Home
arrow
Fitness
arrow
9 Best Hydration Supplements to Use in 2022
Fitness

9 Best Hydration Supplements to Use in 2022

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by Isabel Mayfield | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on 2022 September 22
256 Views
9 min

Hydration supplements can keep you going when you lose fluids and electrolytes. But which one should you take?

best hydration supplements

We may earn a small commission if you buy via links on our site. Learn more.

When you run, you sweat. Through sweat, you lose more than water. You also lose electrolytes that can lead to dehydration.

But you cannot replenish them through drinking water alone. Traditional sports drinks are packed with sugar and calories and often have artificial flavors. No wonder health-conscious runners look for hydration and electrolyte supplements. 

Read on to discover the best electrolyte supplements you can buy this year. 

Comparison Table

Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier
Nuun Sport Electrolyte Drink Tablets
Runfit Runner’s Performance Mix
Mission Critical Meal Replacement Plus
Transparent Labs Hydrate
GU Energy Gel Shots
Onnit HYDRATech Instant
Rapid Rehydr8
Cure Hydration
4.2
4.0
4.1
4.3
4.0
3.9
4.1
4.4
4.0

Based on the proven WHO ORS formula

Lots of flavors to choose from

Caffeine and caffeine-free options

Has more amino acids than cheaper supplements

Keto diet-friendly

Tastes like a sports drink

Suitable for runners with a caffeine intolerance

Natural flavors

Available with or without caffeine

Dozens of flavors to choose from

Has more calcium than other supplements

Suitable for vegans

Zero sugar

No artificial flavoring

Pain relieving

Easy digested

Free from added sugars

Only 25 calories per serving

Rich in sugar

High in sodium

You have to wait a few minutes for the tablets to fully dissolve 

No sodium and calcium

May contain allergens

Has artificial ingredients

Not designed for runners

Hefty dose of sodium

Packs a lot of sodium

Has malic acid, which may trigger headaches and other side effects in some people

Contains preservatives

Has artificial ingredients

Not ideal for weight loss because of the added sugar

Not a flavorful experience

Not ideal for runners with heartburn or indigestion

No vitamins

Brand
Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier
Nuun Sport Electrolyte Drink Tablets
Runfit Runner’s Performance Mix
Mission Critical Meal Replacement Plus
Transparent Labs Hydrate
GU Energy Gel Shots
Onnit HYDRATech Instant
Rapid Rehydr8
Cure Hydration
Rating
4.2
4.0
4.1
4.3
4.0
3.9
4.1
4.4
4.0
Pros

Based on the proven WHO ORS formula

Lots of flavors to choose from

Caffeine and caffeine-free options

Has more amino acids than cheaper supplements

Keto diet-friendly

Tastes like a sports drink

Suitable for runners with a caffeine intolerance

Natural flavors

Available with or without caffeine

Dozens of flavors to choose from

Has more calcium than other supplements

Suitable for vegans

Zero sugar

No artificial flavoring

Pain relieving

Easy digested

Free from added sugars

Only 25 calories per serving

Cons

Rich in sugar

High in sodium

You have to wait a few minutes for the tablets to fully dissolve 

No sodium and calcium

May contain allergens

Has artificial ingredients

Not designed for runners

Hefty dose of sodium

Packs a lot of sodium

Has malic acid, which may trigger headaches and other side effects in some people

Contains preservatives

Has artificial ingredients

Not ideal for weight loss because of the added sugar

Not a flavorful experience

Not ideal for runners with heartburn or indigestion

No vitamins

The Best Hydration Supplements

In our search for the best electrolyte supplements, we went beyond the manufacturer’s claims. Here are our choices, ranked according to science.

#1 Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier

Liquid IV
  • Delivers hydration with water and essential electrolytes
  • More electrolytes than average sports drinks
  • Drink mix powder with various products and flavors available
Our rating:
4.2
Learn More

Liquid I.V. is a hydration multiplier electrolyte powder that works as a complete electrolyte supplement. It can replenish electrolytes lost while hydrating faster than water.

