REVIEW: Powerade Sour Sports Drinks

Just in time for summer sweat season, Powerade has introduced three flavors in its new Sour line: Blue Razz, Watermelon Lime, and Green Apple.

Let’s get this out of the way first: we all know they should have called it Sourade.

Blue Razz is my favorite of the three. It reminds me of a blue Sour Patch Kid, but not as sour. At first, I was underwhelmed by the sourness. But after going on a six-mile evening run, I found that I couldn’t chug this drink because my mouth wanted to pucker just a little bit and savor the tartness. It’s not like a Warhead or Cry Baby bubble gum; rather, it has just enough of a punch to notice the sourness.

Watermelon Lime is the most confusing of the three. I have never heard of those fruits paired together before, yet it manages not to taste like either. Yes, I know that watermelon flavor doesn’t actually taste like watermelon, but I do know what watermelon candy tastes like. If I concentrate really hard, I can kind of taste watermelon candy, but not the lime. In a blind taste test, there is no way I would guess either of the flavors. It is also less sour than the others.

Green Apple has the same sour level as Blue Razz. It has a nice fake apple flavor. However, I love Gatorade Fierce Green Apple, and the Powerade just seems less, well, fierce. It’s not as flavorful, and I don’t think it’s any more sour.

I usually drink powdered Gatorade to replenish my electrolytes after a long, sweaty workout. Powerade Sour is not going to do anything to change that. But if you are even casually interested in Powerade, these flavors are worth a try.

Purchased Price: $0.88 each
Size: 28 fl oz bottles
Purchased at: Smith’s Marketplace
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Blue Razz), 5 out of 10 (Watermelon Lime), 6 out of 10 (Green Apple)
Nutrition Facts: (12 fl oz) 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 250 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of sugar including 21 grams of added sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Gatorade Limited Edition Midnight Ice

Gatorade Midnight Ice, as its angsty color and name suggest, is a bit of an oddball. Most of the better-known Gatorade variants hint at their flavor via their color, like the grape-flavored light purple Riptide Rush, or blatantly call out the flavor in their name — you can’t get more straightforward than the orange, well, Orange. But it’s hard to put a finger on what fruit this black drink is supposed to evoke. It’s as if this emo-looking Gatorade is lamenting, “No one understands me!” In fact, it seems like the whole point of this flavor is to be mysterious and slightly spooky. Just look at the promo photos, which present Midnight Ice as an inky abyss darker than a vampire’s soul!

Unfortunately, as soon as you lay eyes on this flavor in real life, it’s apparent that its color is way closer to purple than jet black. And also… it tastes pretty similar to any other cool-colored Gatorades I’ve had. If you gave me a blind taste test of Midnight Ice and, let’s say, Cool Blue and Fierce Grape (and yes, I did have to pop onto the helpfully color-coded Gatorade Wiki to find those names instead of using my usual pet names for them, plain old “Blue” and “Purple”), I’m not confident I could tell the difference.

But of course, that comparison is only helpful if you’ve had a similar Gatorade flavor before. How would I describe this to someone with no frame of reference?

Honestly, I think the “purple=grape” association is so hard-wired that that’s my immediate comparison, even though upon further reflection, the taste doesn’t really feel as grape-y as the color does. When I close my eyes and open my mind, what comes to mind is that Midnight Ice is a rich yet mellow blend that’s kind of sweet, kind of tart, kind of tangy, kind of salty, and more than kind of artificial tasting… and yet all of these seemingly conflicting flavors work. It’s vaguely reminiscent of cough syrup yet so drinkable that the prospect of consuming a 28-ounce bottle feels comforting, not repulsive. It’s refreshing, the kind of more-exciting-than-water-but-still-not-too-overwhelming beverage that’s easy to crave and chug, whether you’re exercising, recovering from an illness, or just trying to beat the heat. All in all, while the drink isn’t as remarkable as its stark marketing would suggest, it’s definitely tasty, a fine addition to the Gatorade line (though I’m not sure I’d go out of my way to find it again since it’s only available in 28-ounce bottles at 7-Eleven or packs of 20-ounce bottles at Walmart).

I compared Midnight Ice to an emo teen earlier, but while those kids usually defend their style by asserting, “It’s not just a phase,” Midnight Ice can’t say the same. It’s a limited edition, so I’d recommend trying it soon if you want a fun new sports drink… or if you’re just trying to develop a more discerning palate for differentiating between similarly colored Gatorade flavors.

Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: 28 fl oz bottle
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per bottle) 190 calories, 0 grams of fat, 160 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Mystery Flavor Gatorade

To be honest, I was really hoping Mystery Flavor Gatorade ended up being the company’s attempt at creating an actual Haterade. But it’s not because I imagine Haterade would be green in color and taste extremely sour and bitter, and that is not what this is.

Like many mystery flavor beverages, the liquid is a cloudy white with no chance for clues as to what it could be. But it’s also a color that many standard Gatorade varieties come in.

It has a strawberry scent, and its flavor leans towards strawberry with a slight sour kick. A part of me thinks it’s strawberry lemonade, but I’m leaning more towards strawberry kiwi. However, both are already in the Gatorade universe, and I don’t think it would be fun if the mystery flavor is one that currently exists. So I’m just going to combine the two and say my guess is strawberry kiwi lemonade.

