We test and review fitness products based on an independent, multi-point methodology. If you use our links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Read our disclosures.

Electrolyte drinks seem to be all the rage nowadays. While we typically consume enough electrolytes1—sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonates—through our food each day, there are instances where you’d benefit from supplementation. Particularly if you sweat a lot, or if it’s hot and humid, then an electrolyte drink—including the best electrolyte powder—could be beneficial.

Electrolytes play vital roles in fluid balance, muscle contraction, nerve stimulation, blood pressure regulation, and so much more, so an electrolyte imbalance can be life-threatening. Let’s dive into our curated list of the best electrolyte drinks, all expert-tested and approved.

Stay hydrated, our friends.

Our squad of registered dietitians and sports nutritionists, certified personal trainers, and competitive athletes have consumed dozens of electrolytes during marathon prep, intense training sessions, and on hot summer walks to find the top picks that keep your body (and workouts) electric!

RELATED: Best Running Water Bottle

We looked for electrolyte drink supplements with research-backed ingredients and dosages, optimal electrolyte blends, and third-party certifications (for more on our process check out our full GGR supplement testing methodology) before choosing our top picks and we’re thrilled to recommend them.

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider.

7 Best Electrolyte Drinks for 2024

What Are Electrolyte Drinks and How Do They Work?

Electrolytes are minerals that, as their name implies, have an electrical charge that maintain fluid balance in our body — in other words, they make sure we stay properly hydrated. They’re also used to regulate our nervous system and allow muscles to contract and relax. Athletes often consume electrolytes to prevent muscle cramps during competition.

The most common electrolytes are sodium, potassium, chloride, and calcium. Magnesium, phosphate, and bicarbonate are also electrolytes needed by the body, though not as much as the first four. These minerals are lost by the body through sweat, urine, and other means, and are replaced by electrolyte drinks to maintain proper hydration.

Are Electrolyte Drinks Safe?

When used properly, electrolyte drinks pose no safety risk. That said, the age-old saying that too much of a good thing remains true for electrolytes. You should only consume these drinks if you’re dehydrated — so if you’ve been out in the sun all day or doing a sweaty workout.

Excess electrolyte intake may cause kidney or liver damage because the organs can only process a certain amount of sodium, potassium, and other electrolytes.

Best Electrolyte Drink Overall: Transparent Labs Hydrate v3

Good for: All-around hydration with an innovative flair

Best Overall

Transparent Labs Hydrate V3

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Includes taurine to help performance
  • Naturally sweetened
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Contains SenactivTM for recovery

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Low cost per serving
  • Easily absorbed electrolytes
  • Aides in muscle recovery
  • Subscribe & Save available

Cons

  • Only one flavor option
  • Contains the allergen tree nuts

Bottom Line

At an extremely low per serving cost, Transparent Labs Hydrate V3 is a great option for anyone looking to try out electrolytes or anyone looking for clean ingredients without the hefty price tag.

Transparent Labs Hydrate v3 is an electrolyte drink powder designed to rapidly replenish electrolytes and hydrate the body before, during, and after exercise. Combining electrolytes, taurine, and an adaptogen mix, the powder claims to support recovery and athletic performance while reducing muscle cramps. 

Our expert product tester, GGR performance editor and certified nutrition coach Anthony O’Reilly, said this reminded him of a concentrated Hawaiian Punch and gave it a 5 out of 5 for taste, and that he noticed increased hydration when he took this both pre- and post-workout. “As a pre-workout it’s a great way to increase muscle endurance,” he says.

RELATED: Best Pre-Workout for Men

The electrolyte powder provides 500 milligrams (mg) of sodium2, which is the most important electrolyte for fluid balance while being the predominant electrolyte lost most in sweat. Thus, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)3 encourages consuming 500 to 700 mg of sodium if exercise lasts longer than one hour to reduce physical fatigue, muscle cramps, and the risk of hyponatremia (a loss of sodium), which can actually be life-threatening. 

The mix includes coconut water powder, which is a natural source of potassium. While not lost in sweat as much as sodium, the electrolytes potassium, magnesium, and calcium in the powder further help promote hydration and electrolyte balance.

An image of Transparent Labs Hydrate V3

Taurine4 is an amino acid especially abundant in skeletal muscle. A study published in Amino Acids5 suggests taurine may alleviate exercise-induced oxidative stress and enhance exercise performance.

The electrolyte mix also provides an “innovative Senactiv® adaptogenic extract” to “take your performance to the next level.” With a little digging, I found Senactiv™ is a trademark of NuLiv Science. The official NuLiv Science website suggests Senactiv® is a “patented, plant-based sport nutraceutical scientifically validated in human and in-vivo studies to promote more muscle energy and preservation via senescent cell clearance.” You can also view scientific papers by completing a form, which I did, but did not receive the information sent to my email as it stated. 

The Tropical Punch powder contains no artificial sweeteners, coloring, or preservatives. Instead, it’s flavored, sweetened, and colored with more natural ingredients like stevia extract, beetroot powder, and beta-carotene (a carotenoid pigment that gives some fruits and vegetables their bright color).