It’s based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), and it provides three times the electrolytes of traditional sports drinks.

One stick mixed into a 16oz water bottle supplies the same hydration as up to three bottles of water. You can count on it to stay hydrated during endurance runs and avoid muscle cramps.

However, this electrolyte hydration powder has two major drawbacks. First, it’s not a sugar-free solution. It packs no less than 11g of added sugar per serving. That’s the equivalent of 44% of an adult woman’s Daily Value.

Liquid I.V. includes stevia leaf extract among its ingredients. But the extra sugar comes from cane sugar and dextrose. 

This makes it problematic for runners who want to lose weight. Or who are running with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes and need to keep their blood sugar in check. 

Second, it has 510mg of sodium, or 22% of the Daily Value per stick. Sodium is one of the key nutrients you lose running. Your body needs it to work well. 

But this can add up with the sodium you get from your diet to unhealthy levels. The WHO recommends a salt intake of fewer than 2g of sodium a day. More than this can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The latter is the leading cause of mortality worldwide.

Pros
  • Rich in electrolytes
  • Hydrates faster than water
  • Based on the proven WHO ORS
  • Has 80% of the recommended dose of vitamin C
  • Packs plenty of B12 (280% of Daily Value)
  • Multiple flavors, including acai berry, pina colada, or passion fruit
Cons
  • Rich in sugar (11g of sugar per stick or 44% of an adult woman’s Daily Value)
  • High in sodium (510mg of sodium, or 22% of Daily Value per stick)
  • Salty taste despite flavoring may not be to everyone’s liking

#2 Nuun Sport Electrolyte Drink Tablets

Nuun Sport Electrolyte Drink Tablets
  • Easy to take with you
  • Low in sugar
Our rating:
4.0
Learn More

Nuun Sport Electrolyte Drink Tablets are neatly packed into a 10-tablet tube. This is easy to take with you and dissolve into 16oz of water. The resulting drink can deliver hydration to your whole body and restore fluid balance. 

Electrolyte tablets can be appealing to runners who are often on the go. But they don’t pack the key nutrients that other electrolyte supplements have. 

Nuun Sport Electrolyte Drink Tablets don’t have vitamin C, B vitamins, or BCAAs. It provides electrolyte supplementation, and that’s about it. 

You may still have to take those vitamins separately for optimal performance and health. This is especially true for runners who are vegans or vegetarians. 

Nuun Sport Electrolyte Drink Tablets also have plenty of sodium: 300mg per tablet. That may come in handy during long endurance races. But this electrolyte supplement can promote a high daily intake of sodium, which isn’t healthy. 

Pros
  • Easy to take with you
  • You can choose between flavors with and without caffeine
  • Gluten-free
  • Non-GMO
  • More affordable than other hydration solutions
  • Low on sugar (only one 1g per tablet)
  • Lots of flavors to choose from, including citrus fruits, berries, watermelon, and tropical fruits
  • Certified vegan and kosher
Cons
  • You have to wait a few minutes for the tablets to fully dissolve
  • Rich in sodium (300mg per tablet)
  • Other solutions also provide vitamins

#3 Runfit Runner’s Performance Mix

Runfit Runner’s Performance Mix
  • Good mix of vitamins and BCAAs
  • Calorie-free
Our rating:
4.1
Learn More

Our list of electrolyte supplements continues with Runfit Runner’s Performance Mix. You’re looking at a hydration supplement that packs essential minerals and more. 

This hydration supplement has vitamin C, B vitamins, BCAAs, and caffeine. This electrolyte powder does more than hydrate you. It can fuel you up for a long run and help you recover faster. To boot, it has no sugar, making it suitable for runners with weight loss goals. 

You get 30 servings of 10g each (heaping scoop) per container. Since you don’t have to take it every day, it can last you several months.

