Looking to learn about vegan sports drinks – you know, Gatorade, Powerade and Vitamin Water? You’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll answer all your common questions.
What You Should Know
When we make these guides, we look for BLATANTLY labeled animal products. In other words: meat, milk, eggs, fish, gelatin, leather etc.
We hold the position (along with most vegans) that it’s not practical to consider micro and trace ingredients that MAY or MAY NOT be derived from animals such as colors, flavors, vitamin fortifications.
Why we do we hold this position?
Because veganism is about reducing animal cruelty as much as possible and practicable. There’s no such thing as a product that’s 100% cruelty-free. If you’ve ever bought lettuce that accidentally had an insect in it, you know what we’re talking about.
Abstaining from purchasing anything with labeled animal products is the most powerful thing you can do. Worrying about super-tiny details can be counter-productive and make veganism seem “too difficult” for outsiders.
It’s hard enough to convince friends and family to adopt a vegan lifestyle.
However, we do our best to bring it to our reader’s attention when something could go either way.
Now, let’s get to the FAQs!
Is Gatorade Vegan?
Yes! Gatorade has stated that all of their ingredients are synthetic or any animal-derived products (source) as far as their sports drinks go. But be warned, the company does make protein shakes (not their regular sports drinks) that have milk products in them. Many if not all of their protein powders are whey-based and contain milk as well.
*The orange flavor does contain “glycerol ester” of rosin which has the POTENTIAL to be from plant or animal sources. It’s up to you whether you want to consider it vegan. In our article on vegan soda, we go into more detail on how it’s most likely plant-derived and why you shouldn’t freak out over it.
Is Powerade Vegan?
Yes, Powerade is vegan. Although it has a long list of ingredients, there are no animal products that are worth noting.
Powerade ZERO is sweetened with sucralose (aka Splenda) which also does not contain any animal products. To learn more, check out our vegan sweetener guide here.
Here’s the ingredient statement for Blue Powerade for your reference…
Ingredients: Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Less than 0.5% of: Citric Acid, Salt and Magnesium Chloride and Calcium Chloride and Mono-Potassium Phosphate (Electrolyte Sources), Natural Flavors, Modified Food Starch, Calcium Disodium EDTA (To Protect Color), Medium Chain Triglycerides, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B12, Blue 1.
*The orange flavor and perhaps some other flavors of Powerade contain “glycerol ester” of rosin. See the link above to our “vegan soda” article where we talk about this in more detail. In short, it’s probably from plants and you shouldn’t worry about it anyway.
Is Vitamin Water Vegan?
Vitamin Water seems to be vegan, but there are a few nuances. From our perspective, there don’t seem to be any labeled animal products in any of the flavors we’ve seen. Do note, there is the “glysterol ester of rosin” in multiple flavors. As we stated previously, this is most likely derived from plants despite what some other sources may say (see links above).
However, there is an article from UK coca cola (linked below) stating that Zero Sunshine and Multi V aren’t vegan, but it doesn’t say specifically why. Although it says something about fish gelatin, we haven’t been able to find anything like that in any of the products in the US. The way that the article is phrased, it’s unclear whether it applies to vitamin water or another product on the list.
They also state that some of the Vitamin D in vitamin water MAY be lanolin based (which comes from sheep’s wool).
But the key word is “may” and this may not apply to the US formulations. We weren’t even able to find any form of Vitamin D on the fortification list in the US.
Unless you’re able to find any blatantly labeled animal products on Vitamin Water (like that fish gelatin), we don’t think it’s worth avoiding from an animal-cruelty perspective.
Living your healthiest vegan lifestyle isn’t about sports drinks – it’s about whole plant foods.
We have a free printable vegan grocery list which gives you easy to follow tips on how to shop and live your best vegan life.
Before you go, check it out here!