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Finding the most suitable electrolyte powder or drink mix can feel intimidating with so many options on the market. Many powders offer different benefits, which can complicate deciding what is best for your health goals. You will also want to consider how frequently you intend to use them and how accessible they are. Our recommendations include a brief overview of our top choices and why we think they’re worth it.
We will highlight the differences between several electrolyte powders and mixes to help identify which one may be best for you. It includes our picks for the best powders, according to a nutrition expert, and data on how these can be beneficial for rehydrating. These powders are broken down into any special or unique traits (like flavor or added vitamins) and key points include preferences, cost, texture, ingredients and breakdown of things to watch out for. Items that are advantageous to hydration and items that can potentially be harmful are outlined for easy reference. It includes nutrients you may want to ensure are included in your drink and answers common questions related to electrolyte powders, such as how they work and when to use them.
Remember: You should always consult with your doctor or nutritionist before adding electrolytes or other supplements to your diet.
Our Picks for the Best Electrolyte Powders
- Best Overall: BioSteel Hydration Mix
- Best Zero Calorie Electrolyte Powder: Key Nutrients Electrolyte Powder
- Best Tasting Electrolyte Powder: Ultima Replenisher Mix
- Best for Muscle Recovery: Dr. Berg’s Original Electrolyte Powder
- Best Caffeinated Electrolyte Powder: Tailwind Nutrition Caffeinated Endurance Fuel
- Best Sugar-Free Electrolyte Powder: LMNT Keto Electrolyte Powder Packets in Raw Unflavored
- Best Electrolyte Powder for Multiple Servings: Re-Lyte Boost Electrolyte Energy Mix
- Best Clean Electrolyte Powder: Nuun Sport Electrolyte Drink Tablets
- Best Unflavored Electrolyte Powder: HRDWRK Unflavored
Best Overall: BioSteel Hydration Mix
BioSteel’s Hydration Mix is our top pick for electrolyte powders, with a natural hydration formula of clean ingredients. This means it’s zero sugar, caffeine-free and contains no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. It includes a combination of electrolytes, vitamins and minerals to keep your body hydrated. This powder supports workouts, recovery time and energy production. It comes in a variety of amazing flavors, including White Freeze, Rainbow Twist, Blue Raspberry, Mixed Berry and more. You won’t get bored thanks to a variety of flavors and don’t need to worry about hidden or harmful ingredients. You may choose a one-time purchase of $49.99 per container or elect a subscription-based option for 15% off. For those starting out, they also offer their best-selling flavors in single-serving packets for $16.99. There is no obligation, and you may cancel your subscription anytime.
Purchase BioSteel’s Hydration Mix
Best Zero Calorie Electrolyte Powder: Key Nutrients Electrolyte Powder
Key Nutrients Electrolyte Recovery Plus has zero calories or carbs, perfect for those seeking keto-friendly electrolyte powder. It uses stevia to add a sweet flavor profile without breaking your calorie intake. It dissolves smoothly and has zero artificial ingredients. It includes 12 vitamins and minerals and comes in flavors like Cherry Pom, Pink Lemonade, Strawberry Kiwi and more.
Best Tasting Electrolyte Powder: Ultima Replenisher Mix
Ultima has experience in the electrolyte industry, perfecting their flavors over 25 years and counting. They include six electrolytes and minerals in their replenisher mix: calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. Each of these helps the body rehydrate in the most effective way possible. You can choose canisters or sticks to put in your water bottle. It comes in blue raspberry, passionfruit, lemonade, cherry pomegranate, orange, grape, pink lemonade and watermelon flavors which can be purchased in variety packs. These are full of flavor, blend smoothly with water, are sweetened with organic stevia leaf and are made with real fruit flavor extracts.
Best for Muscle Recovery: Dr. Berg’s Original Electrolyte Powder
Thanks to its added potassium, Dr. Berg’s electrolyte powder is designed for muscle recovery, reducing muscle cramping and boosting energy levels. Potassium aids our body by ensuring the communication from our nerves and muscles travels swiftly, resulting in quicker reflexes and better endurance. It also contains supplements from calcium, magnesium, chloride and sodium.
