Stay Hydrated with the Best Electrolyte Powders

Woman with electrolyte drink


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My family lovingly calls me the "hydration enforcer." Apparently, I constantly pester them about how much water they've consumed—the importance of proper hydration simply can’t be understated. And, while it’s no secret that water is a literal lifeline, there are still those hot, sweaty times (i.e. mid-workout) when water alone just doesn’t cut it. These are the times that we should replenish with the best electrolyte powders.

Our electrolytes are made from minerals such as sodium, calcium, and potassium. These minerals are often lost through sweating (and, sometimes after a bout with a nasty stomach bug). That’s why it’s crucial we include electrolyte-replenishers in our toolkit, so we can ensure we’re properly fueling our bodies.

One of the most popular ways to replenish your electrolytes is with a sports drink like Gatorade. However, there is now a slew of choices, including drinks, tablets, supplements, packets, and even energy gels that can help replenish your essential minerals. In this review, we take a deeper look at the best electrolyte powders. Plus, we provide other recommendations for electrolyte-replenishers in order to give you ample options for hydration.

Why Trust Us?

The health and safety of ACTIVE's readers is of the utmost importance to us. To ensure your well-being when consuming dietary supplements, the ACTIVE.com editorial team prioritizes products that are independently tested by a third party. We've also consulted with a team of nutritionists and dieticians to ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. This helps us create the most accurate, authentic review content for our readers. More importantly, fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.

A Quick Look at Electrolytes and Electrolyte Powders

Electrolytes are minerals such as sodium, potassium, and calcium that are found in our bodies. Electrolytes are important for keeping you hydrated, and they balance your acidity and alkalinity (aka pH levels). Additionally, they play a part in how your nervous system functions. Under normal circumstances, our bodies receive enough electrolytes through a healthy, balanced diet.

However, during particularly intense sweat sessions our electrolyte levels can get out of whack because our bodies can't replenish them at a fast enough speed. When this happens, we can become dizzy and weak, and we can also develop headaches, dry mouth, and nausea. This is when extra electrolytes, like those found in electrolyte drinks and powders, can come to the rescue.

The Best Electrolyte Powders - Our Top Picks

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What to Look for When Shopping for Electrolyte Powders


Form

Electrolyte replacements come in forms such as flavored water, non-flavored water, powder, dissolvable tablets, and other supplements. Consider what best fits into your lifestyle, and your preferences as far as taste and texture.

Ingredients

If you have certain dietary restrictions, make sure that your drink of choice doesn’t contain ingredients that you can't ingest. Pay special attention to the amount of sodium in the added electrolytes. While sodium can keep you more hydrated, it also enhances water retention. Try to strike a healthy balance between the extra sodium that you're putting in your body and the amount that you're sweating out.

Many of the pre-made electrolytes drinks also contain carbohydrates from sugar. We need carbs because they’re converted to glucose, and glucose is what provides the majority of our energy. So if you’re doing intense physical work, your body can benefit from some sugar, but remember that you'll need to use the sugar up so that it doesn’t convert into fat.

Our Rating Scale

Price: Price depends on a number of factors and tends to fluctuate over time, so we've kept our affordability rating scale simple to make it easy to see how products compare:

$ = under $1 per serving
$$ = $1-2 per serving
$$$ = over $2 per serving

Flavor Options (rating scale):

When it comes to dietary supplements that you take frequently, or even daily, options are important. Having several flavors to choose from can make it easier to stick to your hydration goals.

N/A = Unflavored
1 = 1-2 flavor options
2 = 3-4 flavor options
3 = 5 or more flavor options

Best Overall - Kaged Hydra-Charge

Kaged Hydra-Charged

Specs

  • Price: $
  • Flavors: 2
  • Serving size per container: 60
  • Form: Powder
  • Key ingredients: Coconut Fruit Water Powder, Spectra, Taurine
  • Allergen warnings: N/A
  • Sweetener: Natural
  • Calories: 5
  • Intended use: Hydration

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Kaged Hydra-Charge powder provides five essential electrolytes. It comes in several delicious flavors that aim to quench thirst and hydrate. Made with no artificial flavors, colors or dyes, it also provides additional antioxidant support.

