Is Gatorade Zero Good for Weight Loss? (How It Burns Fat)

Weight Loss & Diets | Written by Nathan Petitpas | Updated on 5 April 2023

Gatorade zero on a shelf alongside a regular Gatorade with added sugar which begs the question, is Gatorade zero good for weight loss due to it having less calories and no sugar?

Since it’s a tasty, zero alternative to regular Gatorade, many people ask, “Is Gatorade Zero good for weight loss?”19

The truth is the way in which Gatorade Zero burns fat is through a method of substituting sugary, high-calorie drinks with low-calorie alternatives that still satisfy the cravings for something sweet.

Sure, this may sound like an easy trick but it’s not quite that simple because artificial sweeteners, dyes, and other additives are often questioned when it comes to weight loss and overall health.

Why is Gatorade Zero Good for Losing Weight?

To fully answer the question, “Is Gatorade Zero good for weight loss?”, it’s important to understand why it’s so effective. One of the reasons why this drink is ideal for losing weight is that it’s low-calorie. And because it contains artificial sweeteners – which play a major role in its low-calorie content – Gatorade Zero serves as an excellent substitute for those who want to avoid sugary beverages.

As a matter of fact, the idea of offering a no-sugar alternative to Gatorade was born as a way to improve business sales. During the 1990s and early 2000s, sugary sports drinks were in their heyday, especially when they promoted popular athletes like Serena Williams and Michael Jordan. Later on, sales decreased because athletes yearned for sports drinks with low carbs and sugar content.

Gatorade attempted to cater to their needs by creating G2 in 2017. Though it possesses low-calorie ingredients, athletes wanted something better. So, the company decided to produce Gatorade Zero to compete with Powerade Zero, a no-sugar sports beverage invented by Coca-Cola. Gatorade Zero is a historical beverage for Gatorade because it went the sugar-free route for the first time during its 50+ year existence.1

Additionally, it contains added electrolytes and minerals that help fuel an individual’s body. When people engage in intense exercise, they lose natural electrolytes through their sweat. By drinking Gatorade Zero, individuals can replace the electrolytes they lost.2

Best of all, Gatorade Zero has absolutely no fat and zero grams of saturated fat.3

Are Artificial Sweeteners in Gatorade Zero Bad for Weight Loss?

Artificial sweeteners are a subject of controversy since some people have no problem with them while others think they’re bad for human health. “Why do many people think artificial sweeteners are bad for you, especially when it comes to weight loss?” is a commonly-asked question. That belief may have derived from a study conducted in 2005.

Possible Adverse Effects of Artificial Sweeteners on Weight Loss

During that time, scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio demonstrated that artificial sweeteners may contribute to obesity. That’s because the rats in their experiments gained weight and increased their calorie intake after consuming artificial sweeteners.

However, the rats likely gained weight due to eating a heavy amount of it since they enjoyed its taste.4 After all, eating lots of a certain food, particularly if it’s something someone really likes, is going to greatly increase weight gain.

Effects of Artificial Sweeteners on Insulin

Diabetics are advised to avoid sugar because it can cause them to enter a state of hyperglycemia, a technical term for high sugar in the bloodstream. This can cause symptoms like frequent urination and excess thirst. Nevertheless, it’s alright for them to consume sweets if it’s part of a healthy diet.

According to an NCBI report on sugar substitutes, artificial sweeteners serve as a perfect sugar alternative for diabetics (as well as those who suffer reactive hypoglycemia). That’s because they metabolize at a slower rate than sugar while releasing energy. This lets blood sugar levels maintain the stability of insulin. Though some studies have shown that it can negatively affect insulin, most state it’s an excellent substitute.

Whether someone is jogging, lifting weights, or playing a high-energy sport like basketball, it’s alright for them to drink Gatorade Zero during their exercise routine. To be specific, there are some things they need to keep in mind when integrating Gatorade Zero into their routine.

Consuming Gatorade Zero While Exercising

As mentioned earlier in this guide, Gatorade Zero contains electrolytes, an essential ingredient comprised of potassium and sodium. When an individual engages in intense exercise, they may lose about 200 to 1,200 milligrams of sodium. This is also the case if the following applies to them:

  • They sweat a lot while exercising.
  • They train for an hour and a half or more.
  • They train during hot weather or in a warm gym.
  • They desire carbs without having to eat heavily before a workout.