Best Caffeinated Electrolyte Powder: Tailwind Nutrition Caffeinated Endurance Fuel
Tailwind is unique in that it offers a caffeinated electrolyte option. This is great if you enjoy a cup of coffee or tea throughout the day, as it will keep you hydrated while adding an extra burst of energy. It does contain calories but uses non-GMO dextrose and sucrose, as well as other ingredients that make absorption easier on the body. The caffeinated powders are offered in raspberry, matcha, tropical and cola flavors. There are also non-caffeinated options for people who prefer this powder without caffeine. This product can be purchased in various tub sizes, single servings, or a single serving variety pack to suit your preferences and budget.
Best Sugar-Free Electrolyte Powder: LMNT Keto Electrolyte Powder Packets in Raw Unflavored
LMNT offers a keto and paleo-friendly electrolyte powder that is a great option for those who prefer no flavors and like water to taste as it usually does. The raw, unflavored powder with LMNT does just that, but it has other options if you want some taste, such as grapefruit salt and mango chili. It’s also sugar-free, vegan friendly and contains sodium, magnesium and potassium. This is a great option if you want to start the day on the right foot, power through your workouts, or need some support while fasting. The single-serve packets make it easy to pack for traveling.
Purchase LMNT’s Keto Electrolyte Powder
Redmond Re-Lyte Boost is a good choice if you want something to use multiple times throughout the day when your energy lags. It includes several herbal ingredients, including green tea extract, beetroot extract, ginseng and ashwagandha, as well as caffeine. However, the company says it won’t leave you feeling shaky and can help you regain energy levels without the crash. It’s sugar-free, keto, paleo and vegan-friendly, making it an excellent option if you have certain dietary needs.
Best Clean Electrolyte Powder: Nuun Sport Electrolyte Drink Tablets
Nuun sport electrolyte tablets are kosher, gluten-free, non-GMO and vegan. The sport tablets contain one gram of sugar and have several certifications to back up their health claims, making them our pick for the best clean electrolyte powder.
Certified Gluten-Free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization
The tablets are a refreshing and convenient take on electrolytes and come in a small canister that can easily be put in a bag or pocket. They have caffeinated and non-caffeinated options.
Best Unflavored Electrolyte Powder: HRDWRK Unflavored
For those who enjoy water’s refreshing taste, we recommend HRDWRK unflavored electrolyte powder. It is great for pre and intra-workouts and was created by a team of dieticians and chemists who know the science behind staying hydrated and strong. It improves muscle endurance and contains aminos like taurine, alanine, glutamine and valine. It has zero added sugars, carbs, fillers, or dyes.
What is electrolyte powder?
Electrolyte powder is a substance that can be added to your water, and many athletes find this particularly helpful for post-workout recovery, endurance training and strength-building. It can also be a great option if you become ill and lose fluids. If you sweat a lot or are sick, you will lose electrolytes, which help your body sustain itself. Electrolyte powders are an alternative to keep your body hydrated when it may otherwise be challenging.
What is a hydration mix?
A hydration mix typically includes electrolytes to help our body move fluids along faster. It may also be an electrolyte powder. Most powders or hydration mixes utilize sodium, potassium, calcium and other vitamins or minerals to maximize the effectiveness of our bodies’ communication and transport system, rehydrating us more quickly.
Benefits of electrolyte powder
Most of us find drinking the recommended amount of water a daily struggle, even if we aren’t high-performing athletes. One report states that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, which often leads to higher rates of health emergencies. You can feel sluggish and exhausted if you aren’t getting the proper amount of hydration. You can also feel light-headed, have digestion issues, get headaches and other unpleasant symptoms. Since most of us have difficulty staying at the right level of hydration, electrolyte powders can help our bodies re-establish any imbalances and anything lost during workouts or illness.
When should I use electrolyte powder?
If you are an athlete looking to improve performance, the best time to use your chosen electrolyte powder is before your workout. Otherwise, it’s best to drink it when you lose fluids or feel ill. For example, when you are vomiting, sweating, or having diarrhea, the body loses critical vitamins and nutrients and may have difficulty keeping up. To have our body function and recover at an ideal level, replenish with an electrolyte powder. This includes days where you may have done a lot of physical activity or even a great day at the beach.