This electrolyte powder can be taken daily and is beneficial for athletes of all levels. These factors, plus the fact that Kaged Hydra-Charge supports a healthy immune system, is why we ranked it best overall.

What We Like

  • Low sugar
  • Third-party tested
  • Antioxidant blend of fruits and vegetables

What We Don't Like

  • Limited flavors
  • Only available in container

BUY: KAGED Hydra-Charge

Best Sugar-Free - BioSteel Hydration Mix

BioSteel Hydration Mix

Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Flavors: 3
  • Serving size per container: 20
  • Form: Powder
  • Key ingredients: Vitamins B1, B2
  • Allergen warnings: N/A
  • Sweetener: No artificial sweeteners
  • Calories: 5 per serving
  • Intended uses: Hydration, energy

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Looking for hydration sans sugar? We recommend the BioSteel Hydration Mix. This hydration powder doesn’t contain any sugar, artificial flavors or colors. However, it does have added vitamins and minerals and all five essential electrolytes. Plus, it’s free of caffeine and is vegan-friendly.

What We Like

  • Sugar-free
  • Vegan-friendly
  • NSF-Certified for Sport

What We Don't Like

  • Only available in powder in container
  • Available in 1 size only

BUY: BioSteel Hydration Mix

Best for Working Out - Kaged In-Kaged

Kaged In-Kaged

Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Flavors: 2
  • Serving size per container: 20
  • Form: Powder
  • Key ingredients: L-Citrulline, Leucine, Valine
  • Allergen warnings: N/A
  • Sweetener: Natural sweetener
  • Calories: 5
  • Intended uses: Performance, endurance, hydration

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We often think about hydrating pre- and post-workout, but we forget about the middle part. However, by using Kaged In-Kaged intra-workout, you not only replace essential electrolytes lost during mid-sweat, you also get citrulline for a boost during your workout and BCAAs that will get the recovery party started. In-Kaged helps you fight mid-workout fatigue with Carnosyn Beta-Alanine and a blend of organic caffeine and taurine.

What We Like

  • Provides intra-workout boost with citrulline
  • BCAAs for muscle recovery
  • Blend of caffeine and taurine for energy

What We Don't Like

  • Only available in 1 size
  • Limited flavors

BUY: Kaged In-Kaged

Best for Runners: Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier

Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Flavors: 3
  • Serving size per container: 16 (individual packets)
  • Form: Powder
  • Key ingredients: Vitamins B3, B5, B6, B12, and C
  • Allergen warnings: N/A
  • Sweetener: Natural Flavors
  • Calories: 45
  • Intended uses: Hydration

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It’s especially important to keep your electrolytes balanced when out on long runs. Fortunately, Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier offers a simple solution with its electrolyte powder that offers three times the electrolytes of traditional sports drinks.

Also, since they're packaged in individual sticks, it’s easy to take one with you when you're pounding the pavement. This drink mix is also powered by a Cellular Hydration Multiplier, which hydrates the body faster and more efficiently.

What We Like

  • More electrolytes than traditional sports drinks beverages
  • Packets are easy to take on-the-go
  • Light and refreshing taste

What We Don't Like

  • High in calories compared to other electrolyte powders
  • Some users may find them too salty

Read the full Liquid IV review.

BUY: Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier

Best for Golfers - OffField Enhanced Hydration

OffField Enhanced Hydration

Specs

  • Price: $$$
  • Flavors: 1
  • Serving size per container: 12 (individual packets)
  • Form: Powder
  • Key ingredients: CBD, CBG, Vitamins B6, B12, C, L-Theanine, Magnesium, Zinc
  • Allergen warnings: N/A
  • Sweetener: No Artificial Flavors
  • Calories: 30
  • Intended uses: Hydration, access endocannabinoid system

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It can get scorching hot on the golf course. But by throwing some OffField Enhanced Hydration packets in your golf bag, you can stay hydrated and relaxed when hitting the links. OffField uses Plant Enhanced Biometrics to create a refreshing drink mix that has essential minerals.

