The Best Electrolyte Supplements For Fasting, Athletes, And More

When it comes to hydration, these electrolyte supplements have you covered.

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We’re told to drink water while we exercise for good reason — as you sweat and your body gradually becomes dehydrated, you lose electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals that conduct electricity in water, and in doing so, help the body maintain a host of functions — including muscle contraction, and regulating blood pressure. Common electrolytes include potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, and calcium. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking water and/or electrolyte supplements during exercise to avoid excessive changes in hydration levels and to maintain electrolyte balance (1). 

While small amounts of electrolytes are found in many bottled or tap water sources, a host of companies produce electrolyte supplements designed to help restore hydration and electrolyte levels more efficiently. The National Athletic Trainers Association recommends additional electrolyte supplementation for those who engage in intense exercise for more than an hour at a time, or in areas of excessive heat (2). Additionally, electrolytes may be beneficial for folks suffering from dehydration related to illness, diarrhea, or vomiting. And for anyone who enjoys the occasional night of indulging in a few too many adult beverages, they may help with your hangover the morning after that, too.

Regardless of your particular need for electrolyte supplementation, there are plenty of options available on the market, including powders, liquids, and gels. We rounded up some of the best options we’ve found to help you find the right supplement for you. 

Best Electrolyte Supplements

Editor’s Note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. When starting a new training regimen and/or diet, it is always a good idea to consult with a trusted medical professional. We are not a medical resource. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems or injuries. They are not substitutes for consulting a qualified medical professional.

Best Electrolytes Overall

A great electrolyte supplement dissolves easily and will provide the essential minerals you need — including potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium — to keep you hydrated. This pick comes in four flavors and does just that. 

KAGED Hydra-Charge

This powder is designed for both pre- and post-workout hydration, and includes 60 servings of a mixture of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. It comes in four all-natural flavors — apple limeade, fruit punch, orange mango, and pink lemonade — and contains no artificial colors, flavors, or dyes. In addition, this supplement includes taurine, which is an amino acid that can help support your body in utilizing electrolytes and increasing endurance during exercise. 

KAGED Hydra-Charge
KAGED Hydra-Charge
KAGED Hydra-Charge

This supplement includes 60 servings of a mixture of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, and potassium, and it comes in four all-natural flavors — apple limeade, fruit punch, orange mango, and pink lemonade.

Who Should Buy KAGED Hydra-Charge

  • Anyone who wants a good spread of essential electrolyte minerals included in their supplement.
  • Folks who prefer a powder electrolyte supplement. 
  • Customers looking for a reasonably priced electrolyte supplement. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy KAGED Hydra-Charge

  • Those looking for a large variety of flavors to choose from — this brand only offers four.
  • Anyone who prefers a gel or liquid electrolyte supplement. 

While there are only four flavors to choose from here, this product offers one of the best doses of electrolytes on the market, including five essential minerals and a boost of taurine that may be able to help your body utilize the electrolytes even better. 

Best Electrolyte Powder for Fasting

When it comes to fasting, adding a little coconut water to an electrolyte powder can help with satiety due to its fiber content (3, 4). This pick includes coconut water powder complex, which makes it especially beneficial for those who may want to stay fuller longer.

Transparent Labs Hydrate

With 500 mg of a coconut water powder complex, the Transparent Labs Hydrate can potentially help keep with satiation thanks to coconut water’s fiber content. Coconut water is also hydrating in itself, so combined with a dose of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and taurine, this pick contains more electrolytes than most on the market. This product is clean of additives and artificial ingredients, but it only comes in one flavor — tropical punch, so if you are looking for variety outside of that, this may not be the right pick for you.

Transparent Labs Hydrate
Transparent Labs Hydrate
Transparent Labs Hydrate

This product contains 500 mg of a coconut water powder complex that can potentially help keep with satiation thanks to coconut water’s fiber content. Plus, it's combined with a dose of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and taurine for a complete electrolyte supplement. 

Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Hydrate

  • Anyone who’s fasting and looking for a potential boost in satiety from coconut water powder complex. 
  • Athletes who want extra hydration from the additional coconut water powder complex. 
  • Customers looking for a clean ingredient list. 
  • Folks looking for a cost-effective electrolyte supplement option. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs Hydrate

  • Those who want a variety of flavors to choose from. 
  • Anyone who prefers a gel or liquid electrolyte supplement. 

For a reasonable price, this pick includes an additional supplement of coconut water powder complex, which has the potential to increase satiety, and keep you fuller for longer, which is great for anyone who is consistently fasting. 

Best Electrolytes for Athletes

Taurine is an amino acid found in a lot of energy drinks, and can help your body utilize electrolytes better, potentially aiding in recovery (5). This pick contains taurine, making it a great option for athletes who need a little boost in muscle recovery.

KAGED Hydra-Charge

You can take this powder both pre-workout and post-workout for a dose of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. This supplement also includes taurine — an amino acid that can help support your body in utilizing electrolytes, potentially aiding in muscle recovery post-workout when you take the supplement beforehand. Taurine is also a powerful antioxidant that may help keep athletes healthy when they need it most. It comes in four flavors and contains no artificial colors, flavors, or dyes. 

KAGED Hydra-Charge
KAGED Hydra-Charge
KAGED Hydra-Charge

This supplement includes 60 servings of a mixture of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, and potassium, and it comes in four all-natural flavors — apple limeade, fruit punch, orange mango, and pink lemonade.

Who Should Buy KAGED Hydra-Charge

  • Athletes who want a supplement that can potentially aid in recovery.
  • Anyone looking for an electrolyte blend that includes antioxidants. 
  • Those who want a product that is clean of additives. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy KAGED Hydra-Charge

  • Folks who want more than four flavors to choose from. 
  • Athletes who prefer a gel or liquid electrolyte supplement. 

While KAGED Hydra-Charge offers solid electrolytes for anyone, its additional taurine makes it particularly great for athletes who are also looking for a potential boost in muscle recovery.

Best Electrolytes for Keto

When you’re keeping sugar at bay on the keto diet, it’s still important to be able to get your electrolytes. While many powders do include sugar for taste, this pick has no added sugar but plenty of hydrating minerals.

Keto K1000 Electrolyte Powder

The Keto K1000 Electrolyte Powder contains all the right minerals without any additives. That means it has calcium, magnesium, chloride, sodium, and potassium without any sugar or maltodextrin (which is a food additive that can spike your blood sugar). The potassium content is also higher than most on the market coming in at 1,000 mg, which means it can potentially aid even more in keeping the proper fluid balance in your body. This product comes in three different flavors, but it’s worth noting that it is a little pricer than some other supplements for those who are on a budget. 

Keto K1000 Electrolyte Powder
Keto K1000 Electrolyte Powder
Keto K1000 Electrolyte Powder

This supplement contains calcium, magnesium, chloride, sodium, and potassium without any sugar or maltodextrin (which is a food additive that can spike your blood sugar). The potassium content is also higher than most at 1,000 mg.

Who Should Buy Keto K1000 Electrolyte Powder

  • Anyone who’s following a keto diet and doesn’t want a product with sugar-spiking additives. 
  • Those who want an electrolyte supplement high in potassium to help even more with fluid balance. 
  • Folks who prefer a powdered electrolyte supplement. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Keto K1000 Electrolyte Powder

  • Anyone who is looking for a less expensive electrolyte supplement.
  • Customers looking for ample flavor options in their powder. 

While this product may be a bit pricier than some other electrolyte supplements, it’s clean, contains no sugar or maltodextrin, and has one of the highest potassium contents you’ll find to help really balance the fluids in your system. 

Best Tasting Electrolytes

Sometimes you just want a great-tasting product to keep you hooked on a supplement regimen, and this pick delivers. While this electrolyte supplement only has four flavors to choose from, these flavors are some of the best-tasting on the market. 

