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- Best Electrolyte Drink
- Best Overall: Biolyte
- Best Budget: Trace Minerals Electrolyte Stamina Power Pak
- Best On-the-Go Option: Protekt Hydration Liquid Supplement
- Best Pre-Workout Electrolyte: Zhou Nutrition Hydro-Fuel
- Best Organic Electrolyte Drink: NOOMA Organic Electrolyte Sports Drink
- Best Sugar-Free Electrolyte Drink: Ultima Replenisher
- Electrolyte Drink FAQ
- Key Takeaways
Modern times bring modern conveniences, but when it comes to water, that means taking a bit of a hit in the electrolyte department.
Though tap water has less electrolyte content (and parasites) than well or spring water, thanks to the best electrolyte drinks on the market today, you can put the magnesium, potassium, and more back into your cup.
In this list of the five best electrolyte drinks—doctor-formulated Biolyte takes the gold for overall quality and potency—we’ll show you which ingredients and other quality signals to look for.
Best Electrolyte Drink
|Best Overall||Best Budget||Best On-the-Go|
|Price||$44.99 for 12 bottles ($3.75/serving)|
|$20.59 for 30 servings ($0.69/serving)|
|$50.00 for 30 servings ($1.67/serving)|
Best Overall: Biolyte
- Highly potent
- Supportive botanicals and other ingredients (milk thistle, etc.) add more benefits
- Competitively priced for the quality
- 10g added sugars (helps with electrolyte uptake, but a con for low-sugar people)
Best for: Cases of serious electrolyte depletion (aka, sweat), whether you’re working out and/or working in the hot sun, etc.
Our journey through a labyrinth of exhibitor booths at Natural Health Products Expo East 2022 brought us to an eyebrow-raising stop at the Biolyte booth, where one of the most potent electrolyte drinks we’ve ever encountered to actually get the IV-esque formulation right was being featured.
“You’d have to drink six of the leading sports drinks to equal what’s in this one bottle,” said Biolyte Key Accounts Manager Brian Grudzinskas to our press crew as he gave us a rundown of the ingredients.
Speaking of, anesthesiologist-formulated Biolyte contains the following ingredients, to name the highlights:
- Vitamin C—16mg/18% DV
- Niacin—5mg/31% DV
- Vitamin B6—500mcg/29% DV
- Vitamin B12—1mcg/42% DV
- Pantothenic Acid—3mg/60% DV
- Chloride—1.1g/48% DV
- Sodium—700mg/30% DV
- Potassium—400mg/9% DV
If it’s been a while since you’ve brushed up on your electrolytes (what, got a life or something?), this guide will confirm that Biolyte has hit several of the most commonly depleted electrolytes, including chloride, sodium, and potassium.
As for the 10 grams of added sugar, we acknowledge that sugar has a scientifically confirmed role in electrolyte uptake—which is why doctors sometimes add sugar to actual I.V. bags—but 10 grams can still be a downside for low-sugar folks looking to hydrate.
Outside of the electrolyte content and sheer potency, another key differentiator for Biolyte is the addition of a proprietary blend that throws in liver-cleansing, recovery-supporting ingredients like milk thistle, L-carnitine, ginger root extract, and more.
Whether it’s exercise, work, overdone revelry, or a combination that has left your body in need of refueling, Biolyte is bringing that next tier of hydration so you can drink just one and be done.
Best Budget: Trace Minerals Electrolyte Stamina Power Pak
- Nutrient-dense ionic trace minerals complex
- B vitamins for energy and additional supporting ingredients
- Less convenient for on-the-go use
Best for: Anyone looking for an electrolyte drink (powder) that comes with an energy boost and an above-average selection of wellness-supporting ingredients.
A slight departure from their usual format (drops), Trace Minerals Electrolyte Stamina Power Paks come in single-serve packets loaded with a vast selection of supporting ingredients that go beyond hydration into other functional categories, including (not exhaustive):
- B vitamins (B1/B3/B6/B12)
- Vitamin C
- Ionic Trace Minerals (ITM) Electrolytes
- Alpha Lipoic Acid
Note the Ionic Trace Minerals blend, which contains 100mg of assorted micronutrients (derived from sea water) to aid with absorption while imparting an additional range of potential benefits.
