USA – The Coca-Cola Company is expanding its sports drink brand, Powerade for the first time in over a decade with two new zero-sugar innovations plus a new packaging design to meet the fast-changing needs of sport drink consumers. 

The sports drink brand is launching a new packaging inspired by its proprietary POWERADE ION4 Advanced Electrolyte System and will later rollout POWERADE ULTRA – which is scheduled to make a debut towards the end of January.

According to the company, the new products contain creatine, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), vitamins B3, B6 and B12 and 50% more ION4 electrolytes compared to original Powerade.

POWERADE’s ION4 also contains the minerals sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium.

Shane Grant, president, Coca-Cola North America Stills Business Unit says: “We’re responding to the shifting demands of the sports drink category with innovations that deliver on POWERADE fans’ demands for no sugar and a range of hydration solutions for all sweat occasions,”

“The definition of sports and athletes are constantly evolving. Hydration is no longer limited to sports – it’s a necessity for anyone living an active lifestyle.”

New Technology

POWERADE ULTRA will be available in Mixed Berry, White Cherry and Citrus Blast, and according to the company is the first ready-to-drink sports beverage to include shelf-stabilized creatine.

Coca-Cola North America R&D developed a breakthrough process to stabilize creatine, bringing the product from concept to final formulation in six months.

“This technology is new to The Coca-Cola Company,” said Nilesh Karava, senior manager, active hydration product development.

“Other beverage companies have been trying to crack the code on creatine shelf-stabilization for years, so this work is a clear demonstration of our team’s agility and curiosity.”

The POWERADE ULTRA formula was created based on insights from the POWERADE Command Center – a piloted custom hydration program that uses the same micro-dosing technology found in Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain units.

Command Center technology allows users to personalize their hydration needs by toggling specific ION4 electrolytes found in Powerade and Powerade Zero Sugar.

“POWERADE ULTRA is not just innovative because of the breakthrough creatine stabilization,” said John Pinto, VP, active hydration. “It makes premium ingredients like BCAAs and creatine accessible in the form of a sports drink.”

Electrolyte-enhanced hydration

In mid-February, POWERADE Power Water will also bring an electrolyte-enhanced sports water to the water aisle and features ION4 electrolytes and vitamins B3, B6 and B12.

The product will be offered in three flavors – Berry Cherry, Tropical Mango and Cucumber Lime – in six-unit multi-packs of 16.9-oz. flat-cap bottles and individual 20-oz. sport cap bottles.

According to Coca-Cola, the sports water category is growing double-digits annually, as everyone from casual joggers to pick-up ballers are reaching for electrolyte-enhanced hydration without sugar or calories.

“We’re bringing POWERADE to the water aisle with POWERADE POWER WATER,” said Marina Brook, Group Director of POWERADE. “Consumers are seeking more zero-calorie and zero-sugar options in a sports water.”