Where can you buy electrolyte powder?
Electrolyte powder can be bought at most retailers and online. You can also find a good selection at health food stores or sporting stores. Many large retailers or pharmacies have a small selection of electrolyte powders, but it may not be what you are looking for if you want something specifically vegan, keto, dairy-free or flavorless.
Hydration Mix vs. Sports Drinks
Many believe sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade are healthy alternatives to fuel the body. While they contain electrolytes, it’s better to use a hydration mix that includes vitamins and nutrients for your body. Electrolyte mixes also are sugar-free and don’t contain carbs, whereas sports drinks may contain large amounts of sugar.
You’ll find some commonalities if you look at the nutrients and ingredients in many electrolyte drinks. Understanding these will help you decide the best drink for you, especially if you are following a diet or limiting your intake of certain ingredients (like artificial flavors). Below are some of the key nutrients to look for in your electrolyte drink and why they are important:
- Carbohydrates: aid in the recovery of muscles
- Calcium: supports recovery time and bone density, and has even been tied to reducing insomnia.
- Magnesium: controls our stress response and can greatly affect our moods. It also helps strengthen our bones.
- Potassium: helps increase bone density and helps keep muscle cramps at bay.
- Vitamin C: boosts our immune system and assists with the absorption of iron, which helps oxygen move throughout the body.
What should I consider when choosing the best electrolyte powder for me?
Each athlete and individual will have their preferences for an electrolyte powder. When shopping and researching your options, remember what you are using the drink for. Is it to boost your performance? Help with recovery time? Aid in replacing lost fluids? These can impact which formula will be the best decision for you.
Flavors and Taste
The market has greatly expanded regarding electrolyte drinks, giving you a full range of flavors. Remember that if you are looking for something without sugar or artificial flavoring, you should ensure your selection specifies that. Many powders now also have unflavored options.
Artificial ingredients mean that the item listed is man-made and not found in nature. Some artificial ingredients include sucralose (also known as Splenda), food colors, trans fats and artificial flavors. Often, these are used to increase the shelf life of an item, but if you want to stick to natural ingredients, make sure to read the label.
Added sugar can not only make a drink sweeter, but it can also add up in calories if you are monitoring your weight. It’s also been linked to increasing your risk of heart disease. While it may seem tastier, it’s worth keeping an eye on when shopping for an electrolyte drink.
If you need something on the go during a run or high-impact performance, you may want to consider an electrolyte drink that can come in a packet and be put in your water bottle. With powders that come in jars, you may be saving money, but it would be more difficult on the go. You also want to consider how easy it is to purchase the product or plan ahead if purchasing online.
If you are vegan or on the ketogenic diet, you’ll want to ensure that the electrolyte drink you choose follows your diet. Several electrolyte powders are available for different diets as long as you diligently search for them.
High-quality electrolyte powders can be expensive. If cost concerns you, try testing out smaller quantities of products before purchasing larger containers. Similarly, if you don’t intend on using the electrolyte powder regularly, you may want to find a product that offers small portions. It can be challenging to see cost differences due to packaging, but you can often compare products in-store or even purchase single packets at a local retailer.
Many electrolyte drinks and powders are gluten-free, making them a good choice for those with sensitivity or intolerance. Many people find that when they restrict gluten, they may feel lighter or less groggy. Fortunately, there are many options available if you do some research and shopping beforehand.
Not all electrolyte drinks dissolve easily. It may take some shaking or blending to get the right texture. If this is a deal-breaker, look at the reviews or try to sample products before large purchases. While some people may not mind a thicker texture, this can be bothersome for others.
Ultimately, deciding on your electrolyte powder will vary based on your preferences and health goals. You may have to make a lot of trial and error, but once you find the one that works for you, it can make you feel hydrated and energetic. Use the correct quantity of powder in relation to your needs (like running a marathon or just needing a boost), and you’ll be able to replenish lost electrolytes and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Keep in mind, you should always consult with your doctor or nutritionist before adding electrolytes or other supplements to your diet.