The 10 Best Electrolyte Powders Of 2023 To Keep Your Body Hydrated
Doctors, nutritionists, and fitness experts unanimously agree that staying hydrated is a crucial component of overall health. Hydration impacts energy levels, brain function, digestion, muscle health, skin health, sleep, and more. Still, research shows 75% of Americans struggle with hydration1. Because mineral balance is key to hydration pathways in our body, the best electrolyte powders can be used to help you stay hydrated and replenish some nutrients you may be lacking.
News flash: Water isn't the only factor that plays into hydration. When your body loses water and becomes dehydrated, you are also losing other nutrients, such as sodium (which is required by the body to maintain proper fluid balance).
Below, learn from experts about the importance of electrolytes and the benefits of electrolyte balance, and find our picks for the best electrolyte powders of 2023.
- Best flavors: LMNT Electrolyte Drink Mix
- Best for weekend recovery: Waterboy Hydration + Weekend Recovery
- Best for travel: Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier
- Best low sugar: Nuun Sport Electrolyte Drink Tablets
- Best for endurance athletes: Skratch Labs Hydration Mix
- Best plant-based: Cure Hydrating Electrolyte Mix
- Best sugar-free: Xtend Healthy Hydration
- Best for clean eating: Orgain Hydro Boost
- Best prenatal: Seedlyfe Prenatal Powder + Electrolytes
- Best with collagen: Vital Proteins Hydration + Collagen Powder Packets
- Best for keto lifestyle: Key Nutrients Electrolyte Recovery Plus
What are electrolytes?
"Hydration is vitally important to your overall health," agrees Jennifer Hankenson, M.D., Yale Medicine physical medicine and rehabilitation physician and assistant professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation at Yale School of Medicine. In addition to water, your body needs essential minerals to regulate fluid balance and regulate cellular processes in the body. "These minerals are called electrolytes and include sodium, chloride, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium," Hankenson explains.
Essentially, she says, "Electrolytes work as gatekeepers that regulate cell activities such as muscle contraction, controlling pH balance and many other critical bodily functions."
Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN, plant-forward culinary nutritionist, adds that the human body does an amazing job of naturally regulating electrolytes—but they can get out of whack when the amount of water in your body changes. Per the U.S. National Library of Medicine, you should aim to take in the same amount of water you lose. Too little water will result in dehydration and too much, overhydration. "If you experience a more serious electrolyte imbalance, whether too low or too high, it can have potentially serious negative effects on your heartbeat, since your heart is a muscle after all," Newgent says.
Tara Collingwood, M.S., RDN, CSSD, LD/N, ACSM-CPT, a board-certified sports dietitian, adds that electrolytes are most commonly lost through sweat, or when your fluid balance is off from other health circumstances.
In some of these cases, people may require more than just a tall glass of water. "That's because when you're experiencing dehydration, like from excessive sweating, it means you have an imbalance of electrolytes and body fluid, not just fluid," Newgent explains. "Fluid-electrolyte balance is what's important for proper hydration."
This is where an electrolyte powder, which usually comes in individual packets ready to mix with water or another liquid, comes in. "It helps replace the electrolytes we lose,"* Collingwood confirms.
The benefits of an electrolyte powder
The biggest benefit of electrolyte powders is that they can help replace the electrolytes your body loses through sweat or a fluid imbalance, says Collingwood. In fact, she says drinking water enhanced with electrolyte powder is one of the fastest ways to replenish electrolytes.*
Even so, there are potential downsides to consider when thinking about purchasing an electrolyte powder. Per Hankenson, while sodium is a very important electrolyte, "In high amounts it can cause health concerns such as fluid retention, especially in individuals with specific health considerations that affect the kidneys or heart." Additionally, you'll want to be mindful of sugars, artificial sweeteners, and synthetic dyes. As with any nutritional supplement, be sure to read the ingredient label carefully.
Who should use electrolyte powder?
Collingwood says many people do not need to use an electrolyte powder, as the general population is getting plenty of sodium and often gets adequate amounts of other electrolyte minerals if they are consuming a healthful diet from natural sources, including fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.
Hankenson recommends electrolyte supplements in specific cases, for example, if you are exercising in the heat, engaging in prolonged exercise, if you visit or live in a high altitude (including airplane travel), or on other occasions of substantial water loss.
