brand – Powerade

Powerade Blue

Powerade was created and manufactured by Coca-Cola and is today one of the leading sports drink 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 snapped up another win, rating five stars for taste, perceived effectiveness, variety and range, packaging convenience, and overall satisfaction. It earned 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 toward athletes in recovery. More than half of the Aussies we surveyed (57%) 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. One in five Aussies we surveyed (21%) prefer sports drinks over water, which isn’t the healthiest outlook, but 27% try to buy the low-sugar variety, which is a good choice if you really need an electrolyte boost.

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Meet our consumer experts

Megan Birot: Home & Lifestyle Editor

Megan Birot Canstar Blue Home & Lifestyle Editor

Megan is Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Editor, leading the team that focuses on consumer products and services, ranging from supermarkets and groceries to home and personal appliances and retail stores. She interprets Canstar Blue’s bespoke research on the thousands of brands that we compare, rate and review, to help shoppers make better purchasing decisions.

Meet the Editorial Team

Samantha Howse: Consumer Research Specialist

Sam Howse Research Specialist

Samantha Howse is Canstar Blue’s Consumer Research Specialist, coordinating the consumer research program behind our customer satisfaction awards across Canstar and Canstar Blue in Australia and New Zealand. Sam has earned a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Griffith University and, with seven years in market research and 2 years in marketing, she is experienced in survey design, implementation and analysis, coupled with an understanding of marketing principles and best practice.

Meet the Research Team

Past ratings

Here are the previous winners from Canstar Blue’s sports drinks ratings:

  • 2022: Powerade


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