Are Bodyarmor Drinks Actually Good For You?

Remember way back when Gatorade was the only sports drink option? This is definitely not the case today. The sports drink aisle has welcomed many newcomers, and the shelf is feeling pretty crowded these days. This is wonderful if you're one to break a sweat often and have yet to find a brand or taste you're really a fan of. According to Healthline, sports drinks can help you stay hydrated by replenishing electrolytes that the body loses while working out for longer periods of time. But that doesn't mean we can treat all sports drinks equally.

The current newcomer in the spotlight is Bodyarmor. The Bodyarmor website shares that the company was founded in 2011 by a man named Mike Repole. And after gaining popularity with the late Kobe Bryant taking a share in the company, beverage giant Coca-Cola stepped in and also took a share in 2018. The company appears to be growing. And they also boast that their sports drink options are low in sodium, high in potassium, and have no artificial colors or sweeteners. Sounds pretty healthy right?

Bodyarmor might be recommended, but do you need it?

When placed side by side for review with other sports drinks, Bodyarmor appeared to hold up to its claims of being a healthier option. When reviewing the Bodyarmor Fruitpunch beverage, Karin Adoni Ben-David, a certified nutritionist and health coach, gives InsideHook the thumbs up. "Overall this product has nice ingredients," he says, adding, "and I like the use of coconut water as a source of electrolytes. The product has lots of added vitamins, which are good for your body. I would say it's a nice option for a sports drink." 

Ben-David likes the ingredients, but many people are skeptical as to how necessary sports drinks are to our hydration. The Washington Post shares that 90% of Americans don't need fortified drinks, as they get enough necessary nutrients without them. In fact, many people may be getting too many ingredients, due to the daily supplements and fortified foods we eat. That said, there is one nutrient that Bodyarmor offers that can help with our recovery post-workout.

The importance of potassium for your fitness goals

Potassium is an important component of your fitness routine, as it helps to regulate your blood pressure, balance your fluid levels, and improve your bone health (via Healthline). Both a mineral and an electrolyte, potassium is especially important after a workout because it helps you maintain your energy levels and avoid muscle cramps, per Livestrong. When you sweat a lot during an intense workout session, you end up losing important electrolytes like potassium that your muscles need to properly function.

According to Healthline, 98% of adults are not getting enough potassium in their diets. The recommended intake varies, depending on your individual needs, but in general, between 3,500 milligrams and 4,700 milligrams per day is suggested, per Healthline. A 12-ounce bottle of Bodyarmor contains 530 milligrams of potassium, which may help you avoid cramps during and after a sweaty workout session. You can also meet your intake needs through potassium-rich foods such as tomatoes, bananas, spinach, potatoes, and yams (via Healthline).

The benefits of coconut water found in Bodyarmor

Bodyarmor contains coconut water, which serves to help you rehydrate after a long workout as it is about 94% water and packed with electrolytes and antioxidants (via Healthline). Just 1 cup of coconut water also contains about 15% of your daily value of potassium, a mineral that we already know is excellent for post-workout recovery. Coconut water may also balance your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk for developing heart disease as it has been found to improve your cholesterol and blood pressure, per Healthline. 

Some research, in fact, has actually found that when compared to water and sports drinks, coconut water may take the top spot when it comes to replenishing and rehydrating your body after a long workout. A 2014 study published in the Motriz Journal of Physical Education had participants test the effects of plain water, a sports drink, and coconut water. They found that those in the study who drank coconut water fared better when exercising in the heat and also maintained better fluid levels than their counterparts. 

Bodyarmor's sweet problem

As helpful as some of the ingredients in Bodyarmor are for post-workout recovery and rehydration, the sports drink has a downside that it shares with many of its competitors: high sugar content. While many high-performance athletes tout the benefits of sports drinks, there is a debate as to whether they are more harmful than helpful if you aren't working out for hours at a time (via SELF). 

And even though Bodyarmor has "nice" ingredients, it is perhaps most important with any drink to look at the amount of sugar in the bottle. A 16-ounce bottle of Bodyarmor, for example, has 140 calories and 36 grams of sugar. A sugary soda like a 16.9-ounce bottle of Pepsi has 58 grams of sugar — not all that much more than Bodyarmor's sugar content.

Because many sports drinks have almost as much sugar in them as soda does, drinking them during light or moderate physical activity may actually end up canceling out any calorie or fat-burning activity you're doing (via Healthfully). Mary Jane Detroyer, a registered dietitian, exercise physiologist, and personal trainer, told SELF, "If you go to the gym, do 60 minutes of activity, and if you're not a heavy sweater, you don't need anything more than water." If you are going to be exercising for a long time and feel that you need an extra boost, however, Livestrong suggests diluting your sports drink of choice with water to minimize the sugar content.