The Best Electrolyte Supplements And Why I Use Them

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // June 28, 2024


Explore the best electrolyte supplements and their benefits, including why these essential nutrients are crucial for hydration, athletic performance, and overall health. See my favorite brands, natural options, and expert tips on how to choose the right electrolyte supplements for your needs.

Feeling drained during workouts? Noticing your energy levels dipping as you get older? You’re not alone.

I’m here to share my personal experience with electrolyte powders as a personal trainer and fitness expert. They’ve made a tremendous difference in my life, especially after menopause when I’ve felt like any extra boost is a gift!

If you’re a health-conscious individual, fitness enthusiast, or a middle-aged woman looking to improve your overall well-being, read on to learn more about the best electrolyte supplements I’ve tried and which is my favorite.

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    My Journey with Electrolyte Supplements As A Personal Trainer

    I am by no means an extreme athlete. But, even as your basic very active 58 year old woman who has experienced many common menopause symptoms, electrolyte supplements have made a big impact in fitness routine and life.

    My workout schedule involves lots of walking and also high intensity exercise for one hour, four to five days a week.

    I started noticing my energy waning once I entered my 50’s. After doing some research, I decided to start using an electrolyte supplement in my water during workouts and experienced a noticeable increase in my energy. 

    Now I take an electrolyte supplement every day to make sure my body maintains the right energy level and optimal electrolyte balance. I started incorporating them into my daily routine to support better hydration, athletic performance, and muscle recovery.

    I also notice the benefits when I hike in the heat, or am excessively sweating. And, I have to say, after a night of a few glasses of wine, I think it helps me in the morning!

    A Word About The Importance of Salt During Workouts

    Salt, or sodium chloride, is a key electrolyte that plays a vital role in maintaining fluid balance and preventing dehydration. During exercise, especially in hot weather, you lose salt through sweat. Replenishing this lost salt is crucial to prevent cramping, dizziness, and fatigue.

    If you are my age, you may be programmed to believe we need a low salt diet. Many people are wary of salt due to its association with high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, but when it comes to exercise, adequate salt intake is essential for optimal performance, rehydration, and recovery. Many nutritionists now say we have been misguided on sodium and it’s benefits.

    The FDA recommends consuming fewer than 2.3 grams of sodium per day for heart health. But a 2011 JAMA study found that optimal health outcomes occur at 4-6 grams per day. Many healthy people who also sweat a lot, need more sodium, not less. Symptoms of low blood sodium levels include headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, and confusion. 

    I figured out that salt was maybe the thing I was lacking and for me personally, it has made a difference. I immediately noticed a lift in my energy during my early morning workouts.

    The Best Electrolyte Supplements

    I’ve tried several of the best electrolyte supplements over the years, and here are my top picks including why I like them, their key nutritional ingredients, and where to buy them.

    1. LMNT Electrolyte Powder

    This is my top electrolyte supplement because of their clean ingredients, and I use it daily before, during or after my workouts.

    LMNT is formulated with a science-backed electrolyte ratio: 1000 mg of sodium, 200 mg of potassium, and 60 mg of magnesium without any sugar or weird ingredients which is important to me.

    It’s salty so you may have to get used to it. But like I said above, don’t be afraid of the salt, your body may need it. Now that I’m used to it, I literally crave it.

    Side comment-whenever I’m craving salty snacks in the afternoon because I’m bored and sick of typing on my computer, I drink some LMNT and it keeps me from ripping open a bag of salty chips!

    I use a half packet in my small water bottle and a whole packet in my 32 oz bottle. It’s the perfect taste for me. My favorite flavor is watermelon with grapefruit a close second. My husband loves the orange.

    Key Ingredients:

    • Sodium per serving: 1000 mg
    • Potassium per serving: 200 mg
    • Magnesium per serving: 60 mg
    • Sugar per serving: 0 g

    When you purchase through the LMNT website you get a free 8-count LMNT Sample Pack with any purchase you make. That way you can test all the flavors!

    2. NUUN Sport Tablets

    These Nuun tablets are convenient and come in various flavors, making them easy to add to your water bottle on the go.

    I used these for years until I decided I needed more sodium. They are great for traveling. However, they are a little too mild in flavor for me. And they are a little effervescent depending on if you like that.

    Key Ingredients:

    • Sodium per serving: 300 mg
    • Potassium per serving: 150 mg
    • Magnesium per serving: 25 mg
    • Sugar per serving: 1 g

    3. Liquid IV Powder

    Liquid IV powder uses the combination of glucose with sodium to enhance hydration.

    I personally try to avoid those extra added sugars, but it does help with the taste. They offer a variety of flavors.

    Key Ingredients:

    • Sodium per serving: 510 mg
    • Potassium per serving: 380 mg
    • Magnesium per serving: none
    • Sugar per serving: 11 g

    4. Flavcity Electrolytes

    Flavcity electrolyte powders are made clean ingredients and I consider them to be a lighter form of electrolytes since they have very little sodium.