The downside to this calorie-free supplement is that it doesn’t have sodium, nor does it have calcium. Because of that, it’s not a contender for the title of the best electrolyte supplement. 

You may also not like the risk of allergens, the artificial flavorings, and the strong caffeine dose. 

Pros
  • No useless additives
  • Calorie-free
  • Keto-friendly
  • Good mix of vitamins and BCAAs
  • Has more amino acids than cheaper supplements
Cons
  • No sodium and calcium
  • May contain allergens like peanuts and shellfish
  • Has artificial ingredients
  • Big dose of caffeine per serving (150mg)
  • Some online customers find the taste unpleasant

#4 Mission Critical Meal Replacement Plus

Mission Critical Meal Replacement Plus
  • Military-grade formula with over 25 vitamins
  • Suitable as a total meal replacement
Our rating:
4.3
Learn More

Next, you’re not looking so much at a hydration multiplier electrolyte powder as a complete meal replacement. The formula was invented by the US military before becoming a commercial product. 

Mission Critical Meal Replacement Plus has all the trace minerals and vitamins your body needs to function well. These include iron, vitamin D, selenium, or iodine, which you may not find in other similar supplements.

However, it wasn’t specifically designed for runners. It can help hydrate and fuel your body after or during endurance races. But you’ll be paying for vitamins and minerals you may not actually need.

What’s more, it has the largest dose of sodium of any electrolyte hydration powder on our list. If you use it as a meal replacement, that shouldn’t be a problem. But if you use it as a running supplement, you may get more sodium than it’s healthy.

Pros
  • Military-grade formula
  • Contains over 25 vitamins
  • Suitable as a total meal replacement
  • Tastes like a sports drink
Cons
  • Limited flavor options
  • Not designed for runners
  • Has 8.5g of added sugar
  • Hefty dose of sodium (525mg, or 23% of Daily Value)
  • Rich in caffeine (73mg per serving)
  • Not dairy-free (Has a whey-derived concentrate that may cause allergy in some)

#5 Transparent Labs Hydrate

Transparent Labs Hydrate
  • Has Senactiv, a plant-based nutraceutical that claims to boost muscle energy and exercise recovery
Our rating:
4.0
Learn More

Transparent Labs Hydrate is an electrolyte hydration powder that provides 40 servings per 304g bottle. You get important electrolytes like magnesium, sodium, potassium citrate, and calcium. This includes 500mg of sodium, a rather hefty dose.

Most of it comes from pink Himalayan salt. Other ingredients include coconut water and taurine. Taurine may help boost endurance performance under certain conditions.

This electrolyte supplement also includes Senactiv, a plant-based nutraceutical that claims to boost muscle energy and exercise recovery. It works by speeding up the replenishment of old cells with new ones. However, there are not enough independent studies to validate these claims.

Pros
  • Suitable for runners with a caffeine intolerance (caffeine-free)
  • Has natural flavors
  • Sweetened with stevia
  • No artificial sweeteners or colorings
  • Gluten-free
  • Non-GMO
Cons
  • Rich in sodium (500mg, or 22% of the Daily Value)
  • Available in only one flavor
  • May cause allergy (contains tree nuts)
  • Has malic acid, which may trigger headaches and other side effects in some people

#6 GU Energy Gel Shots

GU Energy Gel Shots
  • Easy to eat and dose even during runs
  • Rich in carbs
Our rating:
3.9
Learn More

If you want to try something other than a hydration powder, gel shots could be for you. The GU Energy Gel shots often rank among the best electrolyte gels on the market. They come in many flavors. 

These electrolytes are rich in carbs (22g per one 32g serving). Caffeine variants with green tea extract may improve brain function by reducing mental fatigue and sharpening focus. 

Similar to chia energy gels made with brown rice syrup, these gel shots are portable and convenient. They can fuel you during a marathon or another intense run.

But they don’t have all the vitamins and minerals of an electrolyte hydration powder. For optimal hydration and making up for losing electrolytes, you still need to drink water. 