When taking an electrolyte powder, exactly when you incorporate them into your hydration routine matters, too. "Most individuals do not benefit from pre-hydrating with electrolytes before workouts, and it is better to stick to water leading up to your workout," Hankenson says. During a workout, on the other hand, you may benefit from hydrating with electrolyte-enhanced options if you are working out on a hot day or in high humidity. You will also benefit from replenishing electrolytes starting at 45 to 60 minutes into a vigorous workout.*
"Post-workout is the most imperative time to rehydrate, as you want to restore body weight lost to suboptimal hydration," Hankenson adds. "Electrolyte shifts after intense prolonged workouts can lead to serious health consequences, which is why electrolyte-enhanced fluids can be the best option in this critical recovery period."
Signs your electrolyte balance is off
So, how do you know if you should supplement with an electrolyte powder? Various factors, including the person's size, sweat rate, duration of exercise, and sweat concentration, will impact whether or not you should use an electrolyte powder—as well as how often. If you aren't sure, we recommend speaking with a nutritionist or your doctor. Concerns relating to a lack of electrolyte balance include dizziness, tiredness, stomach upset, and muscle cramping, Collingwood explains. Other signs might be more serious (in the medical realm) and even involve cardiovascular health, so partnering with a health care practitioner is key in those instances.
How to choose an electrolyte powder
If you are in a situation where you have excess fluid loss, Hankenson recommends looking for an electrolyte supplement that includes the essential electrolytes. "A good electrolyte supplement will have sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Some supplements may also contain chloride, phosphorus, or other vitamins and minerals," she says. Because some individuals might need to watch their sodium intake levels, those with personal health concerns should consult with their physician prior to taking electrolyte supplements.
On the sugar front, you'll find that some electrolyte powders contain added sugar or artificial sweeteners. While Hankenson says, "These sugars can be helpful for athletes that not only need to replenish electrolytes but also benefit from carbohydrates that provide energy to maintain prolonged physical activity," many people are better off avoiding sugary drinks.
Lastly, some electrolyte powders contain caffeine. "In certain instances, such as athletic performance, caffeine can be beneficial," says Hankenson. However, consideration should be used when taking these supplements because caffeine can contribute to dehydration (specifically with excess caffeine intake) or caffeine "jitters" for some.
How we picked:
Quality and brand reliability
Each brand we chose has a strong reputation in the health, fitness, or wellness realm—and many of the products undergo third-party certification for testing or other noteworthy attributes.
We interviewed three experts, using their advice and insight to guide our product selections. These picks have also been reviewed by our vice president of scientific affairs Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN.
A product is only as good as its ingredients, so we paid close attention to every ingredient listed. Because there isn't a one-size-fits-all product, we selected the best electrolyte powders for various lifestyles and concerns.
Consumer input matters. We poured through hundreds of reviews when choosing the best electrolyte powders, paying attention to what customers liked and didn't like about each of the products researched.
Our picks for the best electrolyte powders of 2023:
Best flavors: LMNT Electrolyte Drink Mix
- Lean list of ingredients +zero added sugars
- Keto friendly, gluten-free, and vegan
- Portable packets
- Salty taste isn't for everyone
- Includes stevia and added (natural) flavors
Main ingredients:Salt (Sodium Chloride)Citric AcidMagnesium MalatePotassium ChlorideNatural flavorsStevia leaf extract
Flavors available:Citrus saltWatermelon saltOrange saltRaspberry saltMango chiliLemon habaneroChocolate saltRaw unflavored
Sodium content:1,000 mg
Potassium content:200 mg
Magnesium content:60 mg
Added sugar:0 g
Collingwood’s top pick for an electrolyte powder, LMNT offers a great balance of nutrients, with each packet including 1000 milligrams of sodium, 200 milligrams of potassium and 60 milligrams of magnesium. While the powder does include stevia and added (natural) flavors, the ingredient list is generally lean and clean, with no added sugars, gluten, or animal products. It’s a great option for vegans or those on special diets, such as keto, paleo, or low-carb.
Many of our mindbodygreen team members are fans of LMNT, noting the enjoyable taste, plethora of flavors, clean ingredient list, and the feeling of replenishment it provides.* Just note: If you don’t like a salty taste, this one isn’t for you.
Best for weekend recovery: Waterboy Hydration + Weekend Recovery
- No added sugar
- Ginger to support abdominal comfort
- Salty taste
- Contains stevia
- Salty taste is not for everyone
Main ingredients:Citric AcidNatural flavorsAscorbic AcidPotassium CitrateHimalayan sea saltPotassium citrate
Flavors available:Lemon limeFruit punchStrawberry lemonadeBlue raspberryLemon ginger
Sodium content:1,130 mg
Potassium content:344 mg
Magnesium content:54 mg
Added sugar:0 g
This electrolyte blend is made with no added sugar and contains a high sodium content to help your body replenish and recover. The brand has two products: one geared toward recovery from an exhausting weekend, and another designed for athletes who need some extra support after an intense workout. Both formulas are sugar-free, with vitamin B-12 and C for an added energy boost.