RELATED: Best Sports Drinks

Dose InstructionsMix 1 scoop with 8-12 oz of water 1-3 times per day
Electrolyte Formula500 mg sodium, 250 mg potassium, 84 mg calcium, 50 mg magnesium
Form and Flavor(s)Powder (Tropical Punch)
CaloriesN/A
Cost$28.99/40 servings = $0.72/serving (or $26.09 with subscribe and save offer)

Best Pre-Workout Electrolyte Drink: XWERKS Motion

Good for: Quick energy and hydration to maximize exercise performance and recovery 

Best for Pre-Workout

XWERKS Motion

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Backed by clinical trials 
  • Designed to help you perform longer
  • Includes BCAAs and cluster Dextrin
  • Replaces energy levels fast

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Doesn’t cause stomach discomfort
  • Multipurpose formula
  • Backed by science
  • Sugar free
  • Gluten and dairy free

Cons

  • Hard to mix
  • Contains artificial sweetener

Bottom Line

XWERKS Motion is an electrolyte mix that has BCAAs and cluster dextrin, meaning it can fuel you through a workout and also help you recover. With a mid-range per serving cost, this product may be worth a try for those looking for a multipurpose supplement.

Supplying “a synergistic blend of cluster dextrin carbohydrates, branch-chain amino acids, and electrolytes,” XWERKS Motion could just be your next favorite pre-workout companion. But we still encourage you to check out our list of the best pre-workout, where you’ll see XWERKS rank once again.

Anthony O’Reilly, GGR performance editor and a certified nutrition coach, uses this as a pre-workout drink if he doesn’t feel like eating before an early-morning workout. “I’ve been using this for nearly two months now and I can feel a difference in my energy and output during my early lifts,” he says. “This allows me to prepare for the weight room but stay fasted, which is what I prefer for my morning training sessions.”

XWERKS Motion offers a gentle dose of electrolytes to enhance performance and recovery. So, what’s the deal with adding cluster dextrin carbs and BCAAs?

The official XWERKS website explains cluster dextrin, which is highly soluble and thus digested rapidly, allows you to perform better and recover quicker than ever before. They also cite studies from the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness8 and Food Science and Technology Research9 to support their claims, which we fully appreciate. 

An image of Xwerks Motion

The electrolyte blend also provides a BCAA ratio of 2:1:1 (leucine:isoleucine:valine) to promote muscle growth and decrease fatigue during training, just like the best BCAA supplements reviewed by GGR. Research from the Journal of Nutrition10 supports the addition of BCAAs, suggesting BCAA supplements may lessen muscle damage induced by exercise and promote recovery. Also because leucine strongly promotes protein, it’s often included in higher amounts compared to isoleucine and valine. 

XWERKS Motion comes with a money-back guarantee, free shipping, 100% protected online shipping, as well as two flavors (Raspberry Lemonade and Watermelon) and subscribe-and-save options. While it’s also free of gluten and dairy like most electrolyte drink mixes, XWERKS Motion does contain soy in case you are avoiding or limiting soy-based products. 

RELATED: Best Pre-Workout for Women

Dose Instructions1-2 scoops for every hour of training 
Electrolyte Formula80 mg calcium35 mg magnesium34 mg sodium
Form and Flavor(s)Powder (Raspberry Lemonade and Watermelon) 
Calories110
Cost$49.00/30 servings (scoops) = $1.63/serving

Best On-the-Go Electrolyte Drink: Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier Single Serving Packets

Good for: Easily portable hydration

Best On-The-Go

Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Cellular Transport Technology for rapid absorption
  • Three times the electrolytes of a sports drink
  • Contains 5 essential vitamins
  • Non-GMO and free of artificial ingredients

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Hydrates faster than water
  • Travel-friendly
  • Contains essential vitamins
  • Charity donations made with every purchase

Cons

  • Can be too sweet for some
  • Stevia can cause GI distress for some people

Bottom Line

Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier is a great product to help boost your hydration quickly, especially for people who prefer a less-salty electrolyte drink.

Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier Single Serving Packets make hydration on the go a breeze. The four-pack combo also contains hydration packets to support energy and sleep—specifically coming with two “Hydration Multipliers” in Lemon Lime and Passion Fruit, one “Sleep Multiplier” in Blueberry Lavender, and one “Energy Multiplier” in Lemon Ginger. 

All “Multipliers” are powered by Cellular Transport Technology (CTT), which is based on the World Health Organization’s guidelines for creating Oral Rehydration Therapy6 to combat the risks and effects of dehydration. CTT is a precise and intentional blend of sodium, potassium, and glucose (the simplest type of carbohydrate) to deliver fast hydration. ACSM3 also supports that drinking a blend of electrolytes and carbs can provide benefits over water alone. 