The fructose ratio in this one isn’t clear. But for the Jet Blackberry flavor, for example, you’re getting about 6g of sugar out of the 22 carbs per serving.

That’s less than other electrolyte hydration solutions. Though it may still interfere with your weight loss goals. 

Pros
  • Dozens of flavors to choose from
  • Easy on the stomach
  • Available with or without caffeine
  • Rich in carbs (22g per one 32g serving)
Cons
  • Has preservatives (sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate)
  • Has artificial ingredients including flavors
  • Lower in electrolytes than hydration supplements

#7 Onnit HYDRATech Instant

Onnit HYDRATech Instant
  • Hydration multiplier with a fructose to glucose ratio of 1:2
Our rating:
4.1
Learn More

The Onnit HYDRATech Instant is a hydration multiplier that packs a good dose of calcium. Unlike other electrolyte supplementation solutions, it’s sweetened with monk fruit. 

This electrolyte powder has a fructose to glucose ratio of 1:2. This may help support exercise performance. Monk fruit is a natural diabetes-friendly sweetener. That said, this hydration multiplier electrolyte powder has 8g of sugar per serving. 

The extra sugar makes it less than ideal if you’re running for weight loss. Or if you have prediabetes or diabetes. 

Pros
  • Gluten and soy-free
  • Suitable for vegans
  • One serving amounts to only 8g of sugar
  • Has more calcium than other supplements (130mg, or 10% of Daily Value per serving)
  • Sweetened with monk fruit extract
Cons
  • Two flavors only
  • Not ideal for weight loss because of the extra sugar (has cane sugar and fructose)
  • No option with caffeine

#8 Cure Hydration

Cure Hydration
  • Coconut water and electrolyte powder in individual servings
Our rating:
4.0
Learn More

Next up is an electrolyte powder that Gwyneth Paltrow endorses. The key ingredients in this plant-based solution are coconut water powder, pink Himalayan salt, stevia leaf extract, monk fruit extract, and fruit juice powders. 

It also has sodium citrate. The actual ingredients vary slightly depending on the flavor. Regardless of the flavor, it promises to deliver 4 times more electrolytes than sports drinks without the sugar load. It’s low on sugar (only 4g per serving) and calories (25 per serving). 

If you’re looking for simple electrolyte supplementation, this one may work for you. It can help you stay hydrated. But it doesn’t have the goodies of other complete electrolyte and muscle recovery supplements, like vitamin C. 

Pros
  • Plant-based solution
  • Free from added sugars
  • Doesn’t contain GMO
  • Only 25 calories per serving
  • Several flavors to choose from
  • Only 4g of sugar per serving
Cons
  • Not ideal for runners with heartburn or indigestion as it has citric acid
  • May taste overly sweet or sweetly artificial
  • Can’t easily increase serving size as servings come in small amounts

#9 Rapid Rehydr8

Rapid Rehydr8
  • Quick and easy to take rehydration vegan capsules
Our rating:
4.4
Learn More

Want to try something other than a hydration multiplier electrolyte powder? Rapid Rehydr8 is a hydration supplement that provides essential electrolytes in vegan capsules. 

You get up to 120 servings per container. Each capsule packs vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium citrate. There are no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners to worry about. 

Rapid Rehydr8 can be an alternative to sports drinks. Since it has no sugar, it’s suitable for runners on a weight loss diet. However, it’s just electrolytes, and taking pills mid-run may not work for you. 

Depending on the duration of your runs, you may have to take several capsules before, during, and after the run. That can be a hassle. 

Pros
  • Quick and easy to take since they are available as capsules
  • Gluten-free
  • Zero sugar
  • No artificial flavoring
  • Suitable for a keto diet
  • Has vitamin D for overcast days
  • Vegetable capsule
  • Fully natural
Cons
  • Not a flavorful experience (feels more like pills)
  • You have to keep taking them before, during, or after intense workouts for optimal results
  • Poor packaging (capsules may be covered in white powder and become messy)
  • Requires clean hands to take properly, which isn’t always practical on the trail or outdoors

How to Choose the Best Running Supplement

Choosing an electrolyte supplement or electrolyte powder isn’t rocket science. But it’s not something you should leave to chance either.