The weekend recovery packet also contains ginger to help with abdominal comfort and L-theanine for relaxation. While we love that there aren’t any added sugars, the brand does use stevia, which could be a deterrent for some.
Our commerce editors are big fans of the Waterboy taste, and impressed by the ingredients. Carleigh Ferrante, marathoner and self-proclaimed salt lover, says this has the perfect balance of salty and sweet and gives her the boost she craves after a tough day of training.
Best for travel: Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier
- 12 flavor options
- 5 essential vitamins
- 10g of added sugar
Main ingredients:Stevia leaf extractDextroseCane sugarSodium CitrateAscorbic AcidPotassium CitrateDipotassium PhosphateSilicon DioxidePotassium citrate
Flavors available:Lemon limeStrawberry lemonadeWatermelonStrawberryPassion FruitGuavaGolden cherryConcord grapePiña coladaTropical punchSeaberryAcai berry
Sodium content:500 mg
Potassium content:370 mg
Magnesium content:0 mg
Added sugar:10 g
We love throwing these single-serve packets in our travel bags whenever we're on the go. This non-GMO blend from Liquid I.V. contains five essential vitamins: B3, B5, B6, B12 and Vitamin C, along with enough sodium and potassium to keep your body hydrated. The brand says these sticks contain three times the electrolytes of traditional sports drinks, and hydrate you significantly faster than water alone. There are 12 flavor options, such as strawberry lemonade, passion fruit, concord grape, and (our commerce editor's personal favorite) golden cherry.
This pick does have 10 grams of added sugar (cane sugar), so be mindful of that if you are watching your sugar intake. The taste is fresh and crisp, with what our testers call the perfect balance of salty and sweet.
Best low sugar: Nuun Sport Electrolyte Drink Tablets
- Lower sodium content
- Third party tested and certified gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and non-GMO
- Available in caffeinated and caffeine-free formulations
- Includes added (natural) flavors and stevia
- Some complain the flavor is “faint”
Main ingredients:Citric AcidNatural flavorsStevia leaf extractSodium (Bicarbonate and Carbonate)Potassium (Bicarbonate and Chloride)Magnesium (Oxide)Calcium (Carbonate)DextroseRice extract blendAvocado oilBeet juice powder (for color)Riboflavin (for color)Spirulina (for color)Malic Acid
Flavors available:Caffeine-free: citrus fruit, fruit punch, grape, lemon lime, orange, strawberry lemonade, tri-berry, tropical, and watermelonCaffeinated: cherry limeade, fresh lime, mango orange and wild berry
Sodium content:300 mg
Potassium content:150 mg
Magnesium content:25 mg
Added sugar:0 g
Hankensen recommends NUUN because it is third party laboratory tested and easy to use. Simply drop the tablet into a glass of water, let it dissolve, and drink up. “This supplement is low in sugar and sweetened with stevia,” she says. However, because it is low in sugar she says it may not be the best supplement for athletes doing more than 60 minutes of vigorous exercise. While there are some added ingredients (such as the stevia, natural flavors, citric acid, and dextrose), the ingredient list is fairly clean, and the brand even uses beet juice powder for coloring.
Amazon reviewers rate the Nuun tablets at a 4.5 overall, with over 37,000 total ratings. The feedback does remain mixed when it comes to the taste, though. Some say it tastes great and love the fact that it’s not very sweet, but others wish there was a sweeter flavor.
Hankenson suggests avoiding the flavors that contain caffeine if you have a known sensitivity towards caffeine.
Best for endurance athletes: Skratch Labs Hydration Mix
- Contains carbohydrates for energy
- Higher sodium content
- Uses lemon and lime oil and juices for flavor
- Those on a low carb diet should avoid
- 19g added sugar
Main ingredients:Citric AcidDextroseCane sugarSodium CitrateMagnesium LactateCalcium CitrateLemon oilLime oilLemon juiceLime juiceAscorbic AcidPotassium CitratePotassium citrate
Flavors available:Lemon limeFruit punchMatcha and lemonsOrangesPeachPineappleRaspberry limeadeStrawberry lemonade
Sodium content:380 mg
Potassium content:39 mg
Magnesium content:39 mg
Added sugar:19 g
Per Hankenson, Skratch is great for endurance athletes because it contains carbohydrates for re-energizing during long workouts.* Each scoop offers 380 milligrams of sodium, 39 milligrams of potassium, 44 milligrams of calcium, and 39 milligrams of magnesium, matching the electrolytes lost in sweat.