Our expert product tester and GGR senior editor Nicole Davis is a Liquid I.V. fan, particularly now that she’s pregnant. “Being pregnant, I am parched at all times, and many times this is the only thing that will really quench my thirst,” says Nicole, a certified personal trainer. “I feel like I drink water constantly and am still thirsty, but I pop one of these bad boys and I’m good.”

An image of a woman taking Liquid IV

The Hydration Multiplier provides 500 milligrams of sodium, 370 milligrams of potassium, and 11 grams of carbs, as well as vitamin C and various B vitamins. Vitamin C is important for tissue repair, while B vitamins are essential for energy and metabolic support. 

And if you’re curious about the “Sleep Multiplier” and “Energy Multiplier” hydration packets, we were as well. The sleep packets contain a “proprietary Sleep Blend with Melatonin, L-Theanine, and Valerian root to help you eazzz into sleep faster.” The Energy Blend contains a proprietary blend of Coffeeberry® Energy Extract, CognatIQ™ Coffee Fruit Extract, and L-Theanine for physical energy and a cognitive boost.”

Regardless of your daily hydration needs and goals, there’s a packet to enjoy for just any time of the day. On the Liquid I.V. official website, you can also “Build Your Own Bundle” with various flavors and types—like Tart Green Apple as a kombucha powder with probiotics, Wild Berry for immune support, and Yuzu Pineapple for energy.

RELATED: Best Probiotic

No matter which you choose, rest easy knowing each packet is free of gluten, soy, dairy, GMOs, and artificial flavors. And rest even easier, and prouder, knowing your purchase funds a serving in need around the world. (Now THAT’s worth sipping to!)

Dose InstructionsAdd 1 stick to 12 ounces of water and shake thoroughly before drinking 
Electrolyte Formula500 mg sodium, 370 mg potassium
Form and Flavor(s)Powder (Passion Fruit, Lemon Lime, Tropical Punch, Golden Cherry, Acai Berry, Guava, Strawberry, Watermelon, Concord Grape, Pina Colada)
Calories45
Cost$24.99/16 sticks=$1.56/packet

Best Budget Electrolyte Drink: Pedialyte Sport

Good for: Those looking for a concentrated electrolyte formula without breaking the bank

Best Budget

Pedialyte Sport Powder Packs

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Contains 5 important electrolytes
  • Great for on the go
  • Scientifically balanced sugar and electrolytes
  • Lemon lime and fruit punch flavors

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 5 types of electrolytes
  • Scientifically designed
  • Great for on the go
  • Additional electrolytes to support muscle

Cons

  • Contains artificial ingredients
  • Heavy salt flavor
  • Only two flavor options

Bottom Line

Pedialyte Sport Powder Mix is a travel-friendly upgrade to a classic electrolyte solution.

For the most concentrated electrolyte bang for your buck, Pedialyte Sport electrolyte blend is said to provide three times the amount of electrolytes—specifically, sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and phosphate—and a fourth of the sugar compared to other sports drinks on the market. The electrolyte powder also comes in convenient, on-the-go rehydration packets.

Our expert product tester, GGR writer and certified personal trainer Lauren Strong, is no stranger to the classic Pedialyte drink for kids, so she had high hopes for Pedialyte Sport. “I think it works almost as well for hydration as regular Pedialyte at a great cost per serving,” she explains. Lemon-Lime also got a 5-out-of-5 in her book for taste, though she notes she added more water than recommended.

“With only 16 ounces it’s pretty intense and overwhelming, but with about 20 ounces it’s perfect,” Lauren says.

An image of Pedialyte Sport electrolyte mix

According to the official website, Pedialyte Sport provides hydration benefits like the other Pedialyte options, including the original Pedialyte and Pedialyte Advanced Care. Pedialyte Sport specifically replaces electrolytes, offers prebiotics, and provides additional electrolytes for muscle support (particularly magnesium, phosphate, and potassium).

The packets come in two flavors—Lemon Lime and Fruit Punch—and provide 40 calories per serving. However, while this is based on personal needs and preferences, Pedialyte Sport contains small amounts of artificial flavors, artificial colors, and artificial sweeteners.

Dose InstructionsMix one packet (a serving) of Pedialyte Powder with 16 fl oz water only
Electrolyte Formula920 mg chloride, 650 mg sodium, 600 mg potassium, 190 mg phosphorus, 55 mg magnesium
Form and Flavor(s)Powder (Lemon Lime and Fruit Punch)
Calories30
Cost$37.90/24 packets = $1.58/packet

Best Electrolyte Drink Tablets: Nuun Sport 

Good for: Those looking for gentle hydration in a compact, dissolvable tablet 

Best Electrolyte Drink Tablets

Nuun Sport

GGR Score: 4.25 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Some flavors offer caffeine for energy 
  • Tablet form makes this perfectly portable
  • Certified vegan, kosher, gluten-free, and non-GMO
  • Third-party tested for banned substances

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Low in sugar
  • Travel-friendly
  • Low per serving cost
  • Gluten-free and vegan
  • Non-GMO and kosher
  • Lots of flavor options

Cons

  • Tablets can be hard to fit in the mouth of some bottles
  • Tablets are hard to dissolve
  • Stevia can cause GI ditress in some people

Bottom Line

If you need something easily portable that you can toss in your bag and go, Nuun Sport is a great choice in electrolyte supplements.