In addition to these minerals, it also contains CBD and CBG, which comes with the added bonus of relaxation in addition to hydration.

What We Like

  • Fights inflammation
  • Less sugar than most electrolyte mixes
  • Helps reduce anxiety

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Only 2 flavors

BUY: OffField Enhanced Hydration

Best for On the Go - Liquid IV Energy Multiplier

Liquid IV Energy Multiplier

Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Flavors: 1
  • Serving size per container: 14 (single serving packets)
  • Form: Powder
  • Key ingredients: Natural caffeine, matcha, L-theanine, Vitamin C
  • Allergen warnings: N/A
  • Sweetener: N/A
  • Calories: 45
  • Intended uses: Energy, hydration

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When your day is jam packed and you're constantly on the go, it’s great to have something that provides sustained energy to keep you going at a steady pace. That's why we recommend packing Liquid IV for whenever you’re on-the-go.

The hydration sticks are packed with the same amount of caffeine as one to two cups of coffee, but they also provide a powerful punch of antioxidants. Additionally, the matcha and vitamin C helps provide sustained energy throughout the day.

What We Like

  • Provides sustained energy
  • Portable
  • Can help improve mood

What We Don't Like

  • Only 1 flavor
  • High in caffeine

Read the full Liquid IV review.

BUY: Liquid IV Energy Multiplier

Best for Swimmers - LivPur Nutrition Hydrate

Liv Pur Nutrition Hydrate

Specs

  • Price: $$$
  • Flavors: 2
  • Serving size per container: 15 (individual packets)
  • Form: Powder
  • Key ingredients: Amino Acids, Cluster Dextrin, Glucose, Vitamin C, B6, B12
  • Allergen warnings: N/A
  • Sweetener: Natural Flavors
  • Calories: 10
  • Intended uses: Hydration

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Swimmers are submerged in water all the time, but that doesn't make proper hydration any less important. By adding a Live Pur Nutrition Hydrate package to your water, you can replenish your electrolytes two to three times faster than with water alone.

Furthermore, LivPur Nutrition Hydrate is packed with 20 nutrients that can help alleviate muscle cramps, boost energy, and improve brain function.

What We Like

  • Helps boost energy
  • Vegan-, gluten-, and soy-free
  • No artificial colors or flavors

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Only available in individual packets

BUY: Liv Pur Nutrition Hydrate

Other Electrolyte Options

If electrolyte powders aren’t your jam, there are many other options available for you. Check out our favorite alternative options:

FAQs About Electrolyte Drinks


What is the healthiest electrolyte to drink?

There isn't one single electrolyte option that’s the healthiest. Rather, the healthiest electrolyte drink depends on your individual needs and dietary restrictions. As a general rule though, most electrolyte powders work well for those looking to limit their sugar intake since they’re generally lower in sugar than sports drinks.

What is the most effective electrolyte?

While it’s important to make sure that all the minerals that make up electrolytes are properly balanced, when you're working out you want to make sure that you’re getting enough sodium. When we sweat we lose a lot of sodium, and if we don't replenish it, it can lead to muscle cramps.

What is better than Gatorade for electrolytes?

If you’re looking for an electrolyte supplement that doesn’t contain as much sugar and calories as Gatorade, there are several alternatives (like the ones included in this list). These include powder mixes, tablets, and natural drinks like coconut water, which provide many of the same benefits of Gatorade without the added carbohydrates and artificial colors.

Do any drinks contain electrolytes?

Several drinks and supplements, such as milk, coconut water, sports drinks, and Pedialyte, contain many electrolytes. You can consume these drinks before, during, or after intense exercise to replenish electrolytes lost during sweat.

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