There’s a QR code on the side of the bottle that led to a dead link when I scanned it with my phone. I’m sure it’ll be fixed someday. I don’t know if there are clues via that link, but the bottle does tell you to “Scan to Guess Mystery Flavor,” so maybe it’s just a website to enter your guess. As for mine, I will trust my taste buds and their experiences after having tried thousands of products over decades. I’m going to believe that they have the ability to determine what flavor this Gatorade variety is. I’m 90 percent confident they have the correct answer. Okay, 75 percent. A portion of me thinks it might be some other berry plus kiwi.

Whatever this flavor is, it’s tasty and as good as all the other dozen or so Gatorade options I’ve tried, but it doesn’t really stand out. If I was handed a cup of Mystery Flavor Gatorade during a 10k run, I’d drink it and think nothing of it because it’s such a normal tasting sports drink. If this was an attempt to think outside the box, like with a cotton candy or pumpkin spice Gatorade, it probably would’ve stopped me in my tracks.

In the end, it’s a perfectly fine tasting Gatorade. It’ll quench your thirst, give you electrolytes, and is suitable to dump on a coach who just won the big game. But I wish this ended up being a bit more exciting, like winning the big game.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 28 fl oz bottle
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 190 calories, 0 grams of fat, 380 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 48. grams of sugar (including 48 grams of added sugar), and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Gatorade Fast Twitch Energy Drink

Gatorade’s Fast Twitch Energy Drink got me wondering if the brand has researched how much liquid it takes to hamper athletic pee-formance, I mean, performance. Because I was curious if it’s why they come in 12-ounce bottles instead of the 16.9-ounce ones the most recent ready-to-drink Gatorade products come in. With 200 milligrams of caffeine per bottle, it seems like that would be best used by athletes before and during competing or practicing, and having too much liquid during those moments might become an issue. Or maybe I’m just overthinking it. Instead, it’s just Gatorade playing a game of shrinkflation.

If you’ve chugged the Gatorade rainbow, the energy drink is available in six familiar flavors — Orange, Strawberry Lemonade, Glacier Freeze, Strawberry Watermelon, Cool Blue, and Tropical Mango. The variety pack I bought from Amazon came with the first three. No matter what flavor, they all have zero sugar (thanks, sucralose!), 100 percent of your daily B6 and B12 vitamins, and have only five calories per bottle.

Of those three flavors in the variety pack, the one that stood out to me is the blueberry-flavored Glacier Freeze, but I’m a bit biased because I think the flavor has always been one of the best tasting Gatorade varieties. It’s one of the two I’d repurchase. The other flavor is Strawberry Lemonade, but I must admit that, while the beverage has a slight sourness, my taste buds have had difficulty pinpointing the lemon. So think of it more like Sour Strawberry than Strawberry Lemonade.

As for orange, the first thing I have to say about it is that orange you glad there are other flavors besides it. It’s so tangy. Oh wait, I’m sorry. I meant to type Tang-y, as in Tang, the classic orange drink mix. It’s tolerable but not my favorite of the three. If I were a 1960s astronaut orbiting the Earth, I might’ve thought it was the bee’s knees.

All three feel more syrupy than regular Gatorade and other Gatorade lines I’ve tried. It’s not off-putting; it’s just different. Also, while sucralose was used to help make these zero sugar, I didn’t notice an artificial sweetener aftertaste. Of course, your taste buds may vary.

Fast Twitch isn’t the first Gatorade with caffeine, but it’s the first with an amount that goes well into the triple digits. It also isn’t the only non-carbonated sports drink with caffeine — Monster’s Hydro (150-160 milligrams per 20-ounce bottle) and Bodyarmor’s Edge (140 milligrams per 28.3-ounce bottle) come to mind. While I haven’t had Bodyarmor’s offering, I prefer the taste of Hydro over the Fast Twitch varieties, but I think that’s the sugar in Hydro talking. (Bodyarmor’s Edge also has sugar.)

Gatorade is known as the Thirst Quencher, and the 12 ounces of liquid will probably quench my thirst. But that size does make me hesitant about them, especially when there are similar products out there that come in bigger bottles.

Purchased Price: $24.07
Size: 12-pack/12 fl oz bottles
Purchased at: Amazon
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Glacier Freeze), 6 out of 10 (Strawberry Lemonade), and 5 out of 10 (Orange)
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 5 calories, 0 grams of fat, 160 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 200 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Gatorade Tropic Flash

Gatorade Tropic Flash Bottle

What is it?

Gatorade has a new yellowish flavor, Tropic Flash. The label claims “Limited Edition,” but I don’t know whether that applies to the flavor itself or the Serena Williams bottle.

How is it?

Gatorade Tropic Flash Glass

Well, I don’t have anything against it. But I don’t really have anything for it, either.

It has a generically fruity flavor, but what that is, I have no idea.

I was happy to drink it (after a seven-mile trail run in the heat), but I like it less than literally every other regular Gatorade flavor (except for Cool Blue). There’s something bland about it.

Anything else you need to know?

I don’t know what “Tropic Flash” is supposed to be, and the term “natural flavors” on the ingredients list doesn’t help me. I live in the desert, so I don’t have much experience with tropical fruit. The flavor seems like it belongs to something with the texture of cantaloupe, honeydew, or papaya. But I find it exceedingly strange that I taste the texture of a fruit more than I taste the flavor of a fruit.


If I finished a long workout and someone gave me a Tropic Flash Gatorade, I would gladly drink it. But when I look at the Gatorade flavors in the fridge at the gas station, I would never pick this one over, say, Glacier Freeze or Lime Cucumber.

Purchased Price: $2.69
Size: 28 fl oz
Purchased at: Miller’s
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (12 fl oz) 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 160 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of sugar (including 21 grams of added sugar), 0 grams of protein, and 50 milligrams of potassium.