If you enjoy walking, running, or hiking, there are times when you might feel tired and low on energy. But why does this sometimes happen?
Odds are, you are low on electrolytes and need some replenishment. You need to recharge your body to endure these high-impact and longer-term endurance activities.
In this post, we’ve reviewed the three best electrolyte replacement powders to keep you hydrated and energized throughout your workout. We’ve categorized them based on the ingredients they contain and the benefits they provide.
- SKRATCH Labs Sport Hydration Drink Mix
- Vitalyte Electrolyte Powder Sports Drink Mix
- Electrolyte Mix Super Hydration Formula
But before we introduce our top picks, let’s talk about the benefits of electrolyte powdered drinks.
Benefits of Electrolyte Drinks
You might be wondering why you need electrolyte drinks for longer endurance activities. Here’s a list of the benefits you will get from drinking electrolyte powder for your health:
Controls fluid balance.
Having a balance between fluids and electrolytes in your body is critical to the survival and proper functioning of your cells. About 60% of your body is made up of water, and this water contains electrolytes.
Your water intake should be equally balanced with the amount of water your body loses. Blood electrolytes, such as sodium, chloride, and potassium, help in maintaining normal fluid levels in your body. Having too much or too little of these electrolytes can quickly lead to the development of disorders and serious illnesses.
Your kidneys control both fluid and electrolytes, meaning your electrolyte balance is regulated through your kidneys’ feedback system. If one electrolyte level is too high, your kidneys will try to compensate by increasing excretion or retaining fluid to create a balance. Extreme high or low levels of electrolytes can lead to many health complications, including muscle weakness, paralysis, confusion, abnormal heart rate, or cardiac arrest.
Regulates blood pressure levels.
Electrolytes like potassium, calcium, and magnesium help in maintaining normal blood pressure levels. The key to acquiring these electrolytes is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. The amount of electrolytes in your body impacts the amount of fluid in your body as well.
When you have high levels of electrolytes, your body retains more water, therefore increasing the volume of your blood. More blood volume equals higher blood pressure. Your kidneys help regulate your blood pressure by impacting the amount of blood in your body.
So, what are some good foods to include in your diet to ensure you are getting sufficient electrolytes in your blood? Milk, beans, yogurt, kale, sardines, and turnip greens are a great place to start. You can also sip on tomato or orange juice to get some potassium in your blood.
When reaching for a snack, choose almonds, peanuts, or hazelnuts, as these are a great source of magnesium. Also, whip up some eggs or eat chicken or turkey to ensure you are getting enough phosphorus in your diet.
Aids in muscle and heart contraction.
According to a 1994 study, electrolytes play a vital role in achieving proper skeletal muscle contractions, as they combat muscle fatigue and help during muscle recovery.
Your skeletal muscles are attached to your bones and control your voluntary movements. Optimizing the function of these muscles helps improve your athletic performance. Electrolytes are ions found both inside and outside of your cells, and are largely stored in your skeletal muscles, soft tissues, and bones. They’re critical to muscle contraction and relaxation.
Stabilizes the acidity in your blood.
The electrolytes in your body are regulated by your kidneys, endocrine system, vascular system, and gastrointestinal system. Disturbances in the process of electrolyte release in these systems can cause an acid-base imbalance and abnormalities.
By consuming electrolytes, you impact your body’s pH levels. Your body works at optimum levels when your blood pH level is 7.4. Sodium and chloride electrolytes are used to help your body maintain the proper pH level. You can achieve healthy numbers by drinking electrolytes and eating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables. Any number that is 7.0 or higher is considered to be healthy.
Improves overall exercise performance.
According to Rehrer in his 2001 study, fluid and electrolyte balance is essential to endure high-impact and ultra-endurance sports. Your body’s hydration is totally dependent upon this proper fluid and electrolyte balance.
If your muscles contract slowly, it will result in reduced reaction speed and less muscle strength, which leads to muscle cramps. The last thing athletes want to deal with when they are trying to work out or compete is a muscle cramp. In order to optimize your workouts, you will want enough electrolytes to provide you with the following amounts of the minerals:
- 2,300 mg of sodium for men and women
- 4,700 mg of potassium for men and women
- 420 mg of magnesium for men; 320 mg for women
- 1,000 mg of calcium for men; 1,300 mg for women
Serves as a water supplement during sickness.
When symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting persist, electrolyte drinks can quickly help in replacing the fluids and electrolytes your body excretes. An inability to keep down fluids can quickly cause an electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. If this occurs, take small sips of drinks that include electrolytes to help prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
You will know if you have an electrolyte imbalance because extremely low levels of potassium can lead to muscle weakness, twitching, or cramping.
Also, your breathing may slow down if you have an excess of bicarbonate in your system. Common signs of dehydration are dizziness, dry mouth, and low blood pressure. In severe cases, one may become confused.
Prevents the occurrence of heat stroke.
The best way to combat heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke is to avoid staying under the heat of the sun for longer periods of time. As an alternative, however, you may also drink plenty of fluids and electrolytes to keep your body cool.
