The Untold Truth Of Bodyarmor Sports Drink

Wherever there's sports, it seems like big business pops up around it, competing for their share of the market. From the clothes and gear, to how they fuel their bodies, athletes, both pro and wannabes, spend a lot of money on the things that help them obtain optimal performance and recovery. So, it should come as no surprise that the competition among sports drinks, beverages created to rehydrate and restore lost electrolytes through sweating, is fierce. 

In 2015, sales of sports drinks in the United States exceeded $8.5 billion with Gatorade, which is owned by Pepsi, and Powerade, which is owned by the Coca-Cola Company, vying for the top two spots (via Statista). Together, they make up 90% of the sports drink market, according to Grand Stand Central. But in 2015, a new kid on the sports drink block flexed its muscles. Bodyarmor, a sports drink created in 2011 by the co-founder of Vitaminwater, Mike Repole, and with backers that included the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant and NFL quarterback Andrew Luck, earned $100 million in revenues, as Fortune reported.

Bodyarmor's stellar showing certainly teed up the company for success. Their market performance didn't go unnoticed. In 2018, the Coca-Cola Company came knocking and purchased a minority stake in the sports drink. Repole remained the largest shareholder, and Kobe Bryant, who invested about $6 million in the company, saw his shares jumping to an estimated worth of $200 million with the soft drink giant's backing (via ESPN).

What makes Bodyarmor sports drink unique

While many may have initially viewed Bodyarmor as an underdog in the sports drink market, the rising star is clearly positioned to be a game-changer. Repole, Bodyarmor's CEO, is a true competitor, so much so, he has set a goal of being number one in the sports drink arena by 2025 (via Sports Business Daily). And it may just happen. Currently, Bodyarmor has 13% of the market share of sports drink sales, per CNBC. According to Fox Business, Repole credits Bryant for this meteoric rise, acknowledging the sports drink scoreboard would look quite different if it hadn't been for his support and stake in the company — a stake that his wife, Vanessa, and his daughters inherited.

But what sets this drink apart from others in its field of play? According to the Bodyarmor website, their sports drink is healthier than its competitors because it contains natural flavors and sweeteners and no colors from artificial sources. In 2017, the company launched two drinks: a lighter, even healthier version of their sports drink called Bodyarmor Lyte, boasting just 20 calories and two grams of sugar per bottle, along with their designer water called Bodyarmor Sportwater, which has the added bonus of a performance pH 9+ and electrolytes. All of this has helped with their growing profits, but whatever the company is doing, they hope to be on a path to claim that number one spot in the sports drink competition.

Some claim that Bodyarmor may boost breast milk production

It might raise an eyebrow or two, but there are rumors that Bodyarmor might aid in promoting an increase in breast milk production. You read that right. While there's no research, at least based in science, to back it up, a blogger at Love Our Littles swears it helped her. First, the disclaimer. The blogger shares that Bodyarmor doesn't contain caffeine, so it's safe on her list of drinks while breastfeeding. However, we always suggest talking to your health providers, the ones who went to medical school, before adding any new foods or drinks to your diet. 

The blogger went on to explain that because Bodyarmor contains its fair share of sugar — 18 grams — she opts for Bodyarmor Lyte. She also says that most moms who subscribe to drinking Bodyamor drinks to increase breast milk production will need to drink between two to five bottles daily. How long before you see an increase? The blogger shares that after drinking your two to five bottles of this sports beverage, you should see an increase during your first pumping or nursing session. 

And she is not alone. Pumping Mamas says it will help a breastfeeding mom produce a couple of extra ounces, but also cautions that it depends on your body and how it responds to "extra hydration." She credits the electrolytes, coconut water, and extra calories for the extra boost in milk production. Breastfeeding moms are the original athletes, so it makes sense to us. Of course, because this is based on bloggers and not research, take the claims with a grain of salt.

The National Advertising Division took issue with drink claims

Bodyarmor sports drinks really do sound like an awesome alternative to some of the other hydration drinks that have been in this market space a lot longer. And plenty of people are singing its praise, including InsideHook. That's why it might surprise you to learn that the National Advertising Division (NAD), which is the advertising watchdog that reviews advertising complaints and is part of the advertising industry's system of self-regulation, took issue with some of the advertising language Bodyarmor uses. In March 2020, NAD issued a press release detailing these issues which really revolved around the term "more natural." 

To be fair, the challenge around this language came from its competitor, Gatorade. But ultimately, the NAD recommended that Bodyarmor discontinue the claims "The More Natural Sports Drink," "More Natural Ingredients than Gatorade Thirst Quencher & Gatorade Zero," "The More Natural Low-Calorie Sports Drink," and "More Natural Ingredients than Gatorade Thirst Quencher & Gatorade Zero." The release also clarified that this does not mean the sports drink is not prohibited from saying that it uses "natural sweeteners, natural flavors, and colors from natural sources in its products."