KAGED Hydra-Charge

This tasty powder contains high doses of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. Plus, it also has taurine, which is an amino acid that can help your body utilize electrolytes and potentially boost muscle recovery after tough workouts. Taurine is a powerful antioxidant, as well, so this supplement may also help with immunity. It comes in four varieties — orange mango, apple limeade, fruit punch, and pink lemonade — all of which are clean of artificial colors, flavors, and dyes. 

KAGED Hydra-Charge
KAGED Hydra-Charge
KAGED Hydra-Charge

This supplement includes 60 servings of a mixture of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, and potassium, and it comes in four all-natural flavors — apple limeade, fruit punch, orange mango, and pink lemonade.

Who Should Buy KAGED Hydra-Charge

  • Folks who just want a great tasting electrolyte supplement. 
  • Anyone who wants taurine included in their electrolyte supplement for a potential boost in muscle covery and immunity. 
  • Those who prefer a powder electrolyte supplement over gels or liquids. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy KAGED Hydra-Charge

  • Athletes who want more than four flavors to choose from. 
  • Anyone who prefers gels or liquids to powder electrolytes. 

KAGED Hydra-Charge is not just great for its ingredient list and all-natural blend — it’s also one of the tastier options on the market, and it won’t break the bank. 

Best Electrolyte Gels

Electrolyte gels are ideal for anyone who’s on the go — whether you’re taking them in your pocket on a long run or just throwing them in your gym bag, this pick is one of the easiest electrolyte supplements to transport. 

GU Energy Gel Shots

GU Energy Gels are small packets of 450 mg of amino acids, 55 mg of sodium, and 20 mg of caffeine. They are super easy to use on the go — all you have to do is tear the top off and squeeze, so even if you are running, you won’t have to stop to consume them. However, they don’t contain all of the minerals that many powder or liquid electrolyte supplements have, so you won’t be getting other common electrolyte ingredients like potassium or calcium. You can buy 8-counts of these packets in six different flavors or in variety packs. You’ll pay for the convenience factor of these gels though — they’re definitely pricier than most. 

GU Energy Gel Shots
GU Energy Gel Shots
GU Energy Gel Shots

These small packets of 450 mg of amino acids, 55 mg of sodium, and 20 mg of caffeine are super easy to use on the go. Just tear the top off and squeeze — even if you are running, you won’t have to stop to consume them.

Who Should Buy GU Energy Gel Shots

  • Long distance runners who need an energy gel they can easily take with them on their runs.
  • Anyone who prefers the convenience of a packet over having to mix a powder with water every time they need some hydration. 
  • Athletes who want a good dose of amino acids that may help with tissue repair and nutrient absorption. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy GU Energy Gel Shots

  • Folks who want more of a variety when it comes to the minerals included in their electrolyte supplement.
  • Those who are looking for a less expensive electrolyte supplement.

If you’re looking for convenient electrolytes you can grab on the go, these packets won’t do you wrong — plus, the amino acids can also help with tissue repair as the product’s sodium keeps you hydrated. 

Best Electrolyte Drinks for Older People

It’s especially important for elderly folks to stay hydrated to ensure everything keeps running properly as they age. This pick comes pre-portioned, which makes it super easy to drink. 

Electrolit Electrolyte Hydration

This drinkable electrolyte supplement is super convenient, and contains potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and ions for optimal hydration and absorption. Since it’s pre-portioned into bottles, you don’t have to worry about mixing any powders into the appropriate amount of liquid, and you can buy these bottles in packs of 12. They come in 12 flavors, but they are a bit more expensive than other supplements on the market — you’re paying for the high-quality ingredients and the convenience when it comes to Electrolit.

Electrolit Electrolyte Hydration
Electrolit Electrolyte Hydration
Electrolit Electrolyte Hydration

This drinkable electrolyte supplement is super convenient, and contains potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and ions for optimal hydration and absorption.

Who Should Buy Electrolit Electrolyte Hydration

  • Elderly folks who want a convenient pre-portioned drink to keep them hydrated. 
  • Anyone who prefers drinking their electrolytes vs. eating a gel. 
  • Athletes who need something they can bring with them in their gym bag to drink after a workout. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Electrolit Electrolyte Hydration

  • Customers looking for a cost effective electrolyte supplement. 
  • Folks who want a clean drink without any artificial flavors or additives. 