Your body loses sodium through sweating, and this deficit can lead to muscle cramps and possibly even confusion if the deficit becomes severe. Drinking an electrolyte drink powder can prevent this from happening. If you suffer from cardiovascular conditions that relate to salt restriction, consult your doctor for further instruction.
Now that you know the benefits of drinking electrolytes, lets look at some electrolyte powder reviews to find the best electrolyte drink for dehydration on the market today, along with its top competitors.
3 Best Electrolyte Replacement Powders (2019 Review)
This is the best overall option, as it works best for any type of exercise regime: running, cycling, swimming, hiking, etc. It is formulated with optimal amounts of sugar for faster absorption, and it is able to replace electrolytes while also providing you with an increased amount of energy.
This mix is certified non-GMO and is more effective than any of the company’s previous products. This powder mix was created to replace the electrolytes that you lose while you sweat, and has a real fruit flavor. This allows users to experience a light and delicious taste without being overly powerful. This is a simple product to use to help get your hydration right, meaning it has all of the ingredients that you need, but none that you don’t.
Not only is this product non-GMO, it is also vegan, kosher, gluten-free, dairy-free, and made with real fruit. Each serving only has 80 calories, 19 grams of sugar, and 380 mg of sodium.
- Special formulation for fast absorption.
- Best overall option for any sport.
- Provides energy.
- High in sugar.
- Some say it makes your throat dry.
- Some people have gotten an upset stomach.
This is the best-tasting electrolyte powder on the market. It features an isotonic formula, which is the proper balance of electrolytes and glucose. This electrolyte replacement formula is free from artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners. Vitalyte’s sports drink can help anyone who is dehydrated due to heat, prolonged exercise, alcohol consumption, athletic competition, working outside, and morning sickness.
This product has satisfied consumers for over 40 years. The glucose is rapidly absorbed, and this product has the ideal ratio of sodium to potassium. Many people enjoy the taste of this beverage, making it a favorite among electrolyte replacement powders.
This powder is great for kids, as it is available in five natural flavors. It does not cause stomach discomfort, and can be easily served with its convenient, single-serving-size packs. If you follow a gluten-free diet, this product is perfect for you as well. It is also GMO-free.
There are 80 servings in each container that each contain a low amount of sugar and carbohydrates. Vitalyte Sports notes that their product is the fastest and most effective electrolyte replacement powder on the market.
- Best-tasting option.
- Offers a perfect balance of electrolytes and glucose.
- Non-GMO and gluten free.
- Some find the taste to be too light.
- Some find that the powder sticks together.
- Low in potassium compared to other products.
This is the best option if you are looking for a vegan and sugar-free powder. It offers a blend of over 72 trace minerals and electrolytes, and is naturally sweetened with stevia leaf extract. This is the best electrolyte drink for runners who are conscious of their sugar intake. It is ideal for anyone from competitive athletes to someone who just wants to maintain proper hydration.
This powder comes in convenient to-go packets that you can throw in your bag before leaving the house for the day. The water-soluble formula easily mixes with liquid, allowing it to have fast and easy absorption. As this powder restores healthy electrolyte levels, it can relieve fatigue, muscle weakness, spasms, cramps, headaches, constipation, dry skin, and dry mouth.
- Sugar-free and vegan.
- Contains over 72 trace minerals.
- Offers a proprietary lemon-lime taste.
- Some say it tastes salty.
- Contains heavy metals.
- Contains artificial flavors.
Best Electrolyte Replacement Powders FAQ
What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are the small substances in your body that allow your cells to function properly. They are the electrically charged minerals that your body releases through sweating, urination, etc. Hence, if they are not replaced, your bodily functions will fail.
What electrolytes are best?
All of the electrolytes that your body releases are important, as they contribute to your body’s overall function. However, experts agree that the five most essential electrolytes that you need to properly keep up with in your daily activities are calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium or chloride, and phosphorus.
What is electrolyte powder?
Electrolyte powder is a combination of different minerals such as sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. It helps in maintaining your endurance, especially during the peak of prolonged exercise.
What happens if your electrolytes are low?
When the level of an electrolyte in your body becomes either too high or too low, it is called electrolyte imbalance. If there is an imbalance, you are most likely to develop certain kinds of diseases, such as abnormal blood pressure levels, convulsions, muscle spasms, fatigue, and a lot more.
How do you fix an electrolyte imbalance?
A minor electrolyte imbalance may be fixed by regulating your diet and exercise. Eat a balanced diet that is rich in the mineral that you lack (e.g., if you are deficient in potassium, eat foods that are high in potassium). If your electrolyte imbalance is causing serious symptoms, it is best to consult a physician immediately.
What are the symptoms of low electrolytes?
The most common symptoms of having low electrolytes level are:
- Irregular heartbeats or fast heart rate
- Convulsions or seizures
- Nausea or vomiting
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Abdominal and muscle cramping
- Irritability and other mood disorders
- Numbness and tingling sensations
- Severe headaches and dizziness
- Mental fatigue and confusion
Hopefully, our top picks for best electrolyte replacement powders have given you an insight about which product to use.
These powders were carefully researched and scrutinized based on the positive reviews and ratings of previous consumers. But as you can clearly see, our winner for today is SKRATCH Labs Sport Hydration Drink Mix for its overall quality and benefits.