As for overall cleanliness, Trace Minerals Electrolyte Stamina Power Pak stays completely away from artificial flavors and ingredients.
Best On-the-Go Option: Protekt Hydration Liquid Supplement
- Zero added sugar or harsh preservatives
- Lab-tested product
- Proprietary electrolyte ratio for enhancing hydration
- Blends seamlessly with no mixing required
- Not as many electrolytes as others on this list
- Considerably more expensive
Best for: Active people on the go looking for a great-tasting and very easy-to-use hydration mix with clean ingredients.
It might throw you for a loop at first—opening a single-serve packet filled with liquid instead of powder—but Protekt Hydration Liquid Supplements blend in much easier than most powders.
Simply squirt it into your water, and the 10:2:1 electrolyte blend of sodium, potassium, and magnesium will blend seamlessly with no mixing or shaking required.
Though this product contains stevia, and not real sugar, we found the taste (we sampled the watermelon flavor) to steer clear of that syrupy, artificial flavor you often get from sugar-free products.
The 500 mg of sodium, 100 mg of potassium, and 50 mg of magnesium per serving were formulated to maximize hydration, and this product is lab-tested for safety and quality.
Though you’ll definitely pay a bit more upfront with Protekt Hydration Liquid Supplements, they’re more cost-efficient than most options and we highly recommend them for anyone looking for a quick and easy on-the-go hydration solution.
Best Pre-Workout Electrolyte: Zhou Nutrition Hydro-Fuel
- Vitamin D3 and coconut water enhance workout-related benefits
- 72-ingredient trace mineral complex
- High value for the quality
- Not as keto friendly (4g carb per serving)
- Less convenient for on-the-go use
Best for: Anyone looking to combine the hydrating effects of electrolytes with enhanced workout fuel/recovery benefits.
Having already taken a spot on our Best Electrolyte Powder list, Zhou Nutrition Hydro-Fuel is a trusted product for its workout-optimized formulation, including the following ingredients:
- Vitamin D3
- Matcha green tea
- Fermented organic cordyceps
- A 72-ingredient trace mineral complex
- Electrolytes: sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, and chloride
These highlights alone account for a slew of exercise-related benefits, including muscle growth and development (especially vitamin D), antioxidants for tissue recovery (matcha green tea), and thanks to the coconut water, naturally derived hydration enhancers.
We recommend Zhou Nutrition Hydro-Fuel to any active person looking for a potent electrolyte drink.
Best Organic Electrolyte Drink: NOOMA Organic Electrolyte Sports Drink
- USDA Organic ingredients
- Sea salt, coconut, blueberry, and more add nutritional value
- Zero added sugar (5g natural/serving)
- Coconut from concentrate
Best for: Those looking to hydrate with naturally derived, organic ingredients, low sugar, and zero preservatives of any kind.
Down to the flavoring, all five NOOMA drinks available on Amazon—Blueberry Peach, Chocolate Mint, Lemonade, Mango, and Watermelon Lime—use organic ingredients wherever possible.
For example, here’s the full ingredient list for their Blueberry Peach drink:
Filtered Water, Organic Coconut Water from Concentrate, Organic Blueberry Flavor, Organic Peach Flavor, Sea Salt, Organic Stevia Leaf Extract
We wish the coconut water weren’t from concentrate (saps fiber out), but otherwise, these natural and/or USDA Organic Ingredients are about as clean as it gets.
On the electrolytes front, the coconut water offers a natural source of potassium, sodium, manganese, calcium, and phosphorous, but the brand (via the manufacturing process and type of coconut used) can affect the ratio and density of each of these nutrients.
Overall, NOOMA delivers an impeccably clean and well-rounded shot of electrolytes that steers clear of added sugar and preservatives, earning our vote for the best organic electrolyte drink.
