The 8 Best Sports Drinks With Electrolytes in 2023 

A variety of electrolyte drinks in different colors, soaked in a bucket of ice cubes.

If you look in any grocery store, convenience store, supplement store, or even gas station, you can find a wide variety of sports drinks.

Some boast claims about their high electrolyte content, low sugar content, extra amino acids, added caffeine boost, natural ingredients, the list goes on…

Sometimes having so many options is more overwhelming than helpful. You may find yourself staring at rows and rows of colorful bottles and packages without a clue which one to pick.

Luckily, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best sports drinks with electrolytes so you can rehydrate, refuel, and feel confident in your choice. 

Short Summary 

  • Electrolytes in sports drinks aid in replenishing your body and maintaining optimal hydration levels.
  • Electrolytes are found in many foods, beverages, and dietary supplements, including sports drinks.
  • When choosing a sports drink, you’ll want to look at its ingredients and composition to know it’s a quality choice. 
  • What you drink is important, but when you drink it can help you truly maximize the benefits you get from your sports drink.

Our Top Picks for the Best Sports Drinks With Electrolytes

Image of Average Score Based on 45 Randomized Customer Reviews.

Note: Highlighted boxes in the table signify scores below 5 or 4.

Best Overall and Best for Performance Enhancement: Transparent Labs Hydrate 

An image of Transparent Labs Hydrate Electrolyte Formula container

* Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars by 86 users on their official website

Overview

Transparent Labs Hydrate is a sports beverage alternative designed to rapidly replenish electrolyte minerals and hydrate the body during exercise and training, featuring a blend of bioavailable essential minerals and natural sweeteners to support optimal hydration without causing digestive issues. 

Highlights

  • Net Weight: 316 grams 
  • Serving Size: 1 scoop (7.9 grams)
  • Servings Per Container: 40
  • Key Ingredients Per Serving:
    • Calcium (as Calcium Bisglycinate (TRAACS®), Di-Calcium Phosphate) – 84 milligrams 
    • Magnesium (as Aquamin™ Mg) – 50 milligrams
    • Sodium (as Sodium Citrate, Himalayan Rock Salt) – 500 milligrams
    • Potassium (as Potassium citrate, Potassium Chloride, Organic Coconut Water) – 250 milligrams
    • Taurine – 1,000 milligrams
    • Organic Coconut Water Powder – 500 milligrams
  • No Artificial Sweeteners
  • No Artificial Coloring
  • Gluten-free
  • Non-GMO
  • No Artificial Preservatives
  • Available Flavors: Tropical Punch and Peach Mango

Timing of Consumption

As a dietary electrolyte supplement, mix 1 scoop with 8-12 ounces of water 1-3 times per day.

Price

$29.99 

*Subscribe & Save $3 + Free Shipping

Customer Reviews

Screenshot of Transparent Labs Hydrate customer reviews

Bottom Line

With a blend of top-notch ingredients and clean formulations, it’s a favorite among active individuals to ensure you stay refreshed and perform at your best. This makes it the perfect choice for sports and hot summer days.

Bar graph of customer ratings of Transparent Labs Hydrate

Best Sports Drink with Amino Acids: Swolverine INTRA

Image of Swolverine INTRA.

* Rated 5 out of 5 stars by 25 users on their official website

* Rated 3 out of 5 stars by 2 users on Amazon

Overview

Swolverine’s INTRA-workout electrolyte powder offers a proprietary, vegan formula rich in essential amino acids, antioxidants, and electrolytes to enhance athletic performance, strength, recovery, and hydration during workouts. 

Highlights

  • Net Weight: 279 grams
  • Serving Size: 1 scoop (9.3 grams)
  • Servings Per Container: 30
  • Key Ingredients Per Serving:
    • Electrolytes – 650 milligrams
    • Essential Amino Acids (EAA) – 4,300 milligrams
    • Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) – 3,000 milligrams
    • Panax Ginseng – 800 milligrams
    • Coconut Water – 500 milligrams
    • Pomegranate – 500 milligrams
    • Tart Cherry – 200 milligrams
    • Spirulina – 100 milligrams
    • Pink Himalayan Salt – 400 milligrams
    • Vitamin B6 & B12 – 2 milligrams
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Available Flavors: Tropical Blast and Cherry Frost
  • Users rave about the remarkable focus, muscle recovery, and sustained energy it provides, making it a game-changer during intense training sessions.