In addition, it helps others due to its other electrolyte ingredient, potassium. Potassium aids those suffering from muscle cramps, which occur often in people who take part in hours-long training sessions.5

In fact, imbibing regular Gatorade may be more appropriate for exercising since sugar can provide someone energy before they start their day. Plus, sugar spikes insulin after they finish their exercises, which builds muscle.

It’s also okay for them to drink it when they’re taking a day or two off from their preferred exercise. Or, even if they’re in a temporary slump due to giving up on weight loss. Drinking Gatorade Zero can give someone the motivation they need to bounce back into reaching their weight loss goals.

With that said, this is where the popular saying, “Everything in moderation.” comes in. Since it contains sweet ingredients, an individual shouldn’t drink it frequently, like every hour on the hour. Water is best overall since it lacks fillers and colors.

Is It Okay to Drink Gatorade Zero Every Day While Dieting?

If someone is currently dieting but wants to get their sweetened beverage fix, they can have the best of both worlds by drinking Gatorade Zero.

For example, someone on a keto diet would be glad to know that they can integrate this beverage into their meal plan since it’s low in carbohydrates, lacks sugar, and has no fat. Also, its electrolyte ingredients assist in recharging the body. Furthermore, it comes in flavors like lemon-lime, berry, glacier freezer, and fruit punch.

However, while it’s okay to drink every now and then, it’s not the best choice for keto (or any other diet) for a few reasons. For one, it contains artificial sweeteners, which may turn off those who prefer natural flavors. (Plus, heavy consumption of artificial sweeteners can contribute to liver inflammation and weight gain.) In addition, the dyes used to color some of Gatorade Zero’s flavors are a concern for individuals who may be sensitive to them.6

Diets typically require foods and beverages with natural ingredients like water, fruits, and vegetables. The takeaway is that it’s alright for dieters to drink Gatorade Zero, but they should limit it to an occasional treat and stick with a bottle of water each day.

Is It Okay to Drink Gatorade Zero Instead of Water?

Even though water is better for a person health-wise, it doesn’t mean Gatorade Zero is off-limits. It has a few advantages over drinking water, the obvious one being that it’s flavored. Some individuals aren’t always in the mood for plain water during their workout. Therefore, they opt for a typically fruit-flavored beverage like Gatorade Zero.

Plus, it has electrolytes, something water lacks. If someone needs to replenish any lost sodium from heavy sweating or heal muscle cramps, all they need to do is pick up a bottle of Gatorade Zero.

An NBA player with a towel around his head that has the Gatorade symbol on it and a bottle of Gatorade is being handed to him

Photo by Emma Dau on Unsplash17

With that said, there are situations where water consumption trumps Gatorade Zero. For example, if a person is planning to engage in a workout that’s shorter than an hour or involves something like a brisk walk, then they should choose water. Furthermore, they can drink water to hydrate themselves before exercising.

When someone needs to hydrate themselves throughout the day, this is where drinking water is most essential. Besides, if they’re taking a day or two off from their exercise regimen, there’s no point in drinking Gatorade Zero (or any sports drink) unless it’s simply for flavor purposes or to avoid sugary drinks.7

All in all, when choosing between Gatorade Zero and water, it depends on an individual’s situation and needs. If they sweat a lot during exercises and desire something flavorful to quench their thirst, they should choose Gatorade Zero. If they’re not too picky about drink flavor and want to keep themselves cool during a warm, relaxing day, then water is the more suitable beverage.

Which is Better: Diet Coke vs Coke Zero vs Gatorade Zero

Suppose someone is torn between drinking a diet soda like Diet Coke and Coke Zero as opposed to Gatorade Zero. Which is better for them? Well, they do share some commonalities like possessing artificial sweeteners and low calories. Therefore, these drinks are an excellent alternative for diabetics since their no-sugar content won’t cause a spike in blood sugar. But, the sodas have an attribute missing in Gatorade Zero.

Diet Coke and Coke Zero are carbonated, making them a good choice for those who desire a fizzy taste with each sip. But ultimately carbonated drinks are great for your digestive tract so Gatorade Zero is better in that regard. They’re also great for people reluctant to give up colas but want to steer away from regular sodas.

However, Diet Coke and Coke Zero have distinct differences despite being no-sugar sodas. Diet Coke has an ingredient called citric acid, a chemical naturally found in fruits like lemons and oranges. Not only does citric acid give it a flavor; it’s shown to aid in cellular repair. Coke Zero contains sodium citrate, a derivative of citric acid. It delivers a saline taste.