Keep in mind, this one comes with a hefty sugar content, at 19 grams of added sugar per serving. Hankenson says this makes it a good choice for people who don’t love the taste of stevia, but it is definitely something to be mindful of if you are limiting your sugar intake. Additionally, some flavors are caffeinated, so make sure to read labels carefully.
Best plant-based: Cure Hydrating Electrolyte Mix
- All plant-based ingredients
- Clean and innovative formula with premium ingredients
- No added sugar
- Powder tends to clump if not thoroughly mixes
- Contains stevia (organic)
Main ingredients:Lemon juicePink Himalayan saltOrganic coconut water
Flavors available:OrangeWatermelonBerry pomegranateGrapefruitLemonLimeGingerTurmeric
Sodium content:240 mg
Potassium content:300 mg
Magnesium content:0 mg
Added sugar:0 g
Coconut water is one of nature’s most hydrating beverages, and is packed full of electrolytes. What makes Cure Hydrating Electrolyte Mix unique is its clean and innovative formula, which includes organic coconut water, pink Himalayan salt, and lemon juice. The no-sugar-added blend contains organic stevia and monk fruit for sweetness.
The single serve sticks conveniently fit in your pocket or purse, making them a great portable option. Reviewers rave about the taste. One Amazon shopper writes, “Some other brands are a bit salty tasting (I get it) but this brand is not, I am using it daily.” One qualm is that some people say the powder clumps up in water. Avoid this by using a handheld electric whisk or by blending it into your smoothies or juices.
Best sugar free: Xtend Healthy Hydration
- No added sugar
- Fruit and veggie juice powders for color
- Features amino acid hydration blend
- Contains natural flavors
- Contains stevia
Main ingredients:Citric AcidNatural flavorsAmino acid hydration blend (L-Valine, L-Isoleucine, L-Alanine, L-Threonine, L-Tyrosine)Betaine AnhydrousSilicon DioxideModified Stevia Extract (Sterol Glycosides)Fruit and vegetable juice powderMonk fruit extract
Flavors available:Lemon limeStrawberry bananaRaspberry lemonade
Sodium content:450 mg
Potassium content:380 mg
Magnesium content:40 mg
Added sugar:0 g
While Xtend’s blend contains some not-ideal additions such as natural flavors, the brand does use unique ingredients like fruit and vegetable juice powders for coloring. This powder comes in three flavors, contains no added sugar, and features an amino acid hydration blend with six key electrolytes. It also delivers vitamin D and vitamins B6 and B12.
There are not a ton of reviews for this product yet on Amazon, but it does maintain a 4.5 out of five-star overall rating, with nearly 70 total ratings. People say they enjoy the taste and how well it dissolves into water. One reviewer writes, “Despite not having sugar, it’s exactly a natural raspberry taste. I use hydration powder packets mainly after running or before freediving where substantial water loss is always the case. Most brands use sugar for the transport of electrolytes. Using [Xtend] BCAAs is brilliant. No sugar, spot on taste, and a new/different way to hydrate. This is my new go to!”
Best for clean eating: Orgain Hydro Boost
- USDA certified organic; no artificial ingredients
- Made with superfoods powder blend (organic) apple, strawberry, tart cherry, blackberry, blueberry, raspberry
- 8 grams of added sugar
- Contains stevia
Main ingredients:Organic cane sugarOrganic natural flavorPink Himalayan saltPotassium CitrateOrganic superfoods powder blendOrganic lemon juice powderPotassium citrate
Flavors available:Lemon limeBerryOrange tangerineMango
Sodium content:300 mg
Potassium content:180 mg
Magnesium content:0 mg
Added sugar:8 g
One downside of many electrolyte powders is that they often contain artificial ingredients that clean eaters tend to avoid. However, this certified-organic formula is made with food-based ingredients, making it a cleaner option. That said, it does include stevia and added sugars.
Many reviewers prefer the taste of this powder versus other electrolytes, noting that it is neither too sweet nor salty. “Most of these types of products taste so off or artificial. This tastes delicious and is extremely refreshing,” notes one Amazon reviewer, who adds that they “really love that the ingredients are much cleaner too and all certified organic.”