Timing of Consumption

Mix one scoop of this vegan EAA electrolyte powder with 8-10 ounces of water before or during each workout for optimal athletic performance, hydration, muscle growth, and recovery.

Price

$44.99

*Subscribe & Save 15%

Customer Reviews

Screenshot of Swolverine INTRA customer reviews

Bottom Line

Swolverine’s INTRA-workout electrolyte powder isn’t just your average electrolyte drink. It’s a secret weapon for endurance athletes seeking energy without the dreaded muscle fatigue. It’s also packed with amino acids to help you get multiple benefits from a single product.

Bar graph of customer ratings of Swolverine INTRA from customers

Best Sports Drink with Vitamins: Thorne Catalyte® 

Image of Thorne Catalyte® electrolyte container.

* Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars by 39 users on their official website

* Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars by 384 users on Amazon

Overview

Catalyte is a lemon-lime flavored electrolyte restoration complex that supports endurance athletes and their recovery with its unique blend of electrolytes and micronutrients, including taurine for cellular rehydration. 

Highlights

  • Net Weight: 312 grams 
  • Serving Size: 1 scoop (10.4 grams)
  • Servings Per Container: 30
  • Key Ingredients per Serving:
    • Calcium – 80 milligrams
    • Chloride – 80 milligrams
    • Chromium – 15 micrograms
    • Folate – 33.3 micrograms 
    • Magnesium – 40 milligrams
    • Potassium – 96 milligrams
    • Sodium (Chloride) and Disodium (Phosphate) – 485 milligrams
    • Taurine – 500 milligrams
  • Other Ingredients: Citric Acid, Flavors, Silicon Dioxide, Stevia Extract, Tapioca Maltodextrin
  • Gluten Free
  • Available Flavor: Lemon Lime
  • It helps combat fatigue, aids in recovery, and is NSF Certified for Sport, ensuring its safety and compliance for athletes.

Timing of Consumption

Mix 1 scoop with at least 12 ounces of water. Consume before, during, and after your workout or as recommended by your health professional.

Price

$28

Customer Reviews

Bottle of Thorne Catalyte® mixed with water with product review by BzzAgent

Check out BzzAgent’s Facebook post about Thorne Catalyte

Screenshot of Thorne Catalyte® customer reviews

Bottom Line

This is a great sports drink for those who are also looking to get their daily vitamin and electrolyte fix. This electrolyte supplement contains vitamins B1, B12, B2, B5, B6, and C, as well as zinc. While some mention the taste might take a bit of getting used to, its effectiveness in replenishing vital minerals is highly praised.

Bar graph of customer ratings of Thorne Catalyte®

Best Plant-Based: Elm & Rye Hydration Multiplier Electrolyte Drink Mix

Image of Elm & Rye Hydration Multiplier Electrolyte Drink Mix.

* Rated 5 out of 5 stars by 17,690 users on their official website

Overview

Elm & Rye offers a high-quality electrolyte drink mix designed for runners and enriched with five essential vitamins to support hydration and overall performance. 

Highlights

  • Net Weight: 800 grams 
  • Serving Size: 1 packet (16 grams) 
  • Servings Per Container: 50
  • Key Ingredients Per Serving:
    • Potassium – 60 milligrams
    • Vitamin C – 10 milligrams
    • Vitamin B6 – 3 milligrams
    • Vitamin B12 – 7 micrograms 
    • Pantothenic Acid – 11.7 milligrams
  • Available Flavors:  Lemon Lime, Strawberry Kiwi, and Watermelon 
  • This formula is specially designed for runners who are replenishing lost minerals during intense workouts. It’s perfect for anyone avoiding artificial flavors, additives, and sweeteners, making it a superior choice for efficient and clean hydration.

Price

$59.99

*Subscribe & Save 25% 

Bottom Line

Elm & Rye’s electrolyte drink mix is also available in convenient 16 gram single packets, which are great for those who are always on the go. Its unique blend of ingredients ensures rapid hydration without artificial additives, helping runners maintain proper muscle function and stay energized during intense workouts.

Bar graphs of customer ratings of Elm & Rye Hydration Multiplier Electrolyte Drink Mix

Best Tasting: Gnarly Nutrition Hydrate 

Image of Gnarly Nutrition Hydrate electrolyte packet.

