10 Best Electrolyte Drinks
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Finding the Best Electrolyte Drinks
Did you know that the human body can live up to two weeks without food but can only survive a fraction of that time without water? Dehydration affects nearly 75% of all Americans and it’s not as easy to fix as you might think it is. For some people, dehydration hits them hard.
10 Best Electrolyte Drinks
That’s why we’ll be counting down our picks for the best electrolyte drinks. We’ll be focusing on the companies that make them, what makes their drinks different, who their drinks are for, and if they’ve contributed to helping their communities.
1. Liquid I.V.
Liquid I.V. is the first entry in our list of the best electrolyte drinks and they earn their sport with more than just their products. We’ll get deeper into that in a second but first, you should learn what makes their drinks worthy of a place on this list.
The company distributes powdered electrolyte crystals instead of bottled drinks, cutting their carbon footprint down and making it easier to ship their products across the world.
Using powders allows them to develop formulas with premium ingredients like sodium citrate, potassium citrate, and stevia leaf extract.
Their prosocial contributions are what push them above and beyond other companies. Since their establishment in 2015, Liquid I.V. has donated electrolyte drink crystals to more than 16 million people across the world. They only use recyclable materials in their packing to dampen their impact on the environment.
Finally, their crystals are available to purchase in bulk so that you can have one of the best electrolyte drinks ready by your side at a moment’s notice.
- Easy to find at retailers like Costco and Walmart
- Donates to at-risk communities and crisis victims
- Drinks are sold as ready-to-mix crystals
Hydrant wants to do more than just rehydrate you. Their line of drink crystals includes Hydrant Energy($35), Hydrant Immunity ($35), and Hydrant Sleep($35), all of which use as few ingredients as possible.
The brand was founded by a business school student and a scientist who worked together to tackle their dehydration problem.
It didn’t matter how much water they drank, they weren’t able to quench their thirst. After putting their heads together and creating the first Hydrant flavor, they founded the company as a better alternative to water.
Each product is offered in a variety of flavors and Hydrant goes the extra mile to remove the guesswork from your decision. They have a flavor profile chart for every option that tells you where their drinks fall on the spectrum of tartness to sweetness.
- Provides products for hydration, sleep aids, improving your immune system, and more
- You can save 20% by subscribing to a monthly Hydrant shipment
- Over 5,000 positive customer reviews on their website
Ultima is one of the best electrolyte drinks for what their products don’t contain. Their goods are free from sugar, carbs, gluten, animal products, and GMOs.
That might make you wonder what they could possibly taste like, and products like the Ultima Mocktini Variety Pack ($25) can answer that question. It contains interesting flavors like the following:
- Coconut pina colada
- Peach Bellini
The company has over a quarter decade of experience under their belt. They’ve been developing and tweaking their electrolyte formula since their formulation, constantly re-examining their products to find new ways to improve their all-natural ingredient profile.
They were formed to help the 1996 United States Olympic Track & Field team recover and remain hydrated during their events. Thus, you can expect to find hydrating electrolyte drink crystals capable of fueling some of the best athletes on the planet when you should from Ultima.
- All of their products are made in the United States
- Free US shipping on orders over $10
- Available in common retail shops like Walmart, Whole Foods, and CVS
You’re much more likely to find a liquid Pedialyte product on store shelves than you are one of its powdered items.
They’re the #1 doctor-recommended rehydration brand and one of the longest-running electrolyte drink producers. Pedialyte is over 50 years old and originally formed to help children who weren’t adequately hydrated.
Their items are different from some of the other best electrolyte drinks because they’re medicinally focused rather than athletically-minded. Pedialyte is a good drink for children who’ve lost water due to illness, vomiting, diarrhea, or other medical conditions.
Their drinks actually have a higher proportion of sodium than sugar. Too much sugar can only worsen diarrhea and most electrolyte drinks prioritize sugar over sodium. Pedialyte also adds zinc to their drinks to help the body reabsorb water as quickly as possible.
