best electrolyte powders

12 Best Electrolyte Powders of 2022, According to an RD

The top picks to help you hydrate fast, prevent cramps, and reduce muscle damage.

Grabbing an electrolyte-packed sports drink during or after an intense workout can help rehydrate you, fight fatigue, and speed up recovery. There are plenty of ready-to-chug solutions out there, but they can be packed with sugar. Enter electrolyte powders and tablets, low-sugar options that you can mix with a bottle of water.

Electrolyte powders contain varying amounts of electrolytes, as well as carbohydrates, vitamins, and artificial sweeteners. “Determining which powder is right for you will mostly depend on your level of activity and need for electrolyte replacement,” says registered dietitian Valerie Gately, MS, RDN, LD.

Mid-workout you may lean towards an electrolyte powder with carbs to fuel your workout, for example. After a gym session, a pick with plenty of sodium will help replenish lost fluids.

Since choosing an electrolyte powder when you’re planning a workout—or you’re already sweaty and exhausted—is the last thing you want to do, we did the heavy lifting for you.

man drinking electrolyte drink during workout

What Are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals that help with everything from regulating muscle and nerve function to maintaining pH levels and balancing fluids. Four big ones you may see on many labels:

  • Sodium, which helps with muscle and nerve function
  • Chloride, which regulates pH levels
  • Potassium, which supports muscle contractions and fluid balance
  • Magnesium, which promotes muscle and nerve function, and plays a role in energy production

 

During a workout where you sweat excessively, your body can lose some of these essential minerals. If electrolytes are not replenished, during and after, you risk dehydration, reduced muscle function, and decreased brain power, says Gately.

What Do Electrolyte Powders and Tablets Do?

When mixed with water, electrolyte powders and tablets help replace fluid loss to fight dehydration and help boost recovery.

Look for a powder or tablet that has some carbohydrates, since that’s your body’s go-to-source of fuel when you exercise. Consuming them mid-workout can help delay fatigue and keep your intensity high during longer training sessions. After a workout, an electrolyte product with carbs can help replenish your glycogen stores.

man running on a back in hot weather

Who Should Use An Electrolyte Supplement?

“Utilizing electrolyte powders can be beneficial to replace losses, but it is important to remember that it is just that, a replacement,” says Gately. She adds that electrolyte supplements can be an important addition to water intake if you’re a heavy sweater or your workouts last over an hour.

They can also be useful if you train in hot or humid conditions. Excessive sweating can cause dehydration and loss of nutrients, which may cause cramping and fatigue.

How Effective are Electrolyte Powders for Hydration?

Electrolyte powders hydrate you faster than plain water. They also help keep your body’s fluid balance in check and prevent nasty dehydration symptoms like tiredness, thirst, and headaches, Gately says.

If you anticipate a long workout, sip on an electrolyte drink throughout.

More Hydration

The Best 12 Electrolyte Powders and Tablets

These 12 electrolyte powders and tablets help you hydrate quickly, while tasting great. 

Electrolyte Powders: A Comparison

Electrolyte Powders (per serving)

Calories

Carbs

Sugar

Sodium

Potassium

Magnesium

Chloride

The Right Stuff Electrolyte Liquid Drink Additive

0

3g

0g

1,780mg

0mg

0mg

1,379mg

Precision Hydration Electrolyte Drink Mix

61

15g

15g

750mg

125mg

12mg

0mg

DripDrop ORS Electrolyte Powder

35

9g

7g

330mg

185mg

39mg

0mg

LMNT Electrolyte Drink Mix

10

2g

0g

1,000mg

200mg

60mg

0mg

Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier Electrolyte Drink Mix

45

11g

11g

500mg

380mg  

0mg

0mg

Pedialyte AdvancedCare Plus Electrolyte Powder

50

12g

12g

650mg

370mg

0mg

840mg

NUUN Sport Electrolyte Tablets

15

4g

1g

300mg

150 mg

25mg

40mg

Cure Hydrating Electrolyte Mix

25

6g

4g

240mg

300mg

0mg

0mg

Propel Electrolyte Water Beverage Mix

0

0g

0g

210mg

65mg

0mg

0mg

Emergen-C Hydration+ Electrolyte Replenishment

30

7g

6g

160mg

400mg

120mg

0mg

BioSteel Electrolytes Hydration Mix

5

1g

0g

140mg

30mg

2mg

0mg

Ultima Replenisher Broad Spectrum Electrolyte Mix

0

0g

0g

55mg

250mg

100mg

78mg

 

The Bottom Line

Electrolyte powders are convenient supplements to help hydrate you quickly and replenish lost nutrients after an intense workout. Ask your healthcare provider about whether electrolyte supplements would benefit you. The best powder for you lies in determining your level of physical activity and specific needs. These 12 electrolyte powders can help ensure proper hydration and healthy living so you perform and feel better.

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