* Rated 5 out of 5 stars by 168 users on their official website

* Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars by 230 users on Amazon

Overview

Gnarly Hydrate is a hydration beverage designed to optimize athletic performance by replenishing essential electrolytes like sodium and magnesium, helping with hydration, nerve function, muscle function, and body pH balance.

Highlights

  • Net Weight: 400 grams
  • Serving Size: 1 scoop (10 grams)
  • Servings Per Container: 40
  • Key Ingredients Per Serving:
    • Sodium – 250 milligrams
    • Potassium – 100 milligrams
    • Magnesium – 90 milligrams
    • Calcium – 125 milligrams
    • Chloride – 135 milligrams
  • Other Ingredients:
    • Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar
    • Tapioca Maltodextrin
    • Acacia Gum
    • Citric Acid
    • Sodium Citrate
    • Calcium Lactate
    • Magnesium Citrate
    • Sea Salt
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Gluten-free
  • Certifications: NSF Content Certified, NSF for Sport Certified
  • Described as “light, refreshing, and just plain delicious”

Timing of Consumption

  • Mix one scoop of Gnarly Hydrate into 12-16 ounces of water
  • Can also mix the entire bag in a 5-gallon jug and serve it to a group
  • Use whenever you sweat or throughout the day to stay hydrated

Price

One-time purchase: $27.45

Subscribe & Save (10% discount): $24.70

Customer Reviews

Screenshot of customer reviews of Gnarly Nutrition Hydrate

Bottom Line

Athletes from desert racers to ultra runners, and even their coaches, swear by its amazing taste and ability to keep you going strong during and after workouts. It offers a low-sugar, flavorful solution to stay properly hydrated and energized during intense physical activities.

Bar graph of customer ratings of Gnarly Nutrition Hydrate

Best Ready-to-Drink: BodyArmor Sports Drink in Blackout Berry

Image of BodyArmor Sports Drink in Blackout Berry.

* Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars by 60 users on their official website

* Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars by 57,558 users on Amazon

Overview

Blackout Berry is a potassium-rich electrolyte drink available in 16 ounce and 28 ounce sizes, containing antioxidants and B vitamins without any artificial additives. Customers can easily find it using the store locator on their official website.

Highlights

  • Bottle Sizes: 16 ounces and 28 ounces 
  • Serving Size: 12 ounces
  • Servings Per Container: varies by bottle size
  • Key Ingredients Per Serving:
    • Potassium – 700 milligrams
    • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) – 63 milligrams
    • Magnesium – 70 milligrams
    • Filtered Water 
    • Pure Cane Sugar
    • Coconut Water Concentrate 
    • Natural Berry Flavor with other Natural Flavors
  • Available Flavors: Blackout Berry, Orange Mango, Blue Raspberry, Cherry Lime, Fruit Punch, Mamba Forever, Mixed Berry, Pineapple Coconut, Strawberry Banana, Tropical Punch, Variety Pack, and Watermelon Strawberry 

Price

$39.99 16oz (1 dozen)

Bottom Line

BodyArmor’s Blackout Berry is a great choice for hardcore sports enthusiasts, with a taste some describe as addictive. However, it is important to note that some customers did say that this was too sweet for them. 

Bar graph of customer ratings of BodyArmor Sports Drink in Blackout Berry

Best for Absorption: Onnit HYDRATech Instant 

Image of Box and packet of Onnit HYDRATech Instant.

* Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars by 28 users on their official website

* Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars by 31 users on Amazon

Overview

HYDRATech™ Instant is a hydration drink mix designed for optimal absorption during physical activity, replenishing essential electrolytes lost through sweat and breathing, enabling better athletic performance, ensuring hydration, and minimizing muscle cramps even in scorching conditions. 

Highlights

  • Net Weight: 444 grams
  • Serving Size: 1 packet (11.1 grams)
  • Servings Per Container: 40
  • Key Ingredients Per Serving:
    • Sodium – 250 milligrams
    • Calcium – 130 milligrams
    • Potassium – 260 milligrams
    • Magnesium – 25 milligrams
  • Caffeine-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-Free
  • Vegan
  • Available Flavors: Orange Pineapple, Raspberry, and Ruby Red Grapefruit
  • It offers delicious flavors with optimized carbohydrate ratios to support peak performance without excess added sugar.