Nuun Sport is available with and without caffeine, but you’ll still sip the electrolyte blend—300 milligrams of sodium, 150 milligrams of potassium, 40 milligrams of chloride, 25 milligrams of magnesium, and 13 milligrams of calcium. (Sidenote: We’d choose Nunn Sport + Caffeine as the best caffeinated electrolyte drink, hands down!)

These electrolyte tablets come in a compact, convenient tube that can be thrown in your gym bag, car, purse, hiking backpack, or really anywhere else. When you need an electrifying and energizing jolt, simply pop the tube, drop and dissolve the tablet in water, and enjoy. 

However, our tester, certified nutrition and GGR performance editor Anthony O’Reilly, says he had to do a little mixing after the tablet dissolved to get the remnants off the bottom of the glass. Despite that, he loves these for long bike rides, hikes, and walks for a good boost of energy.

Choose from many flavors, including Strawberry Lemonade, Citrus Fruit, Fruit Punch, Grape, Lemon Lime, Orange, Tri-Berry, Tropical, and Watermelon.

An image of Nuun Sport

Like all Nuun tablets, Nuun Sport is Banned Substance Tested by LGC Science and certified vegan, kosher, gluten-free, and non-GMO. Nuun also offers cost-saving options, including an 8-tube box, and free shipping on all orders over $45.

RELATED: Best vegan protein powders

Dose InstructionsDrop 1 tablet into 16 ounces of water, wait up to 3 minutes for the tablet to fully dissolve, then enjoy 
Electrolyte Formula300 mg sodium, 150 mg potassium, 25 mg magnesium, 13 mg calcium
Form and Flavor(s)Tablets (Strawberry Lemonade, Citrus Fruit, Fruit Punch, Grape, Lemon Lime, Orange, Tri-Berry, Tropical, and Watermelon)
Calories15
Cost$24.53/40 tablets = $0.61/tablet

Best Low-Sugar Electrolyte Drink: LMNT Recharge Variety Pack

Good for: Conscious consumers reducing sugar intake but who still want quick, flavorful hydration

Best Low-Sugar

LMNT Electrolyte Drink Mix

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Science-backed electrolyte ratio
  • Free from sugar and artificial coloring
  • Suitable for Keto and Paleo diets
  • Gluten-free and vegan

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great flavors
  • Suitable for almost everyone
  • Clean ingredients
  • No-questions-asked refund policy

Cons

  • Includes stevia, which is known to cause GI distress in some people
  • Strong salty flavor can be off-putting

Bottom Line

With sodium, potassium, and magnesium LMNT Electrolyte Drink Mix is a great post-workout hydrator. It can also be great for those who are low-carb and looking to increase electrolyte intake.

LMNT Recharge Variety Pack provides a robust electrolyte blend without any added sugar. While anyone can enjoy it, the no-sugar-added electrolyte drink mix is promoted for those following a keto, low-carb, or paleo diet. 

Garage Gym Reviews senior editor and certified personal trainer Nicole Davis appreciated the unique flavors—Chocolate Salt, anyone?—but does say that these packets are an acquired taste. “This tastes salty, I won’t sugarcoat it,” she quips. “It’s an acquired taste. But, on my third packet, I actually started to dig it. And I also appreciate that there’s no additional sugar added to the formula.” She also called it “thirst-quenching,” and said it helped her remain hydrated during pregnancy.

Each stick provides 1,000 milligrams of sodium in the form of sodium chloride, as well as 200 milligrams of potassium and 60 milligrams of magnesium. In addition to being free of sugar, it also contains no gluten and “dodgy ingredients”—apparently, “everything you need, nothing you don’t”—and is vegan, paleo, and keto-friendly. 

An image of a woman drinking LMNT

The variety pack comes with 12 packets, including 3 packets of Citrus Salt, Raspberry Salt, Orange Salt, and Watermelon Salt. Purchasing through their website offers free shipping on all U.S. orders and a no-questions-asked refund policy. 

Dose InstructionsMix 1 stick with 16-32 ounces of water
Electrolyte Formula1000 mg sodium, 200 mg potassium, 60 mg magnesium
Form and Flavor(s)Powder (Citrus Salt, Raspberry Salt, Orange Salt, Watermelon Salt, Chocolate Salt, Mango Chile, Raw Unflavored)
Calories10 (Watermelon Salt has 5)
Cost$20.00/12 packets = $1.67/packet

Best Electrolyte Drink for Runners: DripDrop ORS Hydration Solution

Good for: Trainers and racers to electrify their long and/or intense runs 

Best for Runners

DripDrop ORS

GGR Score: 4.25 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Developed by a doctor
  • Precise ratios of sodium and electrolytes 
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • DripDrop is a Public Benefit Company
  • Free of gluten, soy, and dairy
  • Non-GMO, vegan, and kosher

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Delivers hydration fast
  • Zero-sugar option available
  • Formulated by a doctor
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Lots of flavor option

Cons

  • Very sweet taste
  • Contains artificial sweetener
  • 16 oz packets only available in 80-count box

Bottom Line

DripDrop has a doctor-formulated electrolyte mix to hydrate you fast. With plenty of flavors, some that are even sugar free, and sticks that come for 8 or 16 ounces of water, it is a customizable option for anyone.

