The 8 Best Electrolyte Drinks of 2020, According to a Dietitian

Fuel your body with essential minerals

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Powder at Amazon

"Provides all six electrolytes (magnesium, potassium, sodium, chloride, calcium, and phosphorus) with no artificial ingredients."

Best Organic: Harmless Harvest Coconut Water at Walmart

"Provides a variety of nutrients including sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium."

Best Budget: Pedialyte Electrolyte Solution Unflavored at Walgreens

"Pedialyte solution also contains zinc, which promotes intestinal absorption of water."

Best for Keto: Nuun Sport at Swanson Health

"No added sugar, and free of artificial flavors and colors."

Best for Runners: Nuun Sport + Caffeine at Amazon

"Each tablet also contains 40mg of caffeine, which can help add extra pep to a runner’s step."

Best for Diabetics: Ultima Single Serve Variety Pack at iHerb

"A cost-effective solution that delivers big results."

Best Electrolyte Water: Essentia Water Ionized Alkaline Bottled Water at Amazon

"An alkaline water with a pH level of 9.5 or higher."

Best Kids Powder: Mommy’s Bliss Unflavored Electrolyte Powder at Amazon

"Aimed towards preventing dehydration in babies and kids who are suffering from diarrhea and vomiting"

Electrolyte-enhanced beverages, or sports drinks, help to replenish water, electrolytes, and energy lost during exercise. These drinks often contain potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium which help combat dehydration, prevent muscle cramping and delay fatigue.

While traditional manufactured and artificially flavored sports drinks have long been the drink of choice in the sports and fitness world, recent research suggests that coconut water may be just as effective at promoting rehydration with less incidence of stomach upset and bloating. Electrolyte drinks have expanded beyond the world of athletics to meet the needs of anyone who may benefit from a hydration and mineral boost.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Powder

The delicious-tasting lemonade-flavored drink provides all six electrolytes (magnesium, potassium, sodium, chloride, calcium, and phosphorus) with no artificial ingredients. This sugar-free, zero-calorie, and zero-carbohydrate beverage is sweetened with stevia. Ultima is made with real fruit flavors and comes in many delicious varieties including Cherry Pomegranate, Blue Raspberry, Grape and Orange. The flavors are not overly sweet and taste refreshing.

Unlike other powders which can be chalky, Ultima mixes well and dissolves completely to become a smooth, hydrating drink. The versatile product can be used for many diets such as vegan, gluten-free, keto-friendly, paleo-friendly, and peanut-free. For those who are sensitive to caffeine, it’s also caffeine-free.

Whether you’re an athlete using Ultima during training or an office worker sipping the product at your desk, Ultima is hands down the best tasting, most refreshing, cleanest electrolyte drink available. 

Best Organic: Harmless Harvest Coconut Water

harmless-coconut-water

 Courtesy of Walmart

If you’re looking for the most natural, organic, electrolyte-filled drink available, Harmless Harvest coconut water is the best option for you. Made solely from coconut water sourced from organic young coconuts grown in Thailand, the thirst-quenching drink provides a variety of nutrients including sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. While there are some organic electrolyte powders and processed beverages on the market, Harmless Harvest Coconut Water is 100% natural. It’s made from one ingredient: organic coconut water.

Coconut water is a great natural electrolyte drink that helps to rehydrate and restore electrolyte balance. Harmless Harvest is not only 100% Organic, but it’s also Fair for Life certified, meaning that the product promotes social and environmental responsibility. The company partners with organic farmers who use sustainable practices without pesticides, sewage sludge, or synthetic fertilizers. It’s good for you, the people who make it, and the environment. 

The drink is naturally pink as coconut water can turn pink when the natural antioxidants interact with elements such as light. Many companies will hide this variation by adding vitamin C or citric acid to preserve the clear color, but Harmless Harvest chooses to embrace the natural variation.

Best Budget: Pedialyte Electrolyte Solution Unflavored

pedialyte-unflavored

Courtesy of Target

You may think of Pedialyte as a beverage for sick children, but it can be used for athletes, adults, or anyone needing an electrolyte boost. Unflavored Pedialyte is a great, economical choice to replete electrolytes in a balanced way that is free of colorings and dyes. The classic drink comes in a convenient one-liter container that is ready-to-drink and shelf-stable when unopened, so you can keep it on hand for any time you need extra hydration. 

The affordable beverage is a tried and true product specifically designed to prevent dehydration. It contains a balance of fluid, sugar and electrolytes including potassium, chloride, and sodium. The carbohydrates, or sugar in the form of dextrose, can give a quick energy boost to anyone who is active or feeling under the weather. Pedialyte solution also contains zinc, which promotes intestinal absorption of water and electrolytes and may help to reduce the severity and duration of diarrhea.

What to Look for in an Electrolyte Drink

Ingredients

Check the label to see what electrolytes are included in the electrolyte drink. Whether you're looking for a slight pick-me-up in your regular water, a way to rehydrate when you're sick, or an electrolyte-packed sports drink to fuel your activity, there are lots of different options! Electrolytes to look for include sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and chloride.

Form

Electrolyte drinks can come in premixed liquid form or powder form. There are also naturally occurring electrolyte drinks such as coconut water available. Consider how and when you will be using the beverage, for example, it may be more convenient to carry a powdered electrolyte packet while traveling whereas a ready-to-drink option may be better for immediate use.

Other Additives

Some electrolyte drinks come with extra nutrients or ingredients. While it is generally best to steer clear of beverages high in sugar or those that contain artificial ingredients, some beverages contain extra ingredients like caffeine or vitamin C that may be beneficial.

