Imagine you just had an intense workout session. And now, you may want a refreshing drink for yourself. One of the most popular drinks in the market is Powerade, a refreshing beverage produced by the pioneer Coca-Cola. Due to its high popularity, many people regularly buy and enjoy drinking it.
However, as a vegan, you need to be very picky when buying food. Therefore, you might be wondering if this electrolyte is a vegan drink or not. Well, it is considered a vegan drink because no animal-based ingredients are employed in its production. However, it does contain some ambiguous ingredients that may develop concerns among vegan people.
Let’s get into it a bit.
Powerade: The Ambiguous Energy Drink
As aforementioned, Powerade is a vegan drink. To further support the statement, PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) also have this electrolyte included in their list of vegan beverages.
Coca-Cola’s official website also mentions that most drinks are vegan friendly, including Powerade. However, some of them are not vegan, such as Lilt, Costa Coffee Caramel Latte, Schweppes Indian Tonic Water, etc.
You can also find a list of drinks that contain small amounts of gelatin obtained from fish on the website. Furthermore, this ingredient stabilizes the products that may employ beta-carotene as a coloring agent, honey to sweeten the beverage or milk. However, it does not include Powerade.
To make sure that a drink is vegan, we should first look at its ingredient list. Many vegans still avoid Powerade due to its questionable ingredients.
If you are just beginning your vegan journey, you need to become familiar with checking the ingredient list of what you drink and eat. Why? Because many companies try to slip the little animal-based ingredients into the product. You do not need to worry, as you will be able to identify the ingredients that may cause ambiguity in no time.
Once you learn this art of identifying vague ingredients, you will be able to determine whether you want to eat that food item or not. Remember that veganism is all about what you put faith in! Therefore, there is no one righteous way to follow a vegan diet.
As stated above, only strict vegans find Powerade a controversial drink. Most vegans do not have an issue drinking this electrolyte. However, if you are confused about adding Powerade to your diet, take a look at its ingredients in depth. The possible components that you may find questionable are:
- Natural flavors: In Powerade, natural vegan flavors are added. However, in some food items, natural flavors are often obtained from animals.
- Sucralose: This artificial sweetener does not use animal products. But, during its development, it is tested heavily on animals.
- Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin: This ingredient is generally vegan. However, the production process can also use the glycerine derived from animal fats.
- B3 (Niacinamide): You can find this ingredient in the tissues of animals. However, it can also be made synthetically, making it vegan.
The above-listed ingredients do not let Powerade be called a 100% vegan electrolyte.
It is almost impossible to determine whether these ingredients are plant or animal-based unless the manufacturer explicitly labels their product.
In the end, it’s up to you if you want to consume this refreshing drink or not. Many vegans find food items completely fine unless it includes a directly listed animal product. However, some strict vegans find it difficult to eat these ambiguous ingredients. Hence, they tend to avoid it.
The Different Varieties of Powerade
In the market, you can find various flavors of Powerade. But does it affect the number of ambiguous ingredients? Yes, they do!
Red or purple colored electrolytes tend to have fewer of these concerning ingredients. However, it still contains a small number of artificial sweetening products or B vitamins.
On the other hand, yellow or orange Powerade drinks contain more of the ‘gray area’ ingredients. The primary reason is that they have glycerol ester of wood rosin. Hence, you may choose to avoid those drinks if you have any doubt.
What About Powerade Zero?
Another variant of Powerade is present in the market, namely Powerade Zero. Unfortunately, it includes more artificial sweetening ingredients such as sucralose. It is also the primary difference between the two varieties. As mentioned, this ingredient was tested on the animals during its development, which created suspicion. Still, many people put this variant into their vegan diet.
Another thing that you should consider is the electrolyte’s health impacts. This drink can provide vitamins, but the sweeteners (including the artificial ones) can prove harmful to your health. Therefore, Powerade Zero can be vegan, but that does not mean it is healthy for the body.
Many people claim that you would be better off if you drink the regular Powerade instead of its variant because that seems to be a healthier prospect. Even if more calories go into your stomach with a regular Powerade, you will have fewer artificial ingredients entering your body.
A Healthy Homemade Alternative
The best substitute for Powerade is to develop your own refreshing sports drink. This way, you will ensure that only vegan ingredients are put into your refreshing beverage.
Blend or juice the fruits and vegetables of your choice. They help in giving natural flavoring to your energy drink. You can use fruits like watermelon, strawberries, and others.
If you want some extra sweetness in the homemade sports drink, try adding erythritol to it. This artificial sweetener proves to improve health and has an antioxidant effect. It is also found naturally in fruits like grapes and pears.
The Bottom Line
Always remember, only you possess the power of deciding whether a food item fits your diet or not. The same is the case with Powerade. If you feel consuming the “doubtful” ingredients in terms of veganism, then go ahead. But if you want to follow a strict vegan diet, you may want to avoid this energy drink.
You can also consider the health factor while incorporating the drink into your diet. Since they may contain artificial sweeteners, you should limit the intake of these products.
If you enjoyed reading this article, please take a look at our comprehensive take on whether or not Sour Patch Kids are vegan.