You don’t need to be an athlete to benefit from the best electrolyte powders, even if that was the original purpose. Forty years ago, electrolytes became popular as a way to hydrate athletes exercising in Florida’s humid, hot climate. Trainers saw how electrolytes helped players perform better and made them less likely to experience heat stroke. Over the past four decades, brands like Gatorade exploded onto the market. And now electrolyte supplements come in about every flavor, form and price range under the sun. That may leave you wondering which ones are the best and most recommended by fitness and health pros.
It’s important to know that electrolyte powders aren’t just for consuming during exercise, but also post-workout. A study linked those who drink water containing electrolytes to being less likely to develop muscle cramps after working out. That’s a big deal to marathoners. Muscle cramps affect approximately 39 percent of runners and 60 percent of bicyclists. That’s because electrolytes are a key part of how muscles work. Low levels can cause muscle spasms, loss of reflexes, cramps and even paralysis.
And for babies (wait, babies?) … Yep, a team at Washington State University invented a special electrolyte monitoring pacifier. Their invention can detect the hydration and health of babies born prematurely and then non-invasively placed in Newborn Intensive Care Units. With this modern-day paci, newborn babies won’t have to undergo twice-daily blood draws to measure their electrolyte levels!
There are also a number of other occurrences that can disrupt electrolytes, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Basically, any time you’re losing water from your body, it’s important to rehydrate. And if you need to hydrate fast, electrolytes can help you do that. So, whether you are an avid exerciser or you’re feverish, sweat a lot, fly on a plane, spend time outdoors or experience a hangover, you may benefit from replenishment. Keep reading for the five best electrolyte powders that are most recommended by our 10 sources.
The List: Top 5 Electrolyte Powders, According To Experts
Treeline Review thinks this is the ultimate choice, saying, “It doesn’t happen often, but our Best Overall pick here was also our Budget Pick: the Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Mix met all of our criteria and was the least expensive electrolyte powder we considered. We think this makes it a clear winner. Reviewers found Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Mix to be a good value, mix easily into drinks, and contain all the necessary electrolytes. It has great taste and comes in convenient single-serving packets.”
According to GolfDigest, “This zero-calorie powder contains zero carbs, fat and sugar (does contain stevia). The lemonade flavor was sweet, almost like a sorbet dessert with a touch of salt. Our reviewers described it as ‘refreshing’ even after it sat out in the sun all day. There was some sediment after being mixed vigorously with water, but it didn’t impact the taste or texture in our trials.”
2. Key Nutrients Electrolyte Recovery Plus
Good Housekeeping recommends this powder as a great budget option, writing, “Among the lowest cost-per-serving of our picks, this popular choice from Key Nutrients contains zero carbs and no sugar and was originally created to support a keto diet. According to our testers, it’s easy to drink and not overpowering. It contains all the main electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.”
And it has other nutrients. “With the 12 vitamins and minerals Key Nutrients boasts, it’s basically a multivitamin in the form of an electrolyte powder,” Forbes says.
Greenbelly claims, “Each single-serving stick of Liquid I.V. is equal to drinking 2-3 bottles of water and triple the electrolytes of a sports drink. We like that the energy provided by the B-Vitamins offers a nice alternative to caffeinated electrolyte mixes. We enjoyed that the extra salt makes the taste a refreshing balance of sweet and salty. Liquid I.V. also matches each purchase by donating a serving to someone in need.”
RollingStone picks this powder, too: “This electrolyte powder delivers quick hydration to your bloodstream, helping to reduce fatigue, improve alertness and immunity. Liquid I.V. says their packets contain three times the electrolytes of traditional sports drinks, plus potassium and 110% of vitamin C, B3, B5, B6, and B12.”
SI.com ranks this brand highly for its formula, saying, “Its unique blend of cluster dextrin carbohydrates, BCAAs and electrolytes [is] designed to help athletes at all fitness levels. The cluster dextrin carbohydrate is different from those you’re used to. It’s designed specifically for sports nutrition and has been proven to improve overall carbohydrate energy, making it ideal for those ready to get more out of their training. This mix also contains the three essential amino acids — leucine, isoleucine and valine — making it the ultimate recovery drink.”
Swim a lot? ACTIVE suggests trying this powder: “Xwerks Motion contains a unique carbohydrate called cluster dextrin that may be transformational for sports, such as swimming, because it lowers exercise stress and prolongs exhaustion, so you may be able to swim for longer. The cluster dextrin works synergistically with three electrolytes and branched-chain amino acids with benefits to support recovery.”
Verywell Fit says, “We like that Skratch Labs Sports Hydration Mix matches the electrolytes lost in sweat, with 380 milligrams of sodium, 39 milligrams of potassium, 44 milligrams of calcium, and 39 milligrams of magnesium per scoop. As an added bonus, Skratch also contains 21 grams of carbohydrates. These added sugars can help give you energy during long endurance events and also help your body hold onto fluids which can help you rehydrate more quickly.”
“Its electrolyte profile was designed to mimic sweat, containing a combination of sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. This re-hydrates the body quickly and allows for maximum absorption. Skratch Labs’ drink mixes include real fruit for a natural, refreshing taste that isn’t cloyingly sweet,” ActionHub writes.
We hope you didn’t break a sweat reading this list of best electrolyte powders! Feel free to tell us in the comments if you’ve used one (or more) and how it went.
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. Study Finds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.