Price

$59.95

*Subscribe & Save for $50.96 (15% off) or one-time purchase for $27.45 (10% off with subscription)

Customer Reviews

Screenshot of customer ratings of Onnit HYDRATech Instant

Bottom Line

Many users say that this product is easy to absorb and that they feel its effects quickly. However, it’s worth noting that the taste, while not terrible, may not be everyone’s favorite, and the price is on the higher side compared to some competing products in the market.

Bar graph of customer ratings of Gnarly Nutrition Hydrate.

Best for Recovery: Athletic Greens AG1 

Image of Athletic Greens AG1.

* Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars by 39,012 users on their official website

* Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars by 3,287 users on Amazon

Overview

AG1 is a comprehensive daily supplement that provides essential nutrients for improved gut health, immunity, sustained energy, and healthy aging. It offers 75 high-quality vitamins and minerals, is NSF-certified, and comes with a rewards program for earning and using points on purchases.

Highlights

  • Net Weight: 360 grams
  • Serving Size: 1 scoop (12 grams)
  • Servings Per Container: 30
  • Key Ingredients Per Serving:
    • Calcium – 118 milligrams
    • Magnesium – 26 milligrams
    • Phosphorus – 130 milligrams
    • Sodium – 45 milligrams
    • Potassium – 300 milligrams
  • Other Ingredients: Natural flavors and lecithin
  • Diet-friendly
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Paleo
  • Keto
  • Low carb
  • Non-GMO
  • Certifications: NSF Certified for Sport®
  • Available Flavors: Tangerine and Fresh Lime 

Price

Single Subscription: $89 (Reduced Price: $89, Regular Price: $109)

Best Value (Double Subscription): $169 (Reduced Price: $169, Regular Price: $218)

Customer Reviews

Athletic Greens AG1 Customer Reviews.

Bottom Line

AG1 is loved by many for its convenient travel packs and the noticeable benefits it brings from increased energy to better digestion and immunity. Some customers praised AG1 for its energy-boosting effects and convenience, while others raised concerns about the high cost and taste issues. 

Bar graph of customer ratings of Athletic Greens AG1

What Is A Sports Drink?

Traditional sports drinks include three components to help you hydrate and fuel before, during, and after exercise. These components include:

  • Fluid
  • Electrolytes
  • Carbohydrates

This combination is ideal to help maintain hydration levels, electrolyte levels, and energy levels throughout intense training sessions, competitions, etc.

The fluid is needed to replace the fluids you are losing via sweat. The electrolytes are needed to help your body absorb and retain those fluids to achieve fluid balance. The carbohydrates are designed to continuously give your body small doses of easily digestible energy so you can continue to perform at a high level. This combination is the perfect trifecta to help you push through a tough session with optimal performance.

What Are Electrolytes?

We’ve thrown around the term electrolytes a lot. If you know you want them in your sports drink but aren’t totally clear on why, keep reading.

Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals. Electrolyte minerals help our bodies stay optimally hydrated, play a role in muscle function, and contribute to various other processes within our bodies.

Important electrolytes include:

  • Sodium
  • Potassium 
  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium
  • Chloride 
  • Magnesium

What Are The Benefits of Consuming Electrolytes? 

As we just mentioned, replacing electrolytes is necessary for maintaining hydration. They function like magnets pulling fluids into and out of our cells. This is done to maintain fluid balance both inside and between the cells of our bodies. 

Balance is key inside our bodies, and while our bodies can generally maintain balance of most things, it is possible for this balance to be disrupted from time to time. Sometimes, we can have too many or too few electrolytes, which leads to an electrolyte imbalance. Generally, electrolyte imbalances are a result of losing large amounts of electrolytes and/or fluids quickly. Intense exercise, vomiting, and diarrhea are all common causes of electrolyte imbalance.

A close-up photo of three bottles with different colored electrolytes.

Buying Guide: What to Look for in Sports Drinks

We discussed a few of the top sports drinks with electrolytes for you above. However, if you are curious about other bottled electrolyte drinks or electrolyte powders, you can use the following criteria to do some evaluating on your own.

Ingredients

When it comes to sports drinks, like anything you are putting in your body, the ingredients matter. It is crucial to read the ingredients list to be sure you are getting what you think you are. Additionally, you want a beverage with high-quality ingredients.