    I like the flavor and think it’s a healthy way to add flavor to your water. However, it’s not enough sodium for recovery after a tough workout.

    Key Ingredients:

    • Sodium per serving: 85 mg
    • Potassium per serving: 305 mg
    • Magnesium per serving: 104 mg
    • Sugar per serving: 2 g

    5. Moonjuice Electrolytes

    This Moonjuice electrolyte powder includes a few more essential nutrients, like minerals and adaptogens.

    It has clean ingredients and several flavors. This is also in my opinion a little lighter of an electrolyte replacement.

    Key Ingredients:

    • Sodium per serving: 270 mg
    • Potassium per serving: 130 mg
    • Magnesium per serving: 65 mg
    • Sugar per serving: 0 g

    6. DripDrop Hydration

    Originally formulated for medical purposes, the DripDrop electrolyte supplement is popular.

    It’s not my first choice because some of the formulations have sucralose, an artificial sweetener I avoid at all costs.

    Key Ingredients:

    • Sodium per serving: 330 mg
    • Potassium per serving: 185 mg
    • Magnesium per serving: 39 mg
    • Added sugar per serving: 7 g

    Final Thoughts on Electrolyte Supplements

    Electrolyte supplements have been a game-changer for my fitness routine and general wellbeing. They help me stay hydrated, maintain energy levels, and recover faster after workouts.

    Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, a middle-aged woman navigating menopause, or simply someone looking to improve their overall health, these supplements can offer significant benefits. Remember to choose products with clean ingredients and avoid those with lots of added sugars, and artificial colors!

    FAQs

    What about Gatorade and Powerade?

    There are a lot of electrolyte drinks on the market, but when it comes to regular and consistent use, I haven’t found something that I prefer in quality over the tablets and powders. 
    The most popular and promoted drinks like Gatorade are filled with excess sugar, food dyes, and other questionable ingredients. I seriously can’t believe they still have those ingredients and I gave them to my kids decades ago because I didn’t know any better – yikes! For that reason, I prefer to start with water and add my favorite tablets or powders instead. It’s true I have to take one extra step to make the mix, but at least I know exactly what my “homemade” electrolyte drink is made of.

    What are common electrolyte imbalance symptoms?

    Here are some of the common symptoms you might experience from an electrolyte imbalance are confusion and irritability, diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, headaches, irregular or fast heart rate, muscle cramps, muscle spasms or weakness, nausea and vomiting, numbness or tingling in limbs, fingers and toes. If you start experiencing these electrolyte imbalance symptoms from exercise or regular activity, electrolyte supplements could be a great option for you.

    Are electrolytes important for athletes?

    Electrolyte supplementation and hydration levels are especially important for athletes. They often require higher than usual energy levels, and also expend electrolytes at a faster rate than the average person. It’s often recommended athletes consume fluids and electrolytes before, during, and after exercise. As you can imagine, the stakes are even higher for endurance athletes.

    Can you take electrolytes every day?

    You can take electrolytes every day, especially if you are exercising vigorously or sweating often. They can help replace the minerals you are naturally loosing, like sodium, magnesium and potassium. I also recommend consulting with a registered dietician or other health professional before making any significant changes to your daily nutritional intake.

    Are electrolytes good for fasting?

    If you are consuming a reduced level of calories due to fasting, electrolyte supplements can help give your body the nutrients it needs. You can get crucial minerals and vitamins through fasting approved electrolyte supplements and still meet your goals.

    Will electrolytes help with hangovers?

    Preventing hangovers can be tough. Do electrolytes help? They can’t prevent a hangover, but they can probably help ease the symptoms. Since drinking alcohol is a dehydrating process, consuming extra electrolytes can help replenish and rebalance your body after a night out. I also recommend plenty of water ; ).

    Can I take too many electrolytes?

    Just like anything, too much is never a good thing. You want the right amount of electrolytes to reach your optimal health balance, but you also don’t need to overdo it. Too many electrolytes could lead to symptoms like fatigue, headaches, weak muscles, cramps, and more. I also recommend consulting with a registered dietician or other health professional before making any significant changes to your daily nutritional intake.

    How can I test my electrolyte levels?

    Your electrolyte levels can be tested with either urine or blood tests performed by a medical professional. That being said, many people are able to tell when their electrolytes are low based on their physical activity and common symptoms. Watch for things like fatigue, signs of dehydration, muscle cramps, numbness or tingling.

    What about water enhancer products like Crystal Light & Mio?

    I’m getting on my soap box here to say stay away from those horrible water enhancers like Mio and Crystal Light. These brands advertise as electrolyte formulas, but they are actually made with scary ingredients like sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and food coloring. Yuck for sure!

    Healthy Living, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Product Reviews, Supplements


    Printed from GetHealthyU.com

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