Though Diet Coke and Coke Zero contain sodium and potassium, the components of electrolytes, they both contain caffeine. (Diet Coke has 46 milligrams of caffeine, and Coke Zero has 34 milligrams of caffeine.)8 While there’s nothing wrong with caffeine in itself, it may be problematic for individuals who are allergic or sensitive to caffeine.

So due to the excess carbonation and caffeine, Coke Zero and Diet Coke have, dieters are better off drinking Gatorade Zero most of the time.

With that said, anyone refusing to let go of soda can choose healthier substitutes like Diet Coke (or any other diet soda) or Coke Zero. 

If you’re looking for caffeinated options, consider whether or not bang is good for weight loss as well as g fuel for weight loss and gaming since they’re both zero calorie alternatives. 

Comparing Regular Gatorade vs Gatorade Zero for Weight Loss

Those asking “Is Gatorade Zero good for weight loss?” can examine the tables below to aid in their decision. The first table compares the nutrition info of Gatorade and Gatorade Zero, and the second table compares their ingredients.

Gatorade Nutrition Info (12-ounce bottle) Gatorade Zero Nutrition Info (12-ounce bottle)
Calories: 80 Calories: 0
Fat: 0 grams Fat: 0 grams
Sodium: 160 milligrams Sodium: 160 milligrams
Carbohydrates: 22 grams Carbohydrates: <1 gram
Fiber: 0 grams Fiber: 0 grams
Sugar: 21 grams Sugar: 0 grams
Protein: 0 grams Protein: 0 grams
Potassium: 50 milligrams Potassium: 50 milligrams


Gatorade Ingredients Gatorade Zero Ingredients
Water Water
Sugar Citric Acid
Dextrose Natural Flavor
Citric Acid Sodium Citrate
Salt Salt
Sodium Citrate Monopotassium Phosphate
Monopotassium Phosphate Modified Food Starch
Modified Food Starch Mixed Triglycerides
Natural Flavor Sucralose
Glycerol Ester of Rosin Glycerol Ester of Rosin
Caramel Color9 Acesulfame Potassium10


  • Gatorade and Gatorade Zero contain the same amounts of sodium and potassium, aka electrolytes.
  • Water is the first ingredient in both beverages.
  • Both lack fat.


  • Gatorade contains 80 calories while Gatorade Zero has no calories.
  • Gatorade has 21 grams of sugar; there’s no sugar in Gatorade Zero.
  • There’s an ingredient in Gatorade called dextrose, a type of sugar derived from corn. Gatorade Zero doesn’t have this ingredient.
  • Gatorade contains 22 grams of carbohydrates while Gatorade Zero has less than one gram of carbohydrates.

Is Regular Gatorade Good for Weight Loss?

Because Gatorade has 80 calories and 21 grams of sugar, it’s definitely not ideal for someone pursuing their weight loss goals. But, one can still drink it if they wish. Since it’s a high-sugar sports beverage, it’s better suited for pre- and post-exercise sessions.

Is Gatorade Zero Bad for You or Unhealthy?

Is Gatorade Zero good for weight loss? As demonstrated so far, Gatorade Zero is highly recommended for those aiming to lose weight. However, the beverage isn’t without its flaws.

Myths Surrounding Artificial Sweeteners (And the Facts)

There are a few common myths many people believe about artificial sweeteners. Below is a sample of these debunked myths:

  • Myth: Artificial sweeteners can cause cancer.
  • Fact: This belief resulted from faulty studies conducted over the years. One particular study carried out during the 1970s claimed that rats contracted bladder cancer from saccharin, a type of artificial sweetener. Because of this claim, products containing this substance were required to have warning labels.

Years later, another study showed why male rats got bladder cancer from saccharin. It was due to a specific pH in their bodies, something that humans don’t have. Thanks to this study, saccharin is no longer considered a fatal ingredient.

  • Myth: Artificial sweeteners can give people headaches.
  • Fact: Many studies were carried out as a response to those who blamed headaches and other related symptoms on aspartame and other artificial sweeteners. Nonetheless, flawed reporting found in these studies caused scientists to reject their findings.11

That said, artificial sweeteners can be harmful in other ways. (Though, they’re not carcinogens as debunked earlier.) They can stimulate someone’s appetite and lead to overeating, therefore defeating the purpose of losing weight. Plus, Gatorade Zero contains sucralose, an artificial sweetener that can adversely affect gut health.12

Food Dyes

Food dyes are used in Gatorade Zero flavors like grape and orange. Nevertheless, some people are opposed to artificial dyes since they can trigger allergies. They can also leave permanent stains if someone accidentally spilled their drink on their favorite shirt.