While Electrolit Electrolyte Hydration is great for anyone looking for a liquid electrolyte supplement, it’s especially great for elderly folks who need something convenient, easy-to-drink, tasty, and effective. 

What Can Electrolytes Do For Me?

Though drinking 64 ounces (or more) of water a day is always the best way to stay hydrated, electrolyte supplementation doesn’t hurt, and can be ideal in situations where your electrolytes have been especially depleted. These instances include periods of illness, morning hangovers, after long or intense workouts, or perspiring in extreme heat. 

A few of the main minerals found in electrolyte supplements are sodium, chloride, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These minerals can potentially help with nervous impulses, contracting muscles, keeping you hydrated, and regulating your body’s pH levels, all of which keep your body functioning properly (6).

When Should I Take Electrolytes?

When you take electrolytes depends on each individual lifestyle. Electrolytes are most necessary in cases where the body’s water supply has been especially depleted, which can be in extreme heat, after a night of heavy drinking, when you’re sick, or even after long, intense workouts. 

The fluid in your body contains electrolytes like sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These minerals dissolve in water and produce ions that send electrical signals throughout the body to help it function properly (7). When water is depleted, the mineral balance is also thrown off — that’s why it’s particularly important to take in high doses of electrolytes when you’ve lost water. If you’re feeling lightheaded, having muscle cramps, or fighting with a headache after exercise or intense heat, you’ve likely already lost a good bit of electrolytes. So before going for an extended run or subjecting yourself to an activity or environment where you’ll be sweating intensely, it’s worth taking a precautionary dose of electrolytes to stave off cramps and dizziness (which can be caused by lack of electrolytes).

What to Consider Before Buying Electrolytes

Staying adequately hydrated is important for maintaining your health, especially during very intense, long workouts, endurance running, swimming, or biking, or extended exposure to an excessively hot environment. Here are a few things to consider about electrolyte supplements before you decide which one is best for you. 

Convenience

While electrolytes are a generally convenient supplement to take, there are some forms that are more convenient than others. If you’re a long distance runner or need something you can take with you on long hikes, a gel packet is going to be the easiest to bring with you. If you’re looking for something pre-portioned that you can just grab and go, a bottle of liquid electrolytes won’t slow you down. But if you have the time and the patience to mix your powder in some water, you can buy these powders in bulk, and one purchase will last you much longer than individual packets of gel or bottled liquid electrolytes. Make sure you’re considering what will best suit your lifestyle and workout before you decide which form of electrolytes you want to buy. 

Price

As far as supplements go, most forms of electrolytes are fairly inexpensive. However, the individual packets and pre-portioned options are going to be more expensive than the powder that you can buy in a bulk tub. Anything portioned out will be more convenient to take, but you’ll definitely pay for that convenience. Whereas the powder takes a little more time to mix with water, so since it requires a little more work, you will be able to find it at a cheaper price. Before you buy your supplement, decide on your budget and find a product that aligns. 

How We Chose the Best Electrolytes

Electrolytes play a key role in helping our bodies function properly. As folks lose bodily fluids — either through exercise, exposure to warm temperatures for a long period, vomiting, diarrhea, or alcohol consumption — they also lose electrolytes. Losing electrolytes can impact athletic performance, cause an increase in muscle cramps, and generally lead to increased feelings of fatigue or discomfort. For that reason, taking an electrolyte supplement may be very beneficial for exercising for an extended period of time, working outdoors in an exceptionally hot environment, or even taking a long flight. In comparing various types of electrolyte supplements, we considered a few key factors. 

Form

Ultimately, one form is not necessarily better than the other, so we selected different forms of electrolytes for this list that may suit different people’s lifestyles better than others. Athletes may find pre-portioned gels or bottles of liquid electrolytes more convenient than mixing up a powder, particularly if you’re in the middle of an endurance race. Whereas others may be more concerned with how much supplementation they are getting for their money — powder is much easier and cheaper to buy in bulk. No matter your preference, there’s an option on this list that will suit you. 