Best prenatal: Seedlyfe Prenatal Powder + Electrolytes
- Formulated as a prenatal multivitamin (with premium ingredient forms)
- Contains 25 vitamins and minerals, including folate and iron and five, food-based electrolytes
- Natural flavors added
- Contains stevia (can cause aftertaste for some)
- Contains soy (allergen)
Main ingredients:Folate (Methylfolate)Choline (Phosphatidylcholine)Iron (Bisglycinate Chelate)Calcium (Red Algae)Vitamin C (Acerola)Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol)
Magnesium content:291 mg
Added sugar:0 g
This formula was created by Kate Hudson’s doula, Lori Bregman, and nutritionist Jessica Diamond to support the nutritional needs of pregnant women. The product is meant to serve as a prenatal vitamin, with each serving packed with 25 essential vitamins and minerals, including iron and folate—plus, it has the added hydration benefit of five food-based electrolytes.
While it’s only available in one flavor (lemonade), Amazon reviewers rave about the taste, describing it as “very smooth, light, and refreshing.” One person writes, “I love that I am getting all the vitamins I need on top of electrolytes so I’m really hydrating myself.”*
This one is more expensive than the more basic electrolyte powders, but you are paying for a high quality prenatal vitamin, too.
Best with collagen: Vital Proteins Hydration + Collagen Powder Packets
- Contains 880 mg electrolytes
- Contains 5 grams collagen
- Some reviewers complain about the taste
- Contains 1 gram added sugar
Main ingredients:Citric AcidPotassium ChlorideNatural flavorsStevia leaf extractVitamin CBovine collagen peptidesTapioca DextroseDipotassium PhosphateMagnesium CarbonateCalcium CarbonateSea salt
Flavors available:Lemon limeTropical blast
Sodium content:45 mg
Potassium content:670 mg
Magnesium content:72 mg
Added sugar:1 g
This clever concoction from Vital Proteins combines a variety of electrolytes with five grams of grass-fed, pasture-raised collagen. Research has shown collagen supplements to have a positive impact on your skin’s elasticity and hydration, among other benefits. In fact, one study found that those who took a collagen supplement had skin moisture levels significantly higher than the participants who did not
Collagen's impact goes beyond your skin; research shows collagen supplements have potential gut health and digestion benefits, joint & bone health improvements, and perks for your hair and nails, too.*
This collagen-electrolyte blend comes in two flavors (lemon lime and tropical blast) and is lower in sodium than other electrolyte powders (which, again, could be a pro or a con depending on your needs). Just note: Because this product includes bovine collagen, those on a plant-based diet should avoid it.
Best for keto lifestyle: Key Nutrients Electrolyte Recovery Plus
- 6 electrolytes in blend
- Keto-friendly and non GMO with no artificial ingredients
- Contains stevia
- Not intended for multiple servings per day
Main ingredients:Citric AcidStevia leaf extractVitamin CThiaminRiboflavinBiotin
Flavors available:LemonadePeach mangoCherry pomGrapeRaspberryOrangeBlue raspberryWatermelonPink lemonade
Sodium content:110 mg
Potassium content:250 mg
Magnesium content:100 mg
Added sugar:0 g
This replenishing formula is a particularly popular option for those on the keto diet. In addition to six key electrolytes, the powder contains 12 vitamins and minerals, zero added sugar, and no artificial ingredients. Hankenson calls this one a great bang for the buck, noting that it is less expensive than many other electrolyte supplements with similar content. “It contains essential electrolytes and zero sugar and is also third-party tested and NSF-certified,” she notes.
The sodium content is slightly lower than the other options, which she says could be a pro or a con, depending on your needs. The powder also contains 188% recommended daily value of vitamin C, and can double as a vitamin c supplement.*
Are powdered electrolytes good for you?
While generally high sodium, powdered electrolytes are a good supplement for anyone who isn't getting these nutrients naturally in their diet, someone who sweats a lot, or someone who is losing electrolytes another way.*
What is the healthiest form of electrolytes?
According to Collingwood, the healthiest form of electrolytes are those from natural food sources, such as fruits and vegetables. However, electrolyte supplements can also be a helpful, targeted, and convenient way to get more balance in your routine.
What are signs of suboptimal electrolyte balance?
Per our experts, signs you're not getting enough electrolytes include occasional dizziness, tiredness, brain fogginess, and muscle cramps.
What is the fastest way to replenish electrolytes?
The fastest way to replenish electrolytes is through liquid electrolyte replacement products such as these powders or ready-to-drink electrolyte drinks, says Collingwood.
Hydration is a crucial part of overall health—and it sometimes can require more than drinking a certain amount of water every day. For those who need a little extra support, such as endurance athletes, electrolyte powders are an efficient way to boost your hydration.* Similar to protein powders, in order to select the best electrolyte powder for you, consider your overall lifestyle and needs. To learn more about proper hydration, check out these 10 reasons you should drink more water.