DripDrop ORS Hydration Solution is doctor-developed hydration aiming to prevent dehydration where IV therapy is not available. Specifically, the formula is a precise blend of sodium and glucose to deliver fast hydration. And as we’ve determined, the combo of sodium and carbs can enhance the hydration impact. 

Our tester, GGR writer and competitive powerlifter Lauren Strong, gave DripDrop a big thumbs up, and loved the flavor options. “I thought this actually helped with hydration and didn’t make my mouth feel coated with sugar afterward,” Lauren says.

Although electrolytes and carbs can improve hydration for runners, half and full-marathoners7 have admitted to not monitoring hydration levels or employing a proper hydration plan. The researchers urge greater attention to valid hydration techniques, so if you’re reading this—follow proper hydration methods to keep your runs and body strong! 

The electrolyte mix comes in individually-wrapped packets with the choice of two sizes: 8-ounce packets with 330 mg of sodium and 16-ounce packets that provide double the amount at 670 milligrams. The 8-ounce packets come in a 32-count while the 16-ounce packets come in an 80-count. 

An image of DripDrop electrolyte mix

The options keep coming, blessing us with the most flavor variety on our list. A dazzling array of flavors include Berry, Watermelon, Lemon, Orange, Passion Fruit, Fruit Punch, Honey Lemon Ginger, Hibiscus, Decaf Green Tea, as well as Bold (Berry, Watermelon, Lemon, and Orange), Juicy (Cherry), Concord Grape, Fruit Punch, and Strawberry-Lemonade), and Hot (Cherry, Concord Grape, Fruit Punch, and Strawberry-Lemonade) varieties. 

Each packet is free of artificial ingredients, including artificial sweeteners that commonly cause digestive upset—and the last thing you want to deal with while running. DripDrop also comes in a sugar-free option, all of which are free of gluten, soy, dairy, soy, and GMOs.

DripDrop also offers free shipping on every order and a 100% money-back guarantee. While all packets are FSA and HSA eligible, you can only select “subscribe to save 25%” on the 8-ounce packets. 

Dose InstructionsMix one (8-oz) packet with 8 oz of water
Electrolyte Formula (for 8-oz packet)330 mg sodium, 185 mg potassium, 39 mg magnesium
Form and Flavor(s)Powder (Berry, Watermelon, Lemon, Orange, Passion Fruit, Fruit Punch, Honey Lemon Ginger, Hibiscus, Decaf Green Tea, and Bold, Juicy, and Hot Variety Packs)
Calories35
Cost$35.99/32, 8-oz packets = $1.25/packet

Other Electrolyte Drinks We Researched

With hundreds of electrolyte products on the market, it’s tough to narrow down the list to just eight. While we still stand by our picks, other electrolytes we researched and approved of include: 

Common Electrolyte Sources

Electrolyte drinks are a convenient way to replace large amounts of lost minerals during training, but there are many common beverages that contain sodium, potassium, calcium, and other electrolytes, including:

  • Milk: High in calcium
  • Coconut water: High in potassium, sodium and manganese
  • Juice: High in magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Some fruits may also contain calcium
  • Smoothies: Contains

How We Picked and Tested the Best Electrolyte Drinks

From testing the best fish oil supplements to the best electrolyte drinks, our team of testers has high standards. That’s why we based our top picks on the following: 

  • Electrolyte formulation: Because sodium is lost most in sweat, we made sure the selected products were richest in sodium. Of course, the other electrolytes—like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride—are also important for hydration and performance, so the tested products also contain at least one more of these in varying dosages.
  • Other ingredients added: Electrolytes are the highlight of an electrolyte drink but other ingredients can impact its effectiveness as well. For instance, research shows electrolytes combined with carbs can enhance absorption while providing the athlete with quick energy. Some products also contain additional ingredients—like taurine and branched-chain amino acids—to augment exercise performance and recovery.   
  • Form: Sports drinks—like Gatorade and Powerade—often come premixed. However, the electrolyte products we chose come in compact powders and tablets so you can travel lightly without the worry of spills. 
  • Variety of flavors: Because flavor can enhance water intake and everyone has their own unique preferences, we picked products with various flavor options. From Lemon Lime to Watermelon Salt to Tropical Punch, you’re likely to find a flavor that encourages you to drink more.
  • Brand trust: Is the brand reputable? Do they have easily accessible contact options, as well as a clear refund policy? In addition to evaluating the product, we analyze the brand and company behind it and select those that display high standards just as much as we do at GGR. 
  • Additional Sweeteners: Additional sweeteners add extra calories to an electrolyte supplement and may cause digestive issues in some people. We tried to avoid these as much as possible to give you more options.
  • Third-party certifications: Since dietary supplements are not approved by the FDA, having an independent third-party lab verify that what’s on the label is what’s in the electrolyte drink is super important, especially for athletes. Transparency also plays a part in this—does the company provide COAs, not use proprietary blends, and generally seem very upfront about what’s used in their electrolyte and why?