Additives

As it is with any supplement, some people may be more concerned with additives and artificial ingredients than others. While many artificial ingredients are not inherently harmful, we have included all-natural options on this list for those who are trying to keep a diet clean of any additives. We’ve also included some options with artificial coloring or flavoring, or sugar though, so make sure you are reading the labels before you buy if this is something that is important to you. If there’s anything artificial in any of these products, we’ve mentioned it in this list for your convenience. 

Taste

Rest assured that all the supplements on this list are objectively tasty. While some options may taste better than others, there are no options on this list that inherently taste bad. We’ve also tried to include picks that have a variety of flavors to choose from, so you’re not just stuck with one flavor option. When it comes to sticking to a supplement regimen, sometimes taste is one of the biggest priorities, and that is reflected in how we chose the supplements for this list. 

Cost

We realize that different buyers may have different budgets. Powders are going to be the most cost effective option when it comes to electrolyte supplementation since you can buy them in bulk and mix them yourself. But for those who are willing to spend a little extra money, we’ve also included individual gel packets and pre-portioned bottles of liquid electrolytes if convenience is more a priority than the cost is a deterrent. No matter the price, all of the electrolytes on this list are of high-quality for their price range. 

Final Word

Electrolytes are a popular supplement for endurance and strength athletes who are keen on keeping their hydration levels consistent to avoid muscle cramps. They can be helpful in hot environments, after long workouts, during illness, or even for tending to a hangover — any activity that is causing you to lose excess fluids, electrolytes are there for you.

Before you click purchase on any one product in particular, consider your lifestyle, your workout preferences, and your budget. Once you’ve lined up your priorities, go ahead and test the waters with any one of these picks. 

FAQs

Do I need to take electrolytes?

It depends on your lifestyle. If you are someone who works out hard and often, replenishing your fluid supply with electrolytes isn’t a bad idea. However, if you’re drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day and aren’t doing anything to drastically deplete your body’s water supply, you don’t necessarily need to take electrolytes.

How do I know if my electrolytes are low?

The most common side effects will be dizziness, headaches, and muscle cramps. Some more serious symptoms may be irregular heartbeat and mental confusion. However, so long as you are healthy and drinking the proper amount of water, you’re unlikely to feel serious symptoms of electrolyte depletion.

What’s the best kind of electrolyte supplement?

It depends on your own personal preference — no supplement is better than another. If you want something already mixed and portioned, you should snag a gel or a bottle of liquid electrolytes. If you’re looking for something you can buy in bulk, a tub of powder will be a better option for you.

References

  1. American College of Sports Medicine, Sawka MN, Burke LM, et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exercise and fluid replacement. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2007;39(2):377-390.‌
  2. McDermott BP, Anderson SA, Armstrong LE, et al. National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Fluid Replacement for the Physically Active. Journal of Athletic Training. 2017;52(9):877-895.
  3. Nuts, coconut WATER (liquid from coconuts) nutrition facts & Calories. Nutrition Data know what you eat. (n.d.). https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3115/2.
  4. Rebello, C. J., O’Neil, C. E., & Greenway, F. L. (2016, February). Dietary fiber and satiety: The effects of oats on satiety. Nutrition reviews. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4757923/.
  5. McLeay, Y., Stannard, S., & Barnes, M. (2017, October 17). The effect of Taurine on the recovery from eccentric Exercise-Induced muscle damage in males. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5745489/#:~:text=Taurine%2C%20a%20powerful%20endogenous%20antioxidant,weeks%20prior%20to%20eccentric%20exercise.
  6. What are electrolytes? Cedars. (n.d.). https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/electrolytes.html#:~:text=Erika%20Der%20Sarkissian%3A%20They%20do,they%20control%20nervous%2Dsystem%20function. 
  7. National Research Council (US) Subcommittee on the Tenth Edition of the Recommended Dietary Allowances. (1989, January 1). Water and electrolytes. Recommended Dietary Allowances: 10th Edition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234935/.