There’s no way of avoiding it, we live in an age of generation hydration. You will find that advertising messaging is left, right, and center. It comes across very dramatic and like we must all hydrate immediately or there will be dire consequences!.
Admittedly, it all sounds a bit over dramatic, and perhaps a little cheesy, doesn’t it? Well, if we look back 20 years, we were all told that we needed to drink 2 liters of water per day, not that anyone stuck to this.
Then in the early 2000s, the world saw the rise of non-stop flow of electrolyte-infused sugar waters, things like Gatorade, and Powerade, you’ve seen them on the shelves.
These were always endorsed by some big sports names, and they were published to be the healthier replacement for soda. Although whether they were healthier is still up for debate.
I think we can all agree, this was all a bit extra. Just a bit overboard.
But, it wasn’t all about hydration, because this became the era of the increasing health consciousness. Syrupy orange, purple, red, and pink concoctions became less appealing and health conscious beverages took the high road.
Some people went towards the ways of shoveling kale down their neck, turning the backs of burgers, saying goodbye to fizzy sodas, and chugging water and green tea instead.
In terms of nostalgia, the health craze was good, but also a bit mad. However, as you would expect, it meant that it wasn’t long until everyone wanted to dip their toes into the hydration pool. We got ‘Think smartwater’, and ‘smart water bottles’.
Don’t forget the obscene amount of flavored carbonated waters that started surfacing in retro-cans, you know the names; La Croix, Bubly, Spindrift, and so on.
Well, that all happened a while ago, and now we are here. In our future, the newest fashion in hydration might not even be a liquid. It is just as simple as adding a powder to some water, and you have a hydration drink, which is so easy and pretty cool.
You might have seen this new hydration hype in the form of electrolyte packs, belonging to brands such as Liquid IV, Nuun, and Hydrant, all of which are soaring in popularity.
But it can leave you wondering how on earth, powders are better than liquids for hydration.
This is why, today, we want to examine these tip-top electrolyte supplement packs, and figure out which of these is truly the top dog of hydration.
We also want to have a look and see if and see how they compare to old-reliable water. The Romans didn’t need these supplements, so why do we, and what difference does it really make?
So, we kind of want to know if we really need this electrolyte boost, as all these wellness gurus and brands claim that we do.
The short version of the answer is YES, these yummy supplements can improve our overall hydration needs, but we advise you stick around to find out just why this is.
Before we take a look into any of that nitty-gritty information, we want to cover the basics. Understanding what electrolytes are exactly, what they actually do in terms of hydration and recovering from a workout, as well as who actually needs them.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Understanding The Basics
So many people will assume that the more electrolytes, the better – but very few people can actually tell you what electrolytes are. Well, let’s explain this, electrolytes are tiny charged-up particles that our bodies need and use for an array of typical functions:
- Regulating fluid and blood pressure levels.
- Regulating muscle cramps, and function, this includes the heartbeat as well.
- Maintaining the function of your nervous system.
- Maintaining the blood at a safe acidity pH level.
Normally, we naturally get electrolytes from some tap water and our regular diet. This is why, despite how filtered water may taste better, tap water is actually much better for you. However, if you work out a lot, there are key electrolytes that it is beneficial to understand.
These are as follows;
We all need to have a balanced diet, however this is required, partially to benefit some of the smaller electrolytes that help our bodies get what it needs.
These electrolytes are; zinc, molybdenum, copper, chromium, manganese, and iron. These are a bare minimum, but sadly, most North Americans do not consume enough potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, or even iron.
Not getting enough of these can lead to deficiencies, which is why so many people correct this via supplements.
Why you should trust us?
Our team has spent over 15 hours extensively testing and researching the best wellness products, including Goli gummies. Our goal is to find the best brands who care about your well-being and help people live better lives. We evaluate supplements based on their adherence to quality, and their latest medical evidence.
We often ask ourselves a simple question: would we buy the product for ourselves and recommend it to our family and friends? This review is medically reviewed and thoroughly vetted by Amy Bells, our in-house dietian nutritionist, wellness expert and product tester herself!
Who Needs Electrolyte Supplements?
It is pretty common knowledge that athletes take electrolytes when they are exercising or sweating a lot, especially if their exercise goes on for an hour, or during the hot summers in the sun.