Best Sugar-Free Electrolyte Drink: Ultima Replenisher
- Zero sugar
- Broad electrolyte profile (6 key electrolytes)
- Natural sweeteners
- No supporting ingredients (energy, adaptogens, etc.)
Best for: Keto dieters, diabetic and pre-diabetic folks, and anyone else looking for a zero-sugar electrolyte drink (powder) that avoids artificial ingredients.
Clean and minimalistic are the operative words with Ultima Replenisher, a vegan-friendly, sugar-free electrolyte powder that appeals to a broad audience.
Aside from the complete lack of calories, carbs, and sugar (all zero), this 30- or 90-serving tub of electrolyte drink powder—available in blue raspberry pomegranate, lemonade, and six other flavors—contains six major electrolytes, including:
- Sodium (55mg/serving)
- Magnesium (100mg/serving)
- Chloride (78mg/serving)
- Calcium (65mg/serving)
- Phosphorous (70mg/serving)
- Potassium (250mg/serving)
Sweetened with organic stevia leaf and natural lemon (or other) flavors, Ultima Replenisher takes our number one spot for the best electrolyte water with zero sugar.
Electrolyte Drink FAQ
Are electrolyte drinks good for you?
As long as you stick with the best hydration drinks on the market, which avoid artificial additives, excess sugar, etc., electrolytes are highly important for hundreds of key functions throughout the body.
Is it OK to drink electrolytes every day?
This depends on your activity level, dietary habits (including water intake), medical history, and several other circumstantial factors.
In healthy, active people, electrolyte drinks can help replenish the body after exercise, work, and so forth, but may not be necessarily required on a daily basis.
When should I drink my electrolytes?
It’s easiest to divide this answer into two broader categories: maintenance and replenishment.
If you’re simply consuming electrolyte drinks to not fall behind on hydration, the time of day during which you have an electrolyte drink doesn’t have a significant influence on effectiveness.
That said, a case can be made for morning usage, because even if you’re staying hydrated during the day, the body loses a significant amount of water overnight.
If you’re dehydrated from illness, strenuous physical activity (running a 10k, etc.), or other more acute causes of electrolyte depletion, it’s best to take electrolyte supplements immediately following the event to recover as quickly as possible.
How do you know if your electrolytes are low?
The gold standard for those without medical training is always to consult with a doctor, who may administer a blood test among other measures to precisely determine electrolyte levels.
Because electrolytes have such a broad range of applications in the body, electrolyte imbalance (excess can do just as much harm as a deficiency) can have a fairly broad range of symptoms.
Some of the most common symptoms of electrolyte deficiency include heart irregularities, severe fatigue, tingling sensations, confusion, diarrhea, and more.
What are the cons of electrolyte drinks?
Any electrolyte drink that contains artificial flavors, preservatives, or other low-quality ingredient choices (including excess sugar/caffeine) can contribute to a large range of short-term and long-term consequences, including GI issues, weight gain, inflammatory diseases, and much more.
Assuming your electrolyte drink doesn’t contain any of these problematic ingredients, going overboard can still cause electrolyte imbalances like hypernatremia or hyperkalemia, which come with their own potentially serious symptoms.
Granted, these issues generally require a very large “overdose” of electrolytes in the otherwise healthy person, but are still possible with irresponsible use of electrolyte drinks/supplements.
Most of us are able to derive sufficient amounts of electrolytes from food, but electrolyte drinks can come in handy in cases of heavy exertion and/or undernutrition.
Though some brands/products conceal these ingredients within proprietary blends, ideally, your electrolyte drink should contain at least 4-5 major electrolytes—sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonate.
A high-quality electrolyte product steers clear from artificial sweeteners and preservatives, and should contain a reasonable amount of added sugar (<4 grams), if any, per serving.
The best electrolyte drinks on the market today often include additional ingredients for boosting energy (more), building or maintaining muscle, enhancing immunity, managing stress, and more.
As always, only buy electrolyte drinks from well-reviewed, highly reputable brands that follow industry-leading standards of ingredient safety and quality.