- #1 electrolyte brand in the eyes of doctors and physicians
- Products available in liquid form, as drink crystals, and as freezer pops
- Much less sugar than other electrolyte drinks
5. Drip Drop
While we’re on the subject of the best electrolyte drinks with reduced sugar content, let’s talk about Drip Drop. The company’s founder, Dr. Eduardo Dolhun, originally started looking into rehydration after witnessing a Cholera outbreak in the 1990s.
Nearly 15 years later he began developing Drip Drop’s original formula, then finalized it in 2010, and earned a US patent in 2013.
Their drink mixes reportedly have over three times the electrolyte content of other sports drinking while containing only a fraction of the sugar. In fact, one liter of Drip Drop only contains an average of 140.
Compare that to a regular Powerade which contains over 200 calories per liter and you’ll see that you may be getting more health benefits for fewer calories with Drip Drop.
Drip Drop’s products are used worldwide to help crisis victims. For example, they were shipped out en masse to victims of the 2010 Pakistan floods and child victims of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.
- Fewer calories and higher electrolyte content than commercial sports drinks
- Used by international emergency organizations
- Save 15% by joining the Drip Drop email newsletter
You’d think that a company that promotes itself as being developed by “bros” would be closer to Monster or Rockstar, but NOOMA defies expectations.
In fact, the founding brothers Brandon and Jarred created NOOMA because they were so sick of sports drinks that were more sugar than they were water.
So they set about making one of the best electrolyte drinks by looking at what ingredients they can add to improve its overall health benefits.
Prioritizing the good means there’s less room for the bad, which is why you won’t find added sugar, artificial ingredients, preservatives, or anything else sketchy in their products.
What you will find is a bevy of interesting ingredients like ashwagandha, cordyceps, coconut water, and pink Himalayan salt. These aren’t your average ingredients, but NOOMA isn’t your average electrolyte drink company.
- Include all-natural and rare ingredients
- Free US shipping on all subscriptions and orders over $39
- Over 3,000 5/5 stars reviews from customers
Nuun founded themselves on the principle of taking the carbs out of sports drinks. This meant they removed all the sugar from their original products to create an electrolyte drink that’s all about performance and rehydration.
Many of Nuun’s products come in the form of tablets that dissolve in water. They’re portable and easier to store than a trunk full of bottles or a bunch of single-serving drink mixes.
Nuun might have one of the tidiest production philosophies out of any of the brands on this list. All of their products are kosher, gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO, and these claims have been substantiated by third parties. That goes for every product in their library, from the Nuun Sport ($8) to the Nuun Endurance ($20).
They source all their ingredients from as close to their origins as possible and use recyclable packaging to keep their carbon footprint as small as a toddler’s foot.
- Subscribers can save up to 25% on their first monthly order
- Carbon-neutral production process
- Products are available in over 30 countries
BioSteel is another one of the best electrolyte drinks that began as a reaction to the overabundance of sugar-filled, caffeine-raddled sports drinks that dominated locker rooms.
Originally, there was only one BioSteel product. Their first drink had a pink tint due to using beets for flavor instead of sugar.
The company is based in Toronto, Ontario, and has been one of the largest electrolyte drink producers in the country. They sponsor world-class athletes like Conor McDavid, Patrick Mahomes, and Brooke Henderson.
That being the case, this is the company to turn to if you want a sport-centric electrolyte drink. They also offer products that other similar companies do not produce like protein powders and nutrition drink mixes.
- Free shipping on all US orders over $45
- Partner with many of the best athletes on the planet
- Sugar- and caffeine-free hydrating products
The penultimate entry in our list of the best electrolyte drinks needs no introduction. Gatorade is synonymous with the entire market, holding nearly 75% of its sales in the United States. They’re owned by Pepsico but are a much smarter drink choice than Pepsi.
Gatorade makes our list for how easy it is to find their products. Their drinks are available everywhere and you can buy hydration items in liquid, crystalized, or bulk format.
Their ingredients may not be as natural and organic as other companies, but when you need to rehydrate in a pinch, no company can get a drink in your hand as quickly as Gatorade.
- One of the most popular sports drinks companies on the planet
- More affordable than other electrolyte brands
10. Total Hydration
Total Hydration applies a holistic approach to their sports drinks. They don’t include any sugar, carbs, or calories in their products, meaning that they’re best to help you quickly replenish all the water you lost during a workout.