Electrolytes are also imperative to preventing muscle cramping after running or any other strenuous activity.
Imbalances in electrolytes and hydration are common, even for amateur athletes.
Unfortunately, symptoms of deficiency can go beyond leg cramps and being thirsty. Other symptoms include: dry mouth, dry skin, muscle weakness, stiff and achy joints, and decreased or darkened urine, constipation, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.
Aside from the cyclical imbalances, there are also a few more acute conditions that will demand extra electrolyte intake continuously.
This doesn’t mean those days when you have the world’s worst hangover, but actually, this means chronic diarrhea, chemotherapy, congestive heart failure, or severe blood pressure issues. These are all scenarios that require supplements for the cases to improve.
However, it is not just these factors, what you put in your body also matters. Yes, this means food. If you have a ketogenic, paleo, or low-carb diet, they may potentially require some additional electrolytes due to the rapid changes in metabolism.
In those people who eat these types of diets, nutritionists will usually recommend an additional 1 gram of potassium, 305 grams of salt, and 300 milligrams of magnesium each day for optimal health!
Thinking About The Workings Of Hydration
It’s pretty much general knowledge that the human body is mostly water. Water is a requirement we need to metabolize the food we eat, ability to breathe oxygen, and control our blood around our bodies, amongst a range of other functions.
You might be under the impression that because our bodies contain so much water that we would have a constant supply. This would be wrong, sadly, it does not work that way, although it would be so much easier if it did.
You see, our bodies contain a network that seeks out water from our blood, organs and so on, in order to maintain adequate function.
This system functions thanks to these electrolytes we mentioned, which both attract and repulse in order to get the water flowing.
Inside our bodies, we simply have transportation networks that sort through these electrolytes and target different parts of our bodies in order to stay hydrated and maintain proper bodily function.
Basically- electrolytes help to get the water in your body to where it needs to be, and ensures that you function properly.
Think of it like when you mix salt into water, or sugar into water. It will dissolve and disappear.
Electrolytes in our bodies are attracted to diluted parts of our body. So, water will generally follow electrolytes, which will help to facilitate the water flow inside your body. And this is why electrolytes are so important, they direct the water we need to the parts of us that need it.
The average American requires 8-10 glasses of water per day, but 3 in 4 Americans are dehydrated.
Drinks such as soda, coffee, alcohol, and other diuretic drinks can actually dehydrate you, so despite how that cup of coffee wakes you up in the morning, it is probably best to follow it up with a glass of water to keep yourself adequately hydrated.
Knowing How Much And What Electrolytes You Need
You may now be wondering what electrolytes you need, and how much of them you need. Well, it is not as simple as some basic math.
The amount of electrolytes you need, and the electrolytes you need depends on things such as your diet, and how often you exercise.
Generally, we will sweat out one hell of a lot of sodium (this is why our sweat feels and smells so weird, it is the sodium), For this reason, most active people will need to consume more sodium than less-active people.
If you are exercising on a hot day, you will typically need more sodium, as you are sweating more. This would be around 6g of sodium per hour than the typical 2g of sodium per hour you would need on a cool day.
Are you an athlete? Then you will probably also need an extra 20% (this is around 400 mg) of magnesium per day, alongside some calcium and potassium.
For those of you who are hardcore nutrition geeks, there are quite a few apps out there which can help you to find out how many electrolytes you need based on your lifestyle. ‘My fitness pal’ is one of these apps.
Health trackers; including the likes of apps are good, however they cannot personalize these things around your specific body type.
You have a unique genetic makeup, may suffer from aches and pains, and it will not know your limits on how far you can push yourself.
You know this, as it is your body, so these health trackers can be useful, but only to a point. And unless you are a biologist, the human body is forever mysterious.
The Most Important Electrolytes
Let’s take a moment and look at the overall, most important electrolytes there are, and how they each play a role in the human body.
|Electrolyte||The Role It Plays In Your Body|
|Magnesium||Countless biochemical reactions. |
Fluid level control.
Regulation of all other electrolytes.
|Chloride||Regulates proper charge of fluids. |
Fluid level control.
Bone function and strength.
|Zinc||Healing of wounds. |
Immune system function.
|Bicarbonate||Major buffer of acidity/ pH levels.|
Every electrolyte is essential to being able to function. However, Magnesium is very important for women, as the female body just cannot get enough of it, so for ladies, magnesium is even more important.
According to research, Magnesium has ties to many serious problems such as anxiety and depression, as well as high blood pressure, hypertension, hormonal and sleep issues, and low energy levels.
Magnesium also makes hormones, of which can be responsible for menstrual deficiencies too!
Electrolytes are self-care in a sense, they can make a difference on how you feel. If they are balanced they can boost your mood, if they are not, they can make your mood dip. Ensuring your body has enough of everything and your electrolytes are balanced is self-care in its own right!
It is no surprise, therefore, that companies such as Liquid IV, Nuun, and Hydrant are so keyed in on the hope of bringing their supplements to the public as well as athletes. After all, why should only athletes and fitness freaks get all the good stuff?
So now, we have looked over what electrolytes are, what hydration is, who needs electrolyte supplements, and all about electrolytes.
Now, it is time to understand what it is that these three electrolyte brands have to offer you, and what makes them different from one another.
The New Electrolyte Supplements: Which Is The Best For You? (Liquid IV, Nuun, Or Hydrant.)
Let’s get down to it!
Three brands; Liquid IV, Nuun, and Hydrant. Now we get to the part where we have to decide if one of these is better than the others, which is certainly a challenge since they all basically do the same thing, right?
Well, we have taken a look at these top three brands. We have examined the most important factors including; taste, convenience, composition, price, and how effective the product is for active people.
We want to make sure that if you decide you want to try one of these, that the electrolytes they give you are what you need. No one needs to be spending money on electrolyte supplements that leave them feeling no different from before.
|Costs||$1.25 per 16g (1 stick)||$0.70 per tablet||$1.25 per packet/ $1.00 with monthly subscription.|
|Form||Powder sticks||Tablet.||Powder packet|
|Recommended daily dosage||1 stick (16g) per 16oz water.||1 tablet (5.5g) per 16 oz water.||1 packet (8g) per 16 oz water.|
|Flavors||5 flavors||27 flavors||5 flavors|
|Sugar per serving.||11g||1-2 grams/ endurance: 15g||6g|
|Calories per serving.||30 cal.||15 cal.||25 cal.|
|Sodium per serving.||500 mg||300 mg||260 mg|
|Is it Vegan?||Yes.||Yes.||Yes.|
|Is it Kosher?||No.||Yes.||No.|
|Is it Gluten Free?||Yes.||Yes.||Yes.|
|Is it Dairy free?||Yes.||Yes.||Yes.|
|Safe for Pregnant Women?||Basic Sport flavors only.||Basic sport flavors only.||Yes.|
As you can see, each of these electrolyte supplements have good and bad things about each. To break it down for you a little bit before, we have decided that It’s time we review each of these electrolyte supplements.
One of these new supplements may be more suitable for you and your lifestyle than others, whereas one of the others may suit someone else better.
Each of these supplements have more benefits to a different person, for example Hydrant may be more beneficial to a pregnant woman due to it containing suitable electrolytes and being 100% suitable for them.
On the other hand, someone with a Kosher diet will rather Nuun as this is the only Kosher option of the three.
Now, let’s look at each of these in more detail.
Nuun is all about giving your body a boost after a workout. The electrolyte tablets with Nuun come in certain specific categories, namely Sport (which is the original), Vitamins, Immunity, and Rest.
Each tube will contain ten tablets that will easily dissolve in water in just a few minutes. There are 27 flavors overall.
For the Sport category, you can get the following flavors;
- Cherry limeade with Caffeine, fresh lime with caffeine, mango orange with caffeine, citrus fruit, orange, lemon lime, fruit punch, strawberry lemonade, tropical, tri-berry, and watermelon.
For the Immunity category, you can get the following flavors;
- Blueberry tangerine, or orange citrus.
For the Rest category, you can get the following flavors;
- Lemon Chamomile, or blackberry vanilla.
For the Endurance category, you can get the following flavors;
- Citrus mango, lemon lime, strawberry lemonade, or mixed berry.
Nuun Immunity is vitamin jam-packed. It contains added zinc, calcium, and a good 50% of your daily value for vitamins A, D, and E. Lacking vitamin C?
It provides over 200% of the daily value. As the name, connotes, it contains immune system boosting botanical substances such as Elderberry, Echinacea, and Turmeric. No cold or flu will be able to fight that many vitamins!
Nuun’s Rest also has some added botanical substances, however, it also has a smaller sodium count that the original version.
It is called ‘Rest’ as it’s tart cherry powder works to fight off inflammations, pains, and aches after you have been working out. This is cutting-edge in the science of the exercising world; it’s like a post-workout cool down for your soul.
Despite how it is usually given to those who are professional athletes, pretty much anyone can benefit from its anti-inflammatory effects.
Rest also contains 6 times as much magnesium as their Sport option, which makes it a fantastic choice for anyone who is recovering from tired muscles.
It is also a great option for women who, like we mentioned earlier, may need to top up on their magnesium at certain times. As many women in their cycle experience, sometimes a rest is needed, and this is the electrolyte drink just for that.
Nonetheless, the feedback on this is very positive. Which is fantastic to see.
Nuun’s Vitamin variation contains vitamins A, C, D, and E, as well as B6, B9, however only 25% of your daily value.
Sadly, it is missing B12, which is the choice you would want for an energy boost. The vitamin quantities are surprisingly low in this, despite the product name, however, we suspect that the reason for this is down to the flavor of the drink.
If you add too many vitamins in, it’s going to taste rather disgusting. It is probably best to add fewer vitamins and have people drink it, than to put more in and for people to find it too gross to drink.
Nuun Endurance is a powder-form electrolyte supplement which is targeted towards hardcore athletes such as marathon runners or even Olympic trainers, high intensity and therefore a requirement for ‘endurance’.
It is named as an elite-hydration mix. Nuun Endurance comes in two ways, you can get it in a canister or in a powder packet- and it boasts to be absolutely jam-packed full of electrolytes.
Whereas the classic Nuun Sport version has 150 mg of potassium, the Endurance version has 200 mg. It is also more packed up on carbohydrates, and has up to 15 grams of sugar per serving in order to boost those energy levels!
Nuun names itself as a ‘clean electrolyte’ on the label with plant-based sweeteners such as Stevia, and additives like Avocado Oil. Their only coloring additive is Beet Powder, countering the additive heavy stereotype of energy drinks.
Of course, we cannot forget their Sport Plus version, which has caffeine found in organic green tea included. Yum!
Nuun’s sugar content does vary between flavors, where some will contain Stevia, but others will use cane sugar. Nuun recently reduced the sodium content and the sugar content in its formula.
Surprisingly, this is a switch that actually lost favor according to some Amazon reviews. Yet, if your primary concern is less sugar content, then perhaps this is something that you will appreciate a lot more.
Nonetheless, the feedback from buyers is still glowing!
What Other Customers Are Saying
5-star review: Good Hydration Drink – “I really like Nuun because they taste good and are not sweet. They help me stay hydrated when doing cardio workouts.”
5-star review: Obviously – “Nuun is the best. Taste is good and just when you think you’re bonking, Nuun saves the day.”
Aside from the praise of the taste, and noting how Nuun ‘saves the day’, customers have even more to say. Many customers seem to adore the simplicity of Nuun’s simplistic tube of tablets, and the speed at which they dissolve..
5-star review: Exactly what I was looking for – “I’m very pleased with Nuun Hydration. It dissolved within 5 minutes and had a tingly effervescence to it. With the amount of electrolyte essential ingredients that are packed in these little tablets, I think the flavoring is very acceptable. Do not expect this product to taste like a sugary sweet Gatorade. Paid $33.31 for the 8-pack of Strawberry Lemonade, which works to $0/42 per serving. Yeah, I think the price is about right. After all, that’s 80 servings… or 80 bike rides, or 80 runs, you get what I mean?”
5-star review: My water tastes better, and my headaches went away: “Used to get headaches after my 90-minute martial arts class, no matter how much water I drank. Then I started using these tabs, and my water tastes better, and my headaches went away. And when I elbow someone to the sternum, it comes with a wafting aroma of strawberries.”
It is safe to say that people are loving Nuun, even though they decreased the sugar content, people seem to be loving the health-beneficial results that they are getting from using Nuun to increase their electrolyte counts, their hydration levels, and their lives.
