When I hear sports drinks, I immediately think of Gatorade, as it was my go-to beverage whenever I had a track meet or practice in high school. Now that I adhere to a gluten-free diet, I was curious to know is Gatorade gluten-free?
There are no gluten-containing ingredients; however, Gatorade has not forgone testing for gluten, meaning they cannot say for sure it is 100% gluten-free. There is a possibility the ingredients were stored next to or came in contact with gluten-containing ingredients leading to cross-contamination.
I drink Gatorade and don’t have any issues; however, this may not be the case for everyone.
Read on to discover the ingredients that go into the sports drink and the different flavors they have to offer.
The widely loved sports drink is produced by Pepsico and has been assisting athletes since 1965. The bottle does not have a gluten-free claim, but the company states there are no gluten-containing ingredients in the drink.
I have attached the below picture for reference to see what is inside the beverage. As the first flavor created was lemon-lime, I saw it fitting to go off this ingredients list.
The ingredients list of other Gatorade flavors can be found on the Pepsico website.
We’re not just stopping there; it’s time to break down each ingredient and see what this sports drink is really made of.
A life necessity, I don’t think I need to explain much further here.
I’m sure you are all aware of what sugar is. That tiny crystal-like carbohydrate quickly sweetens any meal or beverage. While you have to be careful with many ingredients on a gluten-free diet, sugar is not one of them. Sugar is naturally produced in the leaves of the sugarcane plant.
In simpler terms, dextrose is another form of sugar, and it is normally derived from corn or wheat. Yes, I said wheat. I know you may begin to pump the brakes but don’t worry I’ll explain how this ingredient is still gluten-free.
When dextrose is created, the production process involves high levels of hydrolyzation. This is a chemical reaction where the molecules break apart. During this process, the gluten is completely removed. See the Celiac Disease Foundation‘s statement on the matter.
4. Citric Acid
Citric acid is sometimes a white or colorless powder. It is an organic compound that is naturally found in citrus fruits such as lemon, limes, and grapefruits. It is often used as a flavoring agent due to its naturally acidic and sour taste and as a preservative in candies and drinks.
This ingredient is naturally gluten-free.
Salt is another common ingredient we often use in our daily life and is thankfully gluten-free. The mineral is naturally made and consists of sodium chloride.
6. Sodium Citrate
Sodium Citrate is the sodium salt derived from citric acid. It is used as a salt flavor additive and a preservative, which helps to add to the sour taste of the lemon-lime flavor. This is naturally gluten-free.
7. Monopotassium Phosphate
Monopotassium Phosphate is an ionic compound often used for electrolyte replenishment. This ingredient also acts as a preservative, helping to keep Gatorade on the shelves a bit longer. It is also used as a thickener in some products and an acidity stabilizer—no need to worry about gluten here.
8. Gum Arabic
Gum Arabic is used to spread the sugar throughout the drink instead of sinking to the bottom, which keeps the sugar uniformly suspended in the beverage. Gum Arabic is the sap extracted from the stems and branches of Acacia trees and is naturally gluten-free.
Glycerol is a sweet-tasting naturally occurring alcohol. This colorless liquid helps to prevent dehydration. It is also often used in beverages to add smoothness to the drink.
10. Ester Of Rosin
Ester of Rosin is also commonly known as Ester Gums. This is used as a thickener or stabilizer, giving the drink a consistent texture. This is harvested from pine trees, making it naturally gluten-free.
11. Natural Flavor
Natural flavors are used in products to enhance the flavors of the beverage or food. According to the FDA, these are derived from fruits, vegetables, plants, and animal products below.
- Fruit or fruit juice
- Vegetable or vegetable juice
- Edible yeast
- Herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material
- Meat, seafood, poultry, eggs
- Dairy products, or fermentation products
12. Yellow 5
This artificial food color gives the lemon-lime Gatorade its yellowish tint. It is synthetically made from petroleum products, and this ingredient can also appear under the name E102, FD&C yellow no. 5, or tartrazine.
While it doesn’t contain gluten, it is often tested on animals, making it not very vegetarian or vegan friendly.
Check out this video to learn more about Gatorade:
Gluten-Free Gatorade Flavors
The tasty sports drink we’ve all grown to love wasn’t always so lovely on the taste buds. The first time the beverage’s creator tried it, he nearly vomited from the taste. Loads of research and taste testing later, Gatorade has become the leading sports drink across the USA.
These have a wide range of products and flavors. The items listed below do not contain any gluten.
Bottles and Mix
- Fruit Punch
- Lemon Lime
- Glacier Freeze
- Riptide Rush
- Glacier Cherry
Other Bottle Options
- Tropical Cooler
- Strawberry Lemonade
- Lime Cucumber
- Strawberry Watermelon
- Fierce Melon
- Frost Rain Berry
- Fierce Blue Cherry
- Frost Riptide Rush
- Frost Cascade Crash
- Fierce Blue Cherry
Prime Energy Chews
Gatorade doesn’t just stop at drinks. They created bite-size energy chews to refuel before a game or a workout. They taste similar to the beverage and come in 4 different flavors, and none of these flavors contain gluten ingredients.
- Cool Blue
- Fruit Punch
- Green Apple
While there are no gluten-containing ingredients, Gatorade is not certified gluten-free. The company also clarifies that it hasn’t been tested for gluten and there could be a possibility of ingredients being stored next to or coming into contact with gluten. It is best to use your own judgment when choosing to enjoy the sports drink.
If you’re ok with taking the risk, there are multiple flavors with no gluten-containing ingredients. Discover 80 other beverages you can drink on a gluten-free diet; check out my Starbucks gluten-free menu.