Best for Keto: Nuun Sport

Nuun sport electrolyte drink tablets

Courtesy of Swanson Health

People on the ketogenic diet typically have higher electrolyte needs and are more prone to dehydration, especially when beginning the diet. When the body is first adapting to the ketogenic diet, people experience fluid losses which lead to less bloat and a reduction in water weight, however, the loss of fluid also leads to electrolyte depletion. The dreaded “keto flu,” or symptoms of fatigue, headache, and irritability, can arise from these electrolyte imbalances. 


Nuun
Sport is keto-friendly! These electrolyte tablets contain only 1 gram of sugar, 15 calories, and no artificial sweeteners or flavoring. They are sweetened using high-quality stevia, which will not disrupt the sensitive ketogenic cycle like regular sugar and carbohydrates.

The convenient tablets mix easily with water to create a hydrating, tasty beverage that comes in a variety of flavors including Lemon Lime, Tri-Berry, Citrus Fruit and Orange. Each tube provides 10 tablets that contain a balance of 11 vitamins and minerals. They’re also soy-free, gluten-free, kosher, and vegan.

Best for Runners: Nuun Sport + Caffeine

Nuun Sport + Caffeine is an easy, portable way for athletes, especially runners, to hydrate and replete necessary electrolytes on-the-go! Each tube contains 10 tablets that mix with water to create an effervescent, thirst-quenching, electrolyte-filled beverage. With only 1 gram of sugar from stevia and 15 calories, the super clean tablet will provide all the electrolytes a runner needs, with no extra sugar or artificial flavorings. Each tablet also contains 40mg of caffeine, which can help add extra pep to a runner’s step.

Studies show that caffeine may boost athletic performance. Nuun Sport + Caffeine tablets may help athletes get a leg up on the competition, boosting performance while simultaneously rehydrating. 

Best for Diabetics: Ultima Single Serve Variety Pack

ultima-replensiher

 Courtesy of Thrive Market

Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Powder is a great choice for a sugar-free beverage that will replenish electrolyte levels, hydrate effectively, and provide supporting minerals without affecting blood sugar levels. Sweetened with stevia, Ultima is a delicious, zero-carb drink that is perfect for diabetics. 

Most electrolyte drinks contain sugar and carbohydrates which can cause blood sugar modulations in diabetics. Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Powder is a great product for diabetics to rehydrate without any effect on blood sugar. Diabetics have a higher risk of dehydration as high blood glucose levels cause the kidneys to work harder to remove excess glucose from the blood and excrete urine. While this is effective for reducing blood sugar levels, it can lead to fluid and electrolyte loss.

The Ultima Single Serve Variety Pack comes with 20 sticks in a variety of flavors including cherry pomegranate, grape, lemonade, orange, and raspberry. The formulation also contains vitamin C which can help to boost immunity.

Best Electrolyte Water: Essentia Water Ionized Alkaline Bottled Water

Essentia Water is ionized alkaline water that tastes great and has small amounts of beneficial electrolytes. Essentia uses a proprietary ionization process to purify, add small amounts of electrolytes, and remove bitter-tasting ions. This three-step process first purifies the water, removing unwanted particles through microfiltration and reverse osmosis. The water is then infused with trace amounts of electrolytes. Finally, bitter-tasting acidic ions are removed. The result is an alkaline water with a pH level of 9.5 or higher.

Alkaline water is less acidic than regular water and is rich in alkalizing compounds that may help to improve hydration status. Essentia contains very small amounts of minerals, so it will not provide essential electrolytes for highly active athletes, but it is a fantastic, great-tasting way for anyone to rehydrate.

Best Kids Powder: Mommy’s Bliss Unflavored Electrolyte Powder

These individual powder packs are great for on-the-go hydration for kids and adults alike. Each package of Mommy’s Bliss Electrolyte Powder provides eight single-serve mix-in drink packets. The powder readily mixes with water or your liquid of choice to create an unflavored electrolyte beverage that can help to prevent dehydration. 

Mommy’s Bliss contains vital hydration-supporting minerals including sodium, potassium, and chloride. While the product is aimed towards preventing dehydration in babies and kids who are suffering from diarrhea and vomiting, the electrolyte beverage can be used at any time and may be helpful especially during hot summer months.

Typical electrolyte beverages for children contain high amounts of sugar and additives. Mommy’s Bliss contains all the vital minerals without extra sugar. One packet contains only 3.4 grams of sugar per 8 ounces. The powder is also free of alcohol, parabens, artificial colors and flavors. The 100% vegan product is dairy-free, gluten-free and soy-free.

What Experts Say

"Clients often ask if they should be drinking an electrolyte-enhanced beverage during or after their workouts. While my advice depends on the individual and the exact nature of their workout, I generally recommend sticking to regular water, unless they are heavily sweating and/or intensely working out for over an hour." —Merrill Brady, MS, RDN, CDN in private practice at MELA Health.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

A personal note on my recommendations written above. As a dietitian, I frequently work with athletes ranging from weekend warriors to triathletes who may need to use electrolyte drinks. Additionally, I counsel people with gastrointestinal distress such as diarrhea and vomiting who may benefit from beverages with additional electrolytes.

After spending time reviewing the most current clinical research and looking at multiple products, I came up with a list of products that I would recommend to someone looking to add electrolyte beverages into their routine. I am careful to recommend supplements and I believe the electrolyte beverages in the round-up are made by trusted brands.

As a marathoner, I have tried various electrolyte products including most of the products on this list and others including Gatorade. When running I use Ultima or Nuun, and when I need a boost in daily life, I drink Harmless Harvest Coconut water. — Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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