If you’re not careful, you may end up with an electrolyte supplement that has lots of extra ingredients you don’t need. Or that under-delivers on its promises. 

When selecting the products above, we looked beyond the manufacturer’s product page. Here are some of the key factors that informed our best electrolyte powder list. 

Quality

Many factors go into the quality of an electrolyte supplement. Some of them are easier to research than others. Take, for example, the quality of individual ingredients and the overall quality of the formula.

The first affects the latter, but it’s hard to determine. It can also vary from batch to batch. But the best electrolyte solutions deliver consistent results. And that’s what we’ve been zooming in on. We’ve looked at the science and at what customers say across the web.

Price

You get what you pay for, and electrolyte powder is no exception. 

When you add ingredients and pack them in a format that’s easy to take, costs increase. With that in mind, electrolyte powder and other supplements use fundamentally simple ingredients. 

Our choices are balanced in terms of costs. We left out the outrageously expensive and the cheap, low-quality ones. 

Brand reputation

Supplements are not as tightly regulated as foods. However, users are quick to penalize doubtful brands.

We took into account brand trust ratings on independent sites. We also checked certifications. The brands behind the best electrolyte products tend to have relevant certifications. Such as Certified Vegan issued by the American Vegan Society. 

Effectiveness

Key electrolytes include trace minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, and phosphate. You get some from the food and water you drink. Fluid and electrolyte balance happens when your electrolytes are neither too low nor too high. The kidneys handle this process. 

When it comes to key nutrients, electrolyte powder hype is big. Manufacturers make bold claims. However, these are not always backed by science. 

In our selection, we focused on science-backed ingredients and formulas. The best electrolyte supplements are informed by science. Not studies made 20 years ago, but the latest available data. 

We’ve also tuned in to what product users are saying to identify the best electrolyte powders. 

A Word From a Coach

The best electrolyte solution for you helps you maintain electrolyte balance. It provides a key electrolyte blend that doesn’t leave you wanting trace minerals. 

At the same time, it doesn’t load you with sodium, calories, and extras you don’t need. The best hydration solutions are based on natural ingredients.

Avoid electrolyte powders with too much added sugar, preservatives, or artificial flavors. You don’t really need these extras.

If you want to lose weight, the best electrolyte powders are sugar-free or low/zero-calorie. If you are an endurance runner or want to maximize your running performance, look for a complete solution.

The best electrolyte powders include vitamins and other ingredients that can help you during all stages of running. A supplement you can take before your run and that can fuel you during the run and also aid recovery is ideal.

Opt for a naturally flavored electrolyte supplement. It can help you avoid muscle cramps, improve muscle function, restore fluid balance, and stay hydrated.

And the best part is you can drink it before your run and then simply enjoy the ride. You can also take it with you as a bottled drink.

You won’t have to worry about mixing your drink or waiting for tablets to dissolve post-run. You can just savor the runner’s high while the ingredients in the electrolyte powder promote recovery.

And since it provides more than electrolytes, it’s also great for intermittent fasting and running. 

Conclusion

By choosing the best with the best electrolyte powders, you can maximize your running performance, improve muscle contractions, and help your body recover.

Not all electrolyte supplements have essential vitamins.

When you take electrolyte powders, watch out for your sugar intake. Some have added sugars.

Maximize weight loss when running with zero-calorie electrolyte supplements.

Rapid Rehyd8 provide proper hydration, boosts your performance, and aids muscle recovery. It’s our top pick for maintaining healthy electrolyte/vitamins levels.

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by
Isabel Mayfield is a certified yoga instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
Share on
facebook twitter pinterest linkedin

0 Reviews

Leave a review

Advertisement
Joggo Joggo
company-logo