Crystal Light vs. Gatorade: Which One is Better?

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On a hot summer day, you might be looking for a refreshing beverage at the grocery store. Shelf after shelf is stacked with numerous types of Gatorade. You’ll get a headache if you try to figure out the differences in the store!

Another refreshing drink you’ll find in the aisle is Crystal Light. This drink mix is a summer must with its variable flavors and options.

Now you might be thinking, what would be a better pick for me between the two popular summer drinks, Crystal Light vs. Gatorade?

In this article, we’ll highlight the key distinctions between the two refreshing drinks.

Crystal Light vs. Gatorade

As far as sports drinks go, Gatorade is the most popular. It promises you enhanced athletic performance while still being a healthy drink. It’s also available in different formulations.

Crystal Light is marketed simply as a powdered fruit drink mix, but it has another product, Crystal Line Pure, which is a low-calorie fitness drink.

The difference doesn’t stop there. Crystal Light is lower in sugar, calories, and electrolytes compared to all the different Gatorade products.

Crystal Light

Crystal Light

  • Lower in sugar and calories


  • Most popular

Key Differences Between Crystal Light and Gatorade

There’s no denying that Crystal Light and Gatorade are completely unalike. For once, one is a bottled drink, and the other is a powder!

If you’re looking to go more into details and ingredients, we’ve compiled some of the major distinctions between Gatorade and Crystal Light.

Product Variety

Crystal Light Sugar-Free Fruit Variety On-The-Go Powdered Drink Mix 44 Count

There are different products from Gatorade available in what they call the G-series. It’s divided into three steps designed to fit your entire workout routine.

01 Prime Gatorade is high in calories, which is great if you’re looking to fuel up before working out.

02 Perform consists of The Original Gatorade Thirst Quencher and G2, a light version of the Original Gatorade. These are perfect hydrating drinks, even if you’re not an athlete.

03 Recover is loaded with essential proteins that help in muscle building and recovery after a strenuous workout session.

In addition to the different products that Gatorade offers, it also has numerous forms. These include the original liquid drink, powder, gel, and even chews!

Crystal Light, on the contrary, is simply a powder mix. Add one packet of Crystal Light to two cups of water, shake, and your tasty drink is done!

Crystal Light only offers two options, the classic Crystal Light and Crystal Light Pure, a low-calorie fitness drink.

Just because Crystal Light doesn’t carry a variety of products doesn’t mean you’ll get bored of it! You can truly make Crystal Light your own.

There are multiple Crystal Light recipes so that you can make it into a sparkling drink, a slushie, and even a smoothie!

Sugar Content

Gatorade Zero Sugar Thirst Quencher, Glacier Cherry Variety Pack, 12 Fl Oz, Pack of 24

Sure, Gatorade is healthier for you compared to sodas, but it still contains 34 grams of sugar per 20 ounces. Next to Crystal Light, which is sugar-free, the Classic Gatorade is highly saturated in sugar.

However, Gatorade offers a zero-sugar option. So, if you’re on a keto diet, Gatorade isn’t totally off the table.

Crystal Light gets its sweet taste from artificial sweeteners, mainly aspartame and sucralose.

Related: Our favorite Crystal Light alternatives on the market


Naturally, since Gatorade contains more sugar than Crystal Light, it’s higher in calories. It contains almost 150 calories per 20 ounces. If you’re working out, this relatively high-calorie content will provide you with the energy needed for your exercise.

G2, the light version of Gatorade, contains 40 calories per 20 ounces, which is less than half of the classic Gatorade!

Crystal Light prides itself on being low in calories, with only five calories per serving (8 ounces). There are even options that contain zero calories!

Electrolyte Content

Gatorade Original Thirst Quencher Variety Pack, 20 Ounce Bottles (Pack of 12)

Crystal light doesn’t have a lot of complicated ingredients. After all, it’s a simple fruit drink mix. This can be a great option for you if you’re looking for a more natural drink.

Gatorade is quite the opposite. Since it’s a sports drink, it contains plenty of electrolytes.

The electrolytes naturally present in your body are crucial for regulating normal bodily functions. You may lose electrolytes when you’re dehydrated, for instance, after an intense workout.

In this case, you might want to go for Gatorade. It contains 270mg of sodium and 80mg of potassium per 20 ounces. This amount should be enough to rehydrate you and regulate your blood pressure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which drink is better for weight management, Crystal Light or Gatorade?

There are many ways you can manage your weight. If you’re following the common low-calorie diet, Crystal Light would be a better choice since it contains almost no calories.

You can also water down Crystal Light to your liking, ensuring more hydration with even fewer calories.

Will I experience any side effects from drinking Crystal Light or Gatorade?

Crystal Light doesn’t contain any complicated ingredients. However, it contains artificial flavors and dyes. You don’t need to worry since the FDA has deemed them safe.

Unless you’re allergic to any of the artificial sweeteners, flavors, or dyes, you’ll be completely fine drinking Crystal Light.

As for Gatorade, drinking it daily can have a bad effect on your health. Since it contains sugar, it might lead to weight gain, dental erosion, and even diabetes.

Can children drink Gatorade or Crystal Light?

Children shouldn’t be drinking either Gatorade or Crystal Light. Children should limit their sugar intake, and since Gatorade is known to contain a lot of sugar, it should be kept out of reach.

The artificial flavors and dyes present in Crystal Light can also be harmful to children’s growing bodies.


Both Crystal Light and Gatorade are among the top picks for hydrating drinks. Choosing which one to go for really depends on your preferences, since they’re both widely different.

When comparing Crystal Light vs. Gatorade, you need to keep certain things in mind. Gatorade is a sports drink that is intended to replenish your body, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be consumed as a refreshing beverage.

Crystal Light, on the other hand, is a powder mix you can make into a tasty fruit drink at home; all you need is to add some water and shake it well.

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