Water versus Powerade for Outdoor Recreation

The water versus Powerade debate, Hiking with Shawn style.

I want to discuss my thoughts on using water or Powerade for hydration while hiking and biking.

I’ve experimented with water and Powerade for all the activities above.

I experimented with it for a few years, too.


Water versus Powerade: Water

The water side of the water versus Powerade debate is what I’ve been using these past few years. I typically drink about 32 ounces of water each hike when it’s cool to cold outside.

I’ll drink two or more 32-ounce bottles of water when it’s hotter and more humid.

I sweat profusely, probably more so than others. So, I have to put a lot of water back in me to stay hydrated.

I also have to make specific clothing decisions. In the summer, I wear less and typically stick to an athletic material like spandex. If you see me dressed funny, I’m not doing it for fashion; I’m doing it because it wickers away sweat quickly and makes me feel cooler.

It is best to follow a system for hydration and fueling. First, get a trail bar of your choice and take a few bites of it every half hour. Then wash it down with a few drinks of water. This will keep you fueled and hydrated at least a few times an hour.

I’ve chosen water lately because I feel like it quenches my thirst better. But in the hot and humid summer, I sweat more and lose a lot of salt. So, I’ve been using Hammer-brand electrolyte powders (not sponsored) in my water to put salt back into my body. Trail bars help, too.


Water versus Powerade: Powerade

I used Powerade for years. I mainly used it for cycling. I sweat a lot on the bike, too. So I’d drink two or three 32-ounce bottles of blue Powerade on hotter days, biking and hiking.

On cooler to cold days, I would typically drink one to two 32-ounce bottles of Powerade.

The reason I stopped drinking it was because of the sugar overload. It felt like I was getting too much sugar and crashing myself out. So I tried Gatorade as an alternative, but it tasted way sweeter than Powerade.

I would even mix a bottle of half Powerade and half water. It tasted terrible, and still felt like it was too much sugar.

Once I got Powerade out of my hydration routine and replaced it with water, I personally felt a lot better.

In conclusion to the water versus Powerade debate, I will likely keep choosing water as my go-to hydration while hiking and on the bike. What would you choose and why? Tell me in a comment down below!


Thanks for reading my articles about the water versus Powerade debate. I hope my experience helps you with yours. If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to my newsletter for more tips.

Please Support Hiking with Shawn

Alrighty folks, I hope you have enjoyed this content. I provide it for free and it takes a while to create. If you would be so kind enough to support my efforts, you can do so by sharing this post with others, especially on social media. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel to see my latest videos, shorts and live streams. Follow me on FacebookInstagramTwitter and TikTok for unique content that you will only find on those pages. You might also join my Southern Illinois Hiking & Outdoor Resources Group on Facebook, too!

You can also support me by becoming a Patreon Supporter for as little as $3/month and you can cancel anytime (no contracts or catches). Patreons get access to extra features, exclusive articles, sticker packs, gifts and more. Consider buying official Hiking with Shawn Merchandise as another way to support me. I spend a lot of money on Hiking with Shawn and because of extremely high public land permit fees, I make very little money in return so everything helps.

Thanks again for checking out another one of my articles and until next time, I’ll see you on the trail!

Shawn Gossman

Shawn Gossman

Founder, Hiking with Shawn

Howdy folks! My name is Shawn Gossman and I founded Hiking with Shawn. I’m an avid hiker, cyclist and outdoorsman here in the Shawnee National Forest. I was born and raised in Southern Illinois and never want to leave. Click here to learn more about Shawn Gossman

Subscribe Today!

Get Your FREE Gift Now!

Subscribe to the official Hiking with Shawn Newsletter and get a free gift! The newsletter is free, sent once a month, and contains exclusive articles, tips, offers, contests, and upcomig events that you won't find anywhere else. You can unsubscribe anytime with ease. Subscribe now (for a limited time only) and get my free 70+ page 35 Hiking Trails of Southern Illinois Guide. This PDF will be sent to your email right after you subscribe (check your junkmail just in case and add me as a contact). I hope to see you on the mailing list!

Thanks for subscribing! Go check your email!