Potential Benefits of Consuming Electrolyte Drinks

Here’s the thing: water will always be the top hydration pick among nutrition experts. But the addition of electrolytes11 can prevent electrolyte imbalances—which are high or low electrolyte levels—that can disrupt normal bodily functions and even be life-threatening. 

RELATED: Best BCAA for women

Each electrolyte offers its own unique function to the body. When combined with one, two, or a few others, the electrolytes can improve hydration, athletic performance, recovery, and so much more. 

Electrolytes are pretty remarkable on their own, huh? But since electrolyte drinks contain a hybrid of electrolytes, or at least sodium partnered with another, let’s see how much more electric they are when working together:

  • Maintain cellular and overall health: At their core, electrolytes are minerals that help regulate chemical reactions in the body’s cells related to fluid balance, muscle contraction, heart function, and so much more. They are an important and necessary part of maintaining cellular health that impacts the entire body. 
  • Prevent dehydration: Water is always the drink of choice for optimal hydration but if too many electrolytes have been lost, dehydration is still possible. Adding electrolytes, particularly under certain conditions like intense exercise, can help keep the body hydrated and well-functioning. 
  • Improve athletic performance: Exercise induces weight loss, particularly water weight via sweat, and even losing as little as 1 to 2 percent of body mass can negatively impact physical performance according to this 2018 review12. This makes rehydration13 with water and salt is an important part of the post-exercise recovery process. Also because electrolytes are essential for proper heart and muscle functions, they can improve aerobic capacity preventing muscle cramps.
  • Offer hydration when sick: Fever, diarrhea, and vomiting often occur when sick and are also common causes of electrolyte imbalances. You can help restore hydration while sick with the help of electrolyte drinks, especially when appetite is low and food just isn’t appealing. 
  • Promote recovery: Whether after a grueling workout, injury, or surgery, it’s essential to promote an environment for recovery. High-protein foods are ke,y but electrolytes also play a role since they assist in blood clotting, bone health, and tissue growth and repair.
  • Enhance mood and cognition: The physical effects of dehydration are well-known and the impact on mood and cognition is starting to become more recognized. A 2019 study published in Nutrients14 suggests an electrolyte-water combo can prevent increases in hostility and anxiety while benefiting attention and working memory. 

RELATED: Best greens powder

Key Ingredients in Electrolyte Drinks

Truly, electrolytes are essential for basic life functioning. Sodium, potassium, and chloride are the significant electrolytes along with magnesium, calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonates, although all are critical for good health. Since each electrolyte has its own significance, it’s worth exploring them on their own1:

  • Sodium: helps control fluid balance (particularly the extracellular fluid, or the fluid outside of the cells) that subsequently impacts blood pressure, promotes normal nerve and muscle functions
  • Potassium: helps control fluid balance (particularly the intracellular fluid, or the fluid inside the cells), sends nerve signals, promotes muscle contraction, regulates blood pressure, supports bone health, controls heartbeats 
  • Calcium: builds strong bone and teeth, promotes muscle movement, helps blood clot
  • Bicarbonate*: helps the body maintain a healthy pH, regulates heart function
  • Magnesium: promotes muscle and nerve function, maintains a healthy heart rhythm, regulates blood glucose levels
  • Chloride*: helps control fluid balance, balances electrolytes and pH levels, promotes good digestion
  • Phosphorus*: supports tissue growth and repair, strengthens teeth and bones, regulates normal function of nerves and muscles, makes up our genes 

*Bicarbonate, chloride, and phosphorus are mostly added to electrolyte products as pairs with other electrolytes such as Sodium Chloride (table salt), Potassium Chloride, Sodium Bicarbonate, and Potassium Phosphate.

Dosing and Interactions 

When considering an electrolyte drink, it’s important to identify what you might need to take and if it could interact with certain medications. Factoring any health conditions, like kidney disease, is also extremely important before consuming an electrolyte drink. 