Their products are extremely concentrated and meant to be added directly to water bottles. They distribute capsules and potent electrolyte droplets that you can mix with water or other sports drinks. These goods include 72 minerals coming from sea salt and as much as triple the electrolyte content as other drinks.
If you want an electrolyte drink that’s as minimalist and as clear as possible, then Total Hydration is for you.
- Highly concentrated electrolyte products
- Sugar-free, carb-free, and calorie-free
- Products are free of nearly all allergens
How to Shop For The Best Electrolyte Drinks
Knowing how to separate the best electrolyte drinks from the glorified sugar waters is an art. We’re going to help you sharpen your decision-making skills by telling you what you should keep your eyes peeled for before you put anything up to your lips.
You don’t want to buy a drink from a company that makes sports drinks in name alone.
Thankfully, we just listed out which brands you can rely on when you’re looking for electrolyte beverages, but it’s worth looking into each company’s sustainable practice and prosocial engagements.
Some electrolyte drinks are designed to be used right after your game finishes to help replenish as much water as possible whereas others can be sipped on throughout the day.
There are different types, each with different purposes, and they can affect your performance and your recovery.
The best electrolyte drinks should rehydrate you without shoving unwanted calories down your throat. Calories aren’t bad, of course, but many people assume that sports drinks are the same thing as weight loss drinks.
Learn whether your drink contains sugar or uses calorie-free sweeteners. Also, look at the proportion of electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and chloride, as those can affect how much the drink helps you reabsorb water.
There are more flavors of sports drinks than there are moons surrounding Jupiter. Some of them are fairly standard but there are a few that push the inventiveness envelope.
Thankfully, there are some flavorless electrolyte drinks for people who need something they can easily ingest.
Electrolyte drinks can have different benefits depending on who is using them. Marathon runners will drink them to reap the quick calories while sick children just need to rebalance their fluid levels.
If you know how you’ll use your electrolyte drink then you can see which health effect matters the most to you.
Have you ever wondered why some electrolyte drinks cost as much as double their competition? It’s usually because a drink’s price is a summation of how well it balances flavor, nutrition, ingredients, sustainability, and brand name.
We don’t always recommend buying the most expensive product, but knowing how much you want to spend on a sports drink can help you make a choice.
Are Electrolyte Drinks Good For You?
The best electrolyte drinks – heck, even some of the not great ones – all come with health benefits. They’ll primarily help you reabsorb water and stay hydrated, which is a problem many people have.
Of course, not all electrolyte drinks are equal and some are healthier than others. You’ll want to choose drinks with as little sugar as possible unless you’re someone who needs sugar for a particular reason.
For example, extremely active people could use sugar to fuel their workouts because they’re too busy to get in real food.
Can I Drink Electrolyte Water Everyday?
If it’s one of the better electrolyte waters on the market then there’s no harm in drinking it every day. You pee out all the minerals that your body doesn’t absorb, so the only adverse effect would be on your wallet.
Granted, it’s better if you prioritize drinking regular water over electrolyte water, but if that’s inconvenient for your lifestyle or it’s too difficult for you to drink enough water, then you’ll be safer drinking as much electrolyte water as you please.
When Should I Drink Electrolytes?
You should drink electrolytes when you’re extremely dehydrated. Granted, it can be hard to know when you’re dehydrated if you’re not attuned to your body’s cues, so here are some of the most common instances when you should drink electrolytes:
- If your urine is bright yellow or strongly colored – this is the single largest sign of dehydration
- After an intense workout where you weren’t able to drink much water and/or you sweat profusely
- If you are suffering from vomiting or diarrhea as both of these conditions drain your body of water
What Are The 3 Main Electrolytes?
There are more than three electrolytes that are vital for human functioning but the three main electrolytes that you’ll find in each of the best electrolyte drinks are the following:
Are electrolyte drinks necessary if you play pick-up basketball on the weekend? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know which ones are the best.
As we’ve said before, they’re useful in more scenarios than just the sportsfield, and learning how to use them can prepare you for when you’re severely dehydrated.
Check out other top brands we’ve curated below: