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U.S. sports drinks - statistics & facts

The market of sports nutritionals includes sports drinks as product category. Sports drinks are non-carbonated water-based beverages, containing vitamins or minerals, sugar and salt, potassium and electrolytes. Sports drinks are mainly formulated for sportsmen and physically active people. They are meant to provide athletes with energy and restore lost body fluid. Sportsmen often choose sports drinks to substitute water and to rehydrate after exercising.

The sales volume of the sports and energy drinks category amounted to 4.31 billion cases worldwide in 2019. In the U.S. alone, the sales volume of sports drinks amounted to over one billion 192-oz. cases in that year, capturing a market share of 35.7 percent of the non-carbonated soft drink market.

Americans drank around 28 liters of sports drinks per capita in 2020. This figure is forecast to increase to 30 liters by 2026. In the retail aisles, U.S. consumers may pick sports drink brands such as Gatorade Perform, Powerade, Powerade Ion4 or Gatorade Frost. Gatorade Perform was the leading sports drinks brand in the United States in 2020 with sales amounting to over 1.6 billion U.S. dollars. That equaled a market share of over 20 percent.

The drinks that were initially designated for the consumption by athletes are becoming more and more popular among non-sportsmen too, like for example children who drink it at lunch. This new movement raises some concerns. Industry experts fear possible health risks due to the high concentration of sugar and artificial colors in some of the sports drinks.

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