The 10 Best Electrolytes for Runners of 2020, According to a Dietitian

Keep hydrated for better runs

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Ultima Replenisher at Amazon

"Replenish your body with this vegan, paleo, and keto-friendly powder containing six necessary electrolytes and no added sugar."

Best Drink: Harmless Harvest at Amazon

"Coconut water is a natural source of electrolytes, and this one contains carbs from naturally occurring sugar for extra fuel."

Best Gel: Muir at Amazon

"Forget gels that are loaded with added sugars or artificial sweeteners and colors, these contain five to six real food ingredients."

Best Organic: Goodonya at Amazon

"This organic powder is made of whole food ingredients and is sweetened with organic stevia, with only 1 gram of sugar."

Best Powder: Thorne Catalyte at Amazon

"If you're into endurance sports, this powder provides important minerals, vitamins, and nutrients you need to go the extra mile."

Best Tablet: Nuun Sport at Amazon

"One quick and easy tablet provides the sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium needed for adequate hydration and balance."

Best Gluten-Free: Nuun Endurance at Amazon

"This drink mix is certified gluten-free and made with fast-burning carbs for energy, perfect for 90 minutes or more of exercise."

Best for Diabetes: Vega Sport at Amazon

"One scoop provides electrolytes, no artificial flavors or sweeteners, and zero grams of sugar—great news for diabetic athletes."

Best Keto: Ultima Replenisher at Amazon

"With no sugar and zero grams of carbohydrates, it's perfect for anyone on the Keto diet."

Best Budget: Pedialyte Sticks at Amazon

"The trusted brand has been making affordable products for over 50 years and can be found in most pharmacies."

Electrolytes are minerals found in the blood that help regulate the balance of fluid in the body. These minerals—mainly calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium—play a critical role in blood pressure, muscle contraction, and hormone regulation, among many other vital processes. Electrolytes are primarily lost through sweat.

The amount of sweat and electrolyte loss during exercise is highly individualized and varies depending on physical and environmental factors. In general, workouts under 30 minutes do not warrant the use of an electrolyte supplement. However, replenishing electrolytes during endurance training is crucial for optimal performance. The amount of electrolyte that is needed will differ between runners. 

Here, the best electrolytes for runners.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Ultima Replenisher

Ultima Replenisher

 Courtesy of Amazon

Ultimate Replenisher provides six necessary electrolytes: sodium, calcium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous, all with zero added sugars. A solid option for any type of diet (paleo, vegan, keto), this supplement is also free of major allergens such as soy, peanuts, gluten, and dairy.

Ultimate Replenisher contains more potassium than sodium, which is great news given that the average American diet is too high in sodium. In fact, the average American consumes more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day, which is way more than the recommended upper limit of 2,300 milligrams per day.

Potassium plays a part in how nerves transmit and muscles contract. It helps regulate water balance in the body. You lose potassium when you sweat, so it's important to replenish your body's stores of it.

Best Drink: Harmless Harvest

Harmless Harvest

 Courtesy of Amazon

Why opt for a powder or tablet when nature provides a simple electrolyte replenishing solution. Enter, coconut water. Coconut water is known for its hydrating capabilities because it's a natural source of potassium, magnesium, chloride, and phosphorous.

We love that Harmless Harvest uses organic, fair trade coconuts, so you can feel good about drinking their products. And that pink color? It's a natural process that happens when the antioxidants found in coconut water interact with light and air. The coconut water also contains about one servings worth of carbohydrates from naturally occurring sugar, making it a nice source of quick fuel for long-distance runs.

Best Gel: Muir

Muir Energy was founded by an ultra-distance hiker who was tired of the traditional endurance products out there. Forget gels that are loaded with added sugars or artificial sweeteners and colors. Muir’s Real Food Energy Packs contain five to six real food ingredients.

Runners can choose between slow-burning packs, which the manufacturer says are ideal for quick energy and higher-intensity workouts, or fast-burning packs, which the manufacturer recommends for lower-intensity exercises, like longer jogs. You can choose between the two depending on your goals and needs, or opt for a variety pack with both.

These packs do more than just replenish electrolytes, they also provide energy in the form of nut butter (slow-burning energy) or fruit and coconut nectar (fast-burning energy). Each ingredient used in all of Muir’s products is carefully curated to provide high nutrient density with low gastrointestinal impact—a necessary need for endurance runners.

Best Organic: Goodonya

Organic hydration-supporting products are hard to find. GOODONYA started as a California eatery focused on organic, whole ingredients founded by an Olympic athlete. This quality-focused brand now sells an electrolyte replenisher called HYDRATE.