Not all that different to Liquid IV, Hydrant pulls its focus in on rapid hydration.
Interestingly, this is the only electrolyte supplement out there that supplies you with more than 20% of your required zinc needs. This may seem odd, right? Because zinc is only a very minor electrolyte, so, why would they add it at all?
It turns out that zinc is important for hydration. People who suffer with zinc deficiencies find it difficult to transport electrolytes and water, as well as glucose, through their bodies.
So, the short version of it is, that zinc helps other electrolytes do what they are in your body to do.
As deficiencies are starting to surface as more and more common, it is actually really easy to see why Hydrant insisted on adding zinc into their formulas. Adding in extra zinc has also made them stand out from the crowd too!
Hydrant also contains magnesium, however it is only 8% of the daily value. They do also have a Caffeinated Hydration Mix, which contains both L-theanine and caffeine. L-theanine is a supplement which id used for its antianxiety benefits.
The L-theanine and caffeine mix is a unique combination which is made aiming to provide a more relaxed alertness – a good mix, probably most suitable for people about to sit exams, or tests.
Hydrant has the typical flavorings of lime, blood orange, and grapefruit, which are all extremely popular, and delicious too.
However, they have the same downfall as Liquid IV – the high sugar content. It contains a good 6 grams per serving, meaning it is slightly better than Liquid IV which contains 11 grams per serving.
However, that is still more than is necessary for hydration, and enough to make someone who is sugar sensitive spike and then crash.
However, despite this, some reviewers didn’t seem to mind this extra sugar content.
What Are People Saying?
5-star review: I’ve tried many electrolyte mixes and Hydrant is the best – “Hydrant strikes just the right balance of sweet and salty, and the lime flavor is great! I appreciate the use of cane use and the short ingredient list absent of unnecessary additives. After trying versions 1 and 2 over the course of two months, and feeling notably better, I set up a subscription for V2 Lime. Hopefully they will stay true to their formula and not allow product quality to degrade in the future.”
4-star review: Effective, but also good other options available for price – “I think the stuff is certainly effective. I don’t mind the taste so much. It is a bit salty and a little less sweet than others, but I think that’s because it has less sugar. I definitely feel the difference though. I also think it’s a little bit more expensive and the packaging can be difficult to tear open, which is why I gave it less than five stars.”
These reviews, even in the negative places, are very positive. The sugar and sodium content seem to be talking points.
As we can see from these two reviews of Hydrant, it really is down to personal preference when it comes to taste. Some people seem to prefer higher sugar content for the sweetness, whereas others like to have less sugar, and some like the salty taste.
It really is a matter of preference. So be sure to take this into consideration when you are deciding if Nuun, Liquid IV, or Hydrant is the best option for you.
This electrolyte supplement beverage was originally designed as a remedy for hangovers, this is why it contains those hardy B vitamins. However, it is now marketed for more general use as a Hydration multiplier, using breakthrough science of cellular transport technology.
The primary focus of Liquid IV is rapid, targeted hydration, based on modern science.
Their powder sticks contain over 100% of the daily recommended vitamin C, alongside B3, B5, B6, and B12. It is high in vitamins, and its taste has been carefully crafted using a gentle balance of cane sugar and stevia.
However, if their standard flavor is not quite to your liking, they also offer plenty of other delicious flavors such as passion fruit, açai berry, and lemon-lime. We don’t know about you, but those all sound delicious!
What Are People Saying?
We know exactly what you are thinking now, ‘what do customers think of it?’
Well, this is why we want to look at the reviews, we know you would do this anyway, so we have done it for you. In general, on the internet, people seem to love the taste of Liquid IV’s electrolyte supplement. This is what they are saving.
5-star review: Flavor – “I’ve tried a couple of different products similar to Liquid IV and I think it is The best! The sticks have so much flavor and I always feel great after having one!”
While the five-star flavor review is absolutely beaming, not everyone is quite so happy. The only common complaint that there seems to be about Liquid IV supplements are about their high sugar content, and no return policy.
