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Top 10 Electrolyte Products For Athletes

Top 10 Electrolyte Products For Athletes

Sports NutritionWellnessSupplements

Electrolyte products are a convenient way to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat during exercise, and many products also contain carbohydrates to supply energy during training. With so many options on the market, it can be challenging for athletes to know which is the best fit. We examined the electrolyte, carbohydrate content, and additional ingredients of 27 different products to determine which we would recommend most for athletes. We’ve listed our top 10 product recommendations below, but the full comparison chart can be found here.

The amount of fluid and electrolytes lost during exercise varies greatly by the individual and can be influenced by many factors, including environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and altitude, exercise duration and intensity, clothing worn, and body composition. Common sweat rates range from about 1-4 pounds per hour of exercise. Sports drinks that aim to replace fluids and electrolytes are recommended for training sessions or events lasting longer than one hour. Athletes who are heavy sweaters may also benefit from a sports drink or electrolyte product during training.

The carbohydrate and electrolyte content of electrolyte products varies widely. It is recommended that beverages contain a 5-10% carbohydrate solution, with sugar sources being glucose and sucrose. Sodium and chloride are the two primary electrolytes lost through sweat, while potassium, magnesium, and calcium are lost in smaller amounts. Recommended electrolyte content of sports drinks is 150 – 180 mg sodium and 60 – 75 mg potassium per 8 fluid ounces, and no less than 500 mg per liter (33.8 oz). Chloride is not typically listed on product labels as salt used in food is sodium chloride.

As always, this review is notsponsored in any way. We were not paid by these brands or compensated for this review.


Drip Drop

Mix 1 stick with 8 oz. of water

Electrolytes: 330 mg sodium, 185 mg potassium, and 39 mg magnesium

Carbohydrates: 9 grams (sucrose and fructose)

Additional ingredients: Citric acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), fruit and vegetable juice, and sucralose 

Gatorlytes

Mix 1 pouch with 20 oz. water

Electrolytes: 780 mg sodium, 400 mg potassium, 40 mg magnesium, 80 mg calcium

Carbohydrates: 0 grams

Additional ingredients: N/A

Klean Hydration

Mix 1 scoop in 8 oz. of water

Electrolytes: 180 mg sodium, 70 mg potassium, 25 mg magnesium, and 35 mg calcium  

Carbohydrates: 16 grams (sucrose, highly branched cyclic dextrin, dextrose, and fructose)

Additional ingredients: citric acid, natural flavors, red beet, and beta carotene.

Ladder Hydration

Mix 1 scoop with 16 oz. of water

Electrolytes: 430 mg of sodium, 200 mg potassium, 320 mg calcium, and 160 mg magnesium

Carbohydrates: 15 grams

Additional Ingredients: citric acid, natural flavors, steviol glycosides, and spirulina

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier

Mix with 16 oz. of water

Electrolytes: 500 mg sodium and 380 mg potassium.

Carbohydrates: 11 grams (sucrose) 

Additional ingredients: Stevia leaf, vitamin C, vitamin B3, B5, B6, and B12, and natural flavors

LMNT

Mix with 1 packet with 16 oz. water

Electrolytes: 1000 mg sodium, 200 mg potassium, and 60 mg magnesium 

Carbohydrates: 2 grams

Additional ingredients: Citric acid, stevia leaf extract, and natural flavors.

Nuun Sport

Mix 1 packet with 16 oz. water

Electrolytes: 300 mg sodium, 150 mg potassium, 25 mg magnesium, 13 mg calcium

Carbohydrates: 4 grams (dextrose)

Additional ingredients: Citric acid, natural flavors, stevia leaf extract, avocado oil, beet powder, riboflavin *For athletes looking for a higher carbohydrate content, Nuun Endurance contains a similar electrolyte content with 15 grams of carbohydrates

The Right Stuff

Mix 1 packet with 16 oz. of water

Electrolytes: 1780 mg sodium and 1379 mg chloride (sodium citrate, sodium chloride, sodium benzoate)

Carbohydrates: 3 grams

Additional ingredients: Filtered water,citric acid, sucralose, and natural flavors

Tailwind

Mix 1 scoop with 16 oz. of water

Electrolytes: 303 mg sodium, 88 mg potassium, 14 mg magnesium, and 26 mg calcium

Carbohydrates: 25 grams (dextrose, sucrose)

Additional ingredients: Organic flavor

Thorne Catalyte

Mix 1 packet with 12 oz. of water

Electrolytes: 485 mg sodium, 80 mg chloride, 96 mg potassium, 40 mg magnesium, and 80 mg calcium

Carbohydrates: 5 grams (tapioca maltodextrin)

Additional ingredients: Vitamin C, B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, B12, chromium, taurine, citric acid, flavors, silicon dioxide, stevia leaf extract, Reb A


Our Recommendations

Athletes participating in intense training lasting longer than 1 hour

Products that also provide adequate amounts of carbohydrates:

  • Klean Hydration

  • Ladder Hydration

  • Tailwind

  • Nuun Endurance

Heavy Sweaters

Products with high amounts of sodium:

  • The Right Stuff

  • Gatorlytes

  • LMNT

  • Liquid IV

Weekend Warriors

Products to replenish electrolytes for moderate training/average sweat rates:

  • Nuun Sport

  • Drip Drop

  • Thorne Catalyte

  • Vegasport Hydrator

Electrolytes are also found naturally in several food sources. If you consume a well-balanced diet with whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, you’ll also be consuming more of these essential minerals. If you’d like to try making your own sports drink at home, I have a simple recipe in my new book, Fuel Your Body, which you can find here.

Angie Asche

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