HYDRATE is made of six organic, whole food ingredients that all have a purpose. Organic coconut water acts as the hydrator, while Aquamin, a product made from a specific type of red algae, is the source of replenishing minerals—mainly calcium, magnesium, and 74 other trace minerals, including zinc, iron, and selenium. This product contains 1 gram of sugar from organic lemon juice and is sweetened naturally with organic stevia.

Best Powder: Thorne Catalyte

Thorne’s Catalyte powder is designed to support endurance and sports. In addition to important minerals, Catalyte also provides a blend of B Vitamins, nutrients that are essential to fuel the metabolic processes that make endurance sports possible.

This product is NSF-certified for sports. Every batch of an NSF-Certified for Sports product is tested for compliance with label claims and to ensure the absence of more than 200 substances banned by many major athletic organizations. These include stimulants, narcotics, steroids, diuretics, beta-2 agonists, and masking agents.

Best Tablet: Nuun Sport

Looking for a quick and easy electrolyte replenisher that you can keep in your gym bag or running shorts pocket? Look no further than Nuun’s sports tablets. One quick and easy tablet provides the sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium needed for adequate hydration and balance. Nuun’s tablets are certified non-GMO, vegan, kosher, and gluten-free.

This product is also Informed Sport-certified, meaning it has gone through a certification program for sports supplements which assures athletes that products have been regularly tested for substances considered prohibited in sports competitions. In addition, an Informed Sport certification ensures that products have been manufactured upholding high-quality standards.

Best Gluten-Free: Nuun Endurance

Similar to Nuun’s Sport tablets, this drink mix by Nuun contains essential electrolytes, plus one serving of fast-burning carbohydrates from cane sugar.

Designed for 90 minutes or more of sweat-producing activity, the Nuun Endurance line packs a bit more of an electrolyte punch than their Sport line and provides energy with a low gastrointestinal impact. Certified gluten-free and non-GMO, this hydration mix is also Informed Sport certified.

Best for Diabetes: Vega Sport

One scoop of Vega Sport’s Hydrator provides electrolytes, 100-percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, and zero grams of sugar—great news for diabetic athletes.

This certified vegan product contains no artificial flavors or sweeteners, is certified non-GMO, and NSF-certified for sport. Simply mix one scoop with a 16-ounce glass of water for a hydrating boost that's carbohydrate-free.

Best Keto: Ultima Replenisher

The Ketogenic diet is all about keeping total carbohydrate intake as low as possible. Many electrolyte supplements contain added sugars in the form of fast-burning carbohydrates for taste or to produce a quick source of energy, which is bad news for keto athletes.

Ultima Replenisher contains no sugar and zero grams of carbohydrates, keeping you replenished and hydrated without derailing your diet. Consumers can choose from eight different flavors, all naturally sweetened with organic stevia leaf. The stick packs make hydrating on the go super convenient, and keto followers do not have to worry about tracking extra grams of carbohydrates.

Best Budget: Pedialyte Sticks

Electrolyte supplements can range in price and, with so many products all featuring similar ingredients, it can be challenging to know where to get the biggest bang for your buck. Pedialyte has been a go-to product for over 50 years and is trusted by pharmacists and physicians.

These powder packs make hydrating convenient and affordable. Compared to other leading brands, one stick packs a potent punch of potassium, sodium, and chloride, as well as quick-burning sugar—great news for endurance athletes requiring hydration and fuel.

What to Look for in Electrolytes for Runners

Key Nutrients

At a minimum, products should contain the following electrolytes: Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium.

Ingredients to Avoid

Avoid electrolytes containing common allergens such as gluten, soy, dairy, artificial colors and sweeteners.

Extra Ingredients

Be aware of extra ingredients—products may contain added vitamin C or caffeine, which can offer an extra energy boost.

Electrolyte Form

Electrolytes come in various forms, so pick the one that suits your needs the best. Tablets and single-use packets of easy-to-mix powders may be the simplest to use during long workouts.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a masters-level Registered Dietitian, Sydney Greene works with athletes of all different levels. For many, a nutrient-dense diet paired with optimized hydration is enough to keep them healthy and happy during training sessions. For those clients with more intense training regimens—such as marathons, triathlons, and ironmans—electrolyte supplementation may be necessary.

Sydney works with individuals to find the supplement that not only fuels them properly but is also well tolerated. The products included above have been vetted based on manufacturing practices, ingredients, transparency, and user reviews. Sydney has recommended some of the above products to her clients and has used some of them personally as well. 

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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.
  1. Orrù S, Imperlini E, Nigro E, et al. Role of Functional Beverages on Sport Performance and RecoveryNutrients. 2018;10(10):1470. doi:10.3390/nu10101470

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Get the facts:

    Sodium and the dietary guidelines. Updated October 2017.