1-star review: 11 grams of sugar per serving and no returns – “I ordered this to rehydrate my system, thinking it was unflavored and thereby containing no sugar. It has 11 grams of sugar per serving. Sugar makes us sick, no healing properties in it. I did not know I would not be able to return it. I’m extremely disappointed.”
In what seems to be a potential response, Liquid IV has released a ‘sleep formula’ which has a much lower sugar content than the original.
This version contains Melatonin, which is a sedating herb known as valerian root, as well as an anti-anxiety supplement known as L-theanine.
They also offer a caffeinated version that contains an organic green tea extract and guayusa, which is a South American herb and a coffee substitute which contains high amounts of antioxidants.
Generally, though, the vast majority of Amazon reviews about this Liquid IV electrolyte supplement finds that users will report noticeable results for specific medical conditions.
Even doctors and nurses seem to recommend this product for migraines, post bariatric surgery, dark circles, dry skin, Crohn’s disease, as well as the dry mouth that comes with chemotherapy.
But, what about workout recovery? Well, it would seem that Liquid Iv’s cellular transport technology simply means that they are using a rapid rehydration formula that is actually created for starving, and dehydrated children in the Third World!
So, how does this work? Well, one of the many different ways that the body gets water to leave the stomach and start hydrating the tissues in the rest of the body is called a ‘Glucose transporter’.
What is this? This is a specialized little widget in the intestinal lining that pulls water in, and pulls electrolytes in using glucose. It is only useful when certain conditions, such as diarrhea, shut down the other ways that the body pulls water into the tissues.
This also tastes delicious, as glucose brings out flavor in beverages and covers up any unpleasant vitamin tastes that may otherwise be present.
But, does it actually rehydrate you quickly? Well, yes, but remember, as we mentioned before, when we looked at what others are saying about this, some of the Liquid IV reviewers are slightly turned off by the higher sugar content.
So, it is up to you to decide if this is an issue for you, or if you are not too bothered about this.
Overall, though, Liquid IV actually offers a pretty solid mixture of electrolytes and vitamins, especially those B-vitamins that provide a great energy boost (or hangover recovery).
It does lack the magnesium that we need for those tired and sore muscles, though. And do not forget its high sugar content, which may be seen as too high for the average active, and health conscious individual to justify drinking each day.
However, as the marketing for this drink suggests, it is very good for those who have health issues, both acute and chronic, so perhaps it is wiser to keep a few boxes of this in the medicine cabinet, instead of the gym bag.
It seems that this electrolyte supplement is more for health problems, and illnesses than for exercising and fitness. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, it just means it is not for everyone.
Who Is The Winner? Liquid IV, Nuun, Or Hydrant?
There is no definitive answer – the right choice of electrolytes depends on you. It varies from person to person, depending on your level of activity, pre-existing health conditions, your diet, and more.
Everyone will react differently to flavor, however supplement brands keep bringing new flavors, so they can appeal to everyone. After all, no one wants to be struggling to gulp down their supplement whilst gagging.
The taste of vitamins and minerals can make any person feel nauseous, so there will always be flavor covering that up. But there does seem to be a correlation between the best flavor and the highest sugar count, so it’s more a case of picking your poison.
If you are an athlete, we do recommend Nuun. Nuun is cost-effective, and it is a great recovery supplement with a low sugar count in comparison to other supplements. This is a good one for those who love exercise and fitness.
It’s got a clean label, and has recyclable packaging. It has a watertight tube that holds ten tablets for optimal ease. Hydrant and Liquid IV, sadly, come individually wrapped, thus leaving behind trash every time you use them.
As well as this, we think that the low sugar content is the best shout for any workout recovery. Nuun also boasts the longest list of electrolytes as well, not to mention to most flavors!
However, if you do not like the flavor of Nuun’s tablets, then we would recommend Hydrant as the runner-up. Their supplements taste amazing, and the additional zinc boosts the effectiveness of its other electrolytes.
They also offer a subscription plan as well, so you can be certain you will never run out of your supplements!
As for Liquid IV, we don’t have anything bad to say about them, in fact, we actually recommend you get some for your medicine cabinet, you never know if you might need these.
If you get an upset stomach, or if you or someone you know suddenly falls sick, these can help boost up the immune system, and help with rapid hydration in the more extreme cases.
If you are still uncertain, why not get a pack of each and try them all, see which is best for you.