Serving Size and Electrolyte Composition

We all want a good bang for our buck, so finding a sports drink that gives you the correct dose of electrolytes in a reasonable serving size can ensure you get that. If you start reading labels, you will likely see a variety of serving sizes and electrolytes compositions. If you are comparing a few, be sure you are comparing for the same serving to make the most consistent, educated choice.

Taste and Flavor

We all have different favorite flavors and taste preferences. If you are looking for a sports drink to consume regularly, finding one that hits the spot for you is important.

Another important consideration is sweetness. As we discussed previously, traditional sports drinks contain carbohydrates, often in the form of added sugar. However, with some people preferring sugar-free options and/or options with zero calories, there are many options available that contain artificial sweeteners or natural, calorie-free sweeteners. What you choose here is dependent on why you are consuming electrolyte drinks, how sweet you like your drinks, and which sweeteners you prefer. 

Woman on a running path at sunset drinking a red electrolyte beverage.

How to Use Electrolyte Drinks

Like we covered above, electrolyte drinks give our bodies a concentrated dose of essential minerals to replenish any we have lost during exercise and/or illness. These beverages are designed to be used when you need to consume electrolytes to quickly and efficiently refuel your body.

When Should Sports Drinks Be Consumed?

The best time to use electrolyte drinks is during a tough workout. Specifically, experts recommend drinking 6-12 fluid ounces every 10-15 minutes through exercise. This is particularly important when exercise lasts longer than 70 minutes.

Man drinking an orange electrolyte drink on a path outdoors with a white towel around his neck.

Pros and Cons of Sports Drinks

As with any beverage or supplement, there are both pros and cons to many electrolyte drinks. Knowing both can help you make the most informed choice for you and your body.

Pros

Electrolyte drinks are specifically formulated to efficiently and effectively replace lost fluid and electrolytes while giving your body an energy boost.

We’ve said this many times now, but if you lose a large quantity of fluid and electrolytes, you want to get them back in your body ASAP. Electrolyte drinks help you do so.

Cons

Electrolyte drinks are packed with beneficial electrolytes, but consuming too many electrolytes is a risk. To be specific, sodium is directly tied to high blood pressure, so excess sodium in your diet can increase your blood pressure.

Traditional, sweetened sports drinks also contain added sugar. These are absolutely necessary to keep your body performing at a high level during strenuous exercise, but they are unnecessary if you are drinking them just because you like the flavor. Be careful not to overdo your sugar intake just because you like the way these beverages taste. 

On the flip side, some electrolyte drinks are available in lower sugar, sugar-free, and/or calorie-free varieties. While these options will save you added sugar and calories, it’s best to consume artificial sweeteners in moderation. Some even believe they should be eliminated from our diets entirely for optimal health. 

Close up of electrolyte bottles - some yellow, some red, and some blue - with black caps

Summary 

As you can see, many sports drinks with electrolytes provide our bodies with many great benefits, especially when we need them during strenuous bouts of exercise. Finding the best sports drink with electrolytes for you and your body will help you get the most benefit and bang for your buck. Whether you chose one of our favorites or you opt for another based on our criteria to evaluate, we hope you find the best option for you. 

One final note, as with any change to your diet or lifestyle, it is best to discuss how these beverages will fit into your daily routine with your doctor, dietitian, or other health professional.

FAQ

Do sports drinks really replenish electrolytes?

Yes, sports drinks really do replenish electrolytes. As we discussed above, traditional electrolyte drinks contain three main components: fluid, electrolytes, and carbohydrates. 

The electrolyte content of these electrolyte drinks is specifically designed to replace those lost in sweat and replenish our stores. 

What electrolyte drink is the healthiest?

The word “healthiest” leaves some room for interpretation. One interpretation may be the most natural option with the “cleanest” ingredients. If this is what you are looking for, a homemade, DIY sports drink is your best option. Simply combine coconut water with a fruit juice, like watermelon juice, and a pinch of salt. 

Liz Cook | Registered Dietitian

Liz Cook | Registered Dietitian

Liz is a registered dietitian and freelancer health and wellness writer. She holds a BS in Nutrition from Penn State University, as well as a MS in Nutrition from Northeastern University. She has worked as a dietitian in a variety of settings including private practice, corporate wellness, and campus dietitian at Grand Canyon University.

More posts from Liz Cook | Registered Dietitian

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