Water is Best Overall

As previously mentioned, water is the healthiest beverage a person can drink. It may be flavorless, but it lacks artificial sweeteners and has no dyes. Imbibing water can even save someone money since buying Gatorade Zero every week eats up savings over time. They can just make a one-time purchase of a water filter for their kitchen sink and hydrate themselves at their leisure.

Other Low-Calorie Drinks That Are Good for Losing Fat

Is Gatorade Zero good for weight loss? Sure it is, and so is water. However, many people want more choices than these two beverages. So without further ado, here are four low-calorie alternatives an individual can check out:


A plate full of healthy smoothies ranging from fruit smoothies, to veggie smoothies which are all low calorie alternatives to drinking Gatorade.

Source: NielsBB via Canva.com18

  • Almond Milk: Almond milk has many benefits, and it’s not only related to weight loss. An unsweetened version of almond milk has approximately 30 to 50 calories. In addition, it has no fat, is rich in Vitamins D and E, and it contains little sugar. Plus, it’s an ideal drink for anyone who’s lactose intolerant.
  • Hot or Iced Black Tea: Black tea provides an excellent source of antioxidants, chemical compounds that can eliminate free radicals. It can also reduce someone’s risk of getting cancer and lower their blood pressure.13 Additionally, black tea contains about two calories per serving. If a person wants to flavor their tea without using sugar, they can opt for honey or lemon.
  • Smoothie: There’s nothing like a fresh, icy smoothie after an intense workout. An individual can make a fruit variety, one with vegetables, or even create one with a combination of various fruits and vegetables. Drinking smoothies can help someone increase their fiber intake, which reduces their chances of contracting illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. They can also serve as a healthy meal replacement when a person wants a break from cooking because smoothies are low in fat.14

Whatever reasons a person has to lose weight, it can assist them to learn that they can have a sweet and healthy sports drink. So, when someone asks, “Is Gatorade Zero good for weight loss?” they’ll know it’s a valid option but there are other drink options, too.

FAQ About Is Gatorade Zero Good for Weight Loss?

Is Gatorade Zero Diabetic Friendly?

As stated earlier, Gatorade Zero is perfect for diabetics since it contains no real sugars. Sugar can wreck their blood levels, which can lead to illness or death. So, it’s safe for them to consume because it’s flavored with artificial sweeteners.

Does Gatorade Zero Have Any Actual Sugar in it? 

While it doesn’t contain sugar like Gatorade, Gatorade Zero does contain artificial sweeteners, also called sugar substitutes. Those specific sweeteners are sucralose and acesulfame potassium.

What’s the Calorie Content of Gatorade Zero? 

The amount of calories that Gatorade Zero contains depends on its size. For example, a 12-ounce bottle has zero calories. However, a 20-ounce bottle can have about five to 10 calories.15

Which Gatorade Zero is Healthiest?

Because it has no dyes, Gatorade Zero, Glacier Cherry is the healthiest choice even if it has 10 calories instead of 5 like most of the others. As someone can see, it obviously lacks color, plus there’s no mention of dyes in its ingredient list. Also, sucralose and acesulfame potassium are at the end of the list of ingredients, meaning that they only make up a small portion of the beverage which also helps make the answer clear on is gatorade zero good for weight loss.16


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15Sam’s Club. (n.d.). Gatorade Zero Thirst Quencher Variety Pack (20 oz., 24 pk.). Gatorade Zero Thirst Quencher Variety Pack (20 oz., 24 pk.). 12 July 2022. Web. <>

16Pepsico Beverage Facts. (n.d.). Gatorade Zero Glacier Cherry. Gatorade Zero. 12 July 2022. Web <>

17Dau, Emma. “man hiding his face while holding green tumbler photo – Free United states Image on Unsplash.” Unsplash, 25 December 2016. Accessed 6 April 2023. <>

18NielsBB. “Healthy Smoothie in Glasses.” Canva. Accessed 6 April 2023. <>

19Douglas, Shayna. “green and white labeled bottles photo – Free Drinks Image on Unsplash.” Unsplash, 9 July 2021. Accessed 6 April 2023. <>

About the Author

Nathan Petitpas

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.