Electrolyte Dosages 

The number of electrolytes you need mostly varies based on many factors, including age, activity level, and dietary patterns. A good starting point to identify your electrolyte needs is by understanding how much you need daily using Dietary Reference Intakes:

  • Sodium: 2,300 mg/day (Upper Limit)
  • Potassium: 4,700 mg/day (Adequate Intake)
  • Chloride: 3,600 mg/day (Upper Limit)
  • Magnesium: 3,500 mg/day (Upper Limit from supplements only)
  • Calcium: 1,000 mg/day 
  • Phosphorus: 700 mg/day (Recommended Dietary Allowance)

These electrolytes are mostly obtained by the foods we eat and if you consume a balanced diet, your electrolyte levels are likely adequate. However, aside from eating a diet that lacks nutrient variety, there are certain instances when an electrolyte drink might be beneficial such as: 

  • Exercising longer than 1 hour 
  • Working out in the heat 
  • Acclimating to high altitudes15 
  • Experiencing major fluid losses, such as via diarrhea and vomiting

Now this begs the question, how much electrolytes should you take? Because sodium is the predominant electrolyte lost in sweat, researchers mostly focus on this mineral: According to this 2022 review16, a sports drink containing 230-690 mg/L of sodium results in optimal absorption and prevention of hyponatremia. Also, recall that the ACSM encourages consuming 500 to 700 mg of sodium if exercise lasts longer than one hour.

An image of Pedialyte Electrolyte

And then there’s this 2018 study11 that suggests there is no one universal hydration strategy, as each individual sweats at a different rate with varying losses. Individualityy is not a new concept in the nutrition world, as there truly is no “one-size-fits-all” and electrolyte needs are no different. 

Overall, while electrolytes are mostly considered safe for the general population, consider consulting with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) or another nutrition expert before taking an electrolyte drink to help identify your unique needs.

Electrolyte Interactions

Electrolytes play pivotal roles in our health but aren’t always warranted, especially if you’re taking certain medications and/or managing a healthcare condition. This is because electrolytes can interfere with the efficacy of medications and exacerbate certain conditions, which can place tremendous concern on the body’s health and safety. 

Common interaction risks mostly include diuretics and blood pressure medications, particularly as these medications help manage what electrolytes do—balance fluid and blood pressure. Certain health conditions, such as heart failure and kidney disease, can be managed by following specific dietary guidelines that often encompass fluid balance and respective electrolytes. 

Again, reaching out to a dietitian can be immensely helpful for understanding your body’s needs and the potential risks of electrolyte consumption. They can also help you pick the best electrolyte drink for you, although you can get a head start using our expert tips right below. 

Buying Guide: What to Look for in Electrolyte Drinks

While we focused on variety to encompass a wide array of needs and preferences, there are specific call-outs to look for when choosing an electrolyte drink best for you. These include the amount of electrolytes and additional ingredients the formulation is composed of, as well as factoring in convenience and flavor. 

Amount of Electrolytes

Because sodium is the predominant electrolyte lost in sweat, it should be the primary point of interest when looking for an electrolyte drink. You might opt for a higher sodium option (like LMNT Recharge with 1,000mg) or lower (such as Nuun Sport with 300mg), as well as a product with other electrolytes like potassium, depending on your hydration needs.

Additional Ingredients 

Your training goals can further guide you to an electrolyte product right for you. For instance, some electrolyte beverages add carbohydrates in various forms—such as glucose and sugar—that can give you [just about] instant energy while training. Especially if you have any food allergies and intolerances, ensure the electrolyte is free of soy, gluten, artificial sweeteners, etc. 

Convenience

What electrolyte supplement will best fit your lifestyle? Pre-mixed options, like Gatorade, are available but more compact powders and tablets are as well. Pick which one will be the most convenient one for you to consume when you need electrolytes the most. 

Flavor

Absolutely, ingredients do matter, but only if you enjoy, or at least tolerate, them. Many flavors are available—like a fruity Fruit Punch or citrusy Lemon Lime—so choose one that will encourage you to hydrate!

Best Electrolyte Drinks FAQs

What is the best drink to replace electrolytes?

The best drink to replace electrolytes contains at least sodium, which is the electrolyte mostly lost in sweat, along with a combination of the others. Research shows an electrolyte formula with added glucose can increase how well the electrolytes are absorbed and replaced. Overall, the best drink is the one you can easily consume when replenishing electrolytes is needed the most.

Is drinking electrolyte drinks good for you?

Drinking electrolytes is a smart hydration approach if they are inadequate in your daily diet and/or are lost more rapidly with fluid loss whether it be via sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea. However, if you aren’t ill and have a balanced diet and shorter, less intense workouts, electrolyte drinks are likely not working in your favor.

Which drink has the most electrolytes?

Based on our list, LMNT Recharge offers the most sodium electrolyte at 1,000 milligrams. However, Pedialyte Sport identifies the most electrolyte variety, including 920 milligrams of chloride, 650 milligrams of sodium, 600 milligrams of potassium, 190 milligrams of phosphorus, and 55 milligrams of magnesium.

Is it OK to drink electrolytes every day?

While drinking electrolytes is considered to be safe for healthy individuals, consuming them in excess is not always necessary in the absence of conditions that increase fluid and electrolyte loss. In fact, you might already be getting sufficient electrolytes through other food and fluid intake. It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if you could benefit from drinking electrolytes daily. 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

Who are electrolyte drinks good for?

Anyone can benefit from electrolytes, especially if enjoying an electrolyte drink helps your daily hydration goals. Athletes, high-intensity exercisers, and those who train in hot or humid environments that lead to excessive sweating should consider using electrolytes to help maintain balance and prevent dehydration.

References:

  1. Shrimanker I, Bhattarai S. Electrolytes. [Updated 2022 Jul 25]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541123/?report=classic
  2. Veniamakis E, Kaplanis G, Voulgaris P, Nikolaidis PT. Effects of Sodium Intake on Health and Performance in Endurance and Ultra-Endurance Sports. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19(6):3651. Published 2022 Mar 19. doi:10.3390/ijerph19063651
  3. American College of Sports Medicine; Sawka MN, Burke LM, Eichner ER, et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exercise and fluid replacement. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Feb;39(2):377-90. doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e31802ca597. PMID: 17277604.
  4. Kurtz JA, VanDusseldorp TA, Doyle JA, Otis JS. Taurine in sports and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2021 May 26;18(1):39. doi: 10.1186/s12970-021-00438-0. PMID: 34039357; PMCID: PMC8152067.
  5. Zhang M, Izumi I, Kagamimori S, et al. Role of taurine supplementation to prevent exercise-induced oxidative stress in healthy young men. Amino Acids. 2004 Mar;26(2):203-7. doi: 10.1007/s00726-003-0002-3. Epub 2003 May 9. PMID: 15042451.
  6. Bhattacharya SK. History of development of oral rehydration therapy. Indian J Public Health. 1994 Apr-Jun;38(2):39-43. PMID: 7530695.
  7. O’Neal EK, Wingo JE, Richardson MT, et al. Half-marathon and full-marathon runners’ hydration practices and perceptions. J Athl Train. 2011;46(6):581-591. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-46.6.581
  8. Suzuki K, Shiraishi K, Yoshitani K, et al. Effect of a sports drink based on highly-branched cyclic dextrin on cytokine responses to exhaustive endurance exercise. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2014 Oct;54(5):622-30. PMID: 25270782.
  9. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/fstr/21/3/21_499/_html
  10. Shimomura Y, Yamamoto Y, Bajotto G, et al. Nutraceutical effects of branched-chain amino acids on skeletal muscle. J Nutr. 2006 Feb;136(2):529S-532S. doi: 10.1093/jn/136.2.529S. PMID: 16424141.
  11. Shrimanker I, Bhattarai S. Electrolytes. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing, Treasure Island (FL); 2022. PMID: 31082167.
  12. Ayotte D Jr, Corcoran MP. Individualized hydration plans improve performance outcomes for collegiate athletes engaging in in-season training. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018 Jun 4;15(1):27. doi: 10.1186/s12970-018-0230-2. PMID: 29866199; PMCID: PMC5987390.
  13. Maughan RJ, Shirreffs SM. Dehydration and rehydration in competative sport. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 Oct;20 Suppl 3:40-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01207.x. PMID: 21029189.
  14. Cousins AL, Young HA, Thomas AG, Benton D. The Effect of Hypo-Hydration on Mood and Cognition Is Influenced by Electrolyte in a Drink and Its Colour: A Randomised Trial. Nutrients. 2019;11(9):2002. Published 2019 Aug 24. doi:10.3390/nu11092002
  15. Khan DA, Aslam M, Khan ZU. Changes in plasma electrolytes during acclimatization at high altitude. J Pak Med Assoc. 1996 Jun;46(6):128-31. PMID: 8991369.
  16. Veniamakis E, Kaplanis G, Voulgaris P, Nikolaidis PT. Effects of Sodium Intake on Health and Performance in Endurance and Ultra-Endurance Sports. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19(6):3651. Published 2022 Mar 19. doi:10.3390/ijerph1906365

Further reading

The Science of Post-Workout Recovery: Busting Myths and Spilling Facts Cover Image
The Science of Post-Workout Recovery: Busting Myths and Spilling Facts

Electrolyte drinks seem to be all the rage nowadays. While we typically consume enough electrolytes1—sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonates—through our food each day, there are instances where you’d benefit from supplementation. Particularly if you sweat a lot, or if it’s hot and humid, then an electrolyte drink—including the best electrolyte powder—could be beneficial.Electrolytes play vital roles in fluid balance, muscle contraction, nerve stimulation,  » Read more about: Best Electrolyte Drinks for Hydration (2024): Elevating H2O to H2-wOah  » Read more

Onnit Coupon Code (2024) Cover Image
Onnit Coupon Code (2024)

Supplement your nutrition with some of the best products while saving money by using our Onnit coupon code. Read more

Nutricost Creatine Review (2024): Get Your Gains on a Budget Cover Image
Nutricost Creatine Review (2024): Get Your Gains on a Budget

Is this affordable creatine too good to be true? Find out in our Nutricost Creatine review. Read more

4 Best Jump Rope Workout to Get Fit Cover Image
4 Best Jump Rope Workout to Get Fit

Our experts provide four jump rope exercises to work into your fitness regimen. Read more