Best Electrolyte Powders, Mixes & Drinks for Runners 2023
Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet
When you run, you sweat and your body loses vital minerals and electrolytes that need to be replaced. Although everyone’s sweat rate is different, having an electrolyte drink can help you run longer, perform better and recover quicker. That’s why having a hydration plan is important for any runner, particularly during the hot summer months.
One of our tricks to beat the heat is to make friends with electrolyte drinks (there are even ways to make hydration more exciting by making electrolyte popsicles or jello).
There are two different types of electrolyte drinks out there for runners. The first type simply has electrolytes and minerals mixed with water for hydration. The second type is an electrolyte drink that also has carbohydrates or energy sources in the mix to fuel your run similar to energy gels, chews or bars. The downside to using these as your only source of fuel is that they are less portable than other nutrition. Typically a bottle carries between 100 and 200 calories—and it is much easier to carry four gels than four bottles of an electrolyte drink.
So grab your favorite electrolyte drink to sip throughout the day, gulp during your run or rehydrate after. And if you need a way to carry your water, check out our guide to the best bottles, belts or vests for running.
Here are our top picks for the best electrolyte powders, mixes and drinks for running:
Electrolytes + Nutrition:
[This is part of our Best Running Gear & Accessories Guide 2023. If electrolyte drinks are not your favorite type of nutrition, look at our guides to the best gels, chews, or bars]
Nuun is a great electrolyte drink to consume before, during or after your runs. Nuun Sport tabs dissolve in water for a drink that gives you electrolytes without any of the unnecessary sugars. This delicious drink is slightly fizzy with a variety of flavors to keep you hydrated. There are 10 tablets per tube and each tablet should be dissolved in 16 oz of water. Our testers loved how simple and portable the tabs were in our sports drink review.
Each tablet is 15 calories with 4g of carbs and 40mg of sodium. Plus, Nuun is certified vegan, kosher, gluten-free and doesn’t use GMOs. If you need a caffeine kick before your run or during an afternoon slump, try Nuun Sport + Caffeine. Or if you want to include some nutrition with your drink mix, try Nuun Endurance.
Add an electrolyte boost to your water with GU Hydration Drink Tabs. Each drink tab contains just 10 calories, in addition to 320 mg of sodium and 55 mg of potassium to help maintain fluid balance and delay fatigue by replacing electrolytes depleted during exercise. GU also uses Xylitol to sweeten the tabs, one of few low-calorie sweeteners that are less likely to upset your stomach.
In addition to your runs, these light, effervescent tablets are also appropriate for use during workouts, travel or anytime you need a hydration boost. The 12-tablet portable tubes easily fit in pockets and running belts. All flavors are caffeine-free and made with vegan ingredients. Learn more in our Sports Drink Review.
Skratch Sport Hydration Drink Mix
Skratch Sport Hydration Drink Mix is designed to replace electrolytes that are lost in sweat and provide a bit of energy without offending your gut. In our sports drink review, our testers loved that this drink mix has minimal sugars (4g per 100 ml). The sugars in Skratch are a glucose to fructose ratio that is optimized for faster absorption and the electrolytes profile exactly matches what is lost in sweat (800 mg sodium, 80 mg potassium, 100 mg calcium, and 80 mg of magnesium per liter).
Skratch tastes delicious because it only uses real fruit for a light and refreshing flavor. Plus, Skratch is non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and kosher. There are also a variety of different products, so you can find the perfect one for you. Shop all Skratch products.
Electrolyte Drinks + Nutrition
Tailwind Endurance Fuel
A favorite of ultramarathoners, Tailwind will let you run all day long.
No need to carry an electrolyte drink along with extra nutrition, Tailwind contains all of your calorie, hydration and electrolyte needs. Just scoop some into your water bottle or hydration bladder, shake and go!
Tailwind has been developed with clean light flavors to stay tasty all day long. The idea started when its founder was throwing up during a race. So its formula uses all-natural ingredients with no dyes or preservatives to be easy on the stomach.
Gatorade Endurance Mix
Gatorade Endurance Formula is found on more than 300 race courses nationwide to help quench your thirst and get you to the finish line. Simply mix with water and shake until the powder is dissolved and drink.
Reformulated in 2017, the Gatorade Endurance formula is a multi-carbohydrate blend to help endurance athletes maintain performance so they can run for longer. The endurance formula has more sodium and potassium than traditional Gatorade, to help you replace the electrolytes that you lose in sweat. Each 12oz serving contains 90 calories, 130mg of sodium, 140mg of potassium and 22g of carbs.
Maurten Drink Mix
Maurten is fueling elite athletes in some of the biggest races around the world—and for good reason. Maurten uses a different way to provide both hydration and energy: hydrogel. It is a liquid when it is in your water bottle, but turns into a hydrogel after it interacts with the acidity of your stomach. Similar to a medicine capsule, it’s then released and absorbed into your intestines.
The carbohydrates (Drink Mix 160 contains 40g of carbs/ Drink Mix 320 contains 80g of carbs for 500mL of water) and electrolytes contained in Maurten Drink Mixes are easy on the stomach and absorbed quickly to give you an energy boost. Plus, there are no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives in these drink mixes.
Do you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain? Spring Energy has made a new drink formula made with real food. Spring uses a gentle infrared drying technology that allows them to make the real food portable by adding 18oz of water to each packet and gives you all of the nutrition, energy, hydration and electrolytes you need for a run.
One of the aspects that make Spring Energy drink mixes different from others on the market is that they also contain prebiotics, which helps your microbiota stay in healthy conditions and limit the negative effects of exercise on your gut. With delicious flavors such as pina colada and passionfruit date, these hydration and energy mixes will keep you running all day long.
How We Picked the Best Electrolyte Drinks for Running
With more than 45 years of experience, Fleet Feet is the expert in running. What makes the ideal electrolyte drink for a runner comes down to the personal experience, goals, preferences and style of that runner. At Fleet Feet, we have been helping runners pick out the right gear for decades and want to pass that knowledge on to you.
We use a combination of real-life use, quality of materials, seasonal trends and our own top-seller lists to pick out the best electrolyte drinks for running. With all that in mind, we picked gear that lived up to our personal (and professional) expectations and we think they will live up to yours as well.
Standing Behind Our Picks
We picked the best electrolyte drinks based on what we think will work for the most people in the most situations. If you buy any gear from us and you don’t love the way it tastes or performs, bring them back within 60 days for a full refund. That’s our Happy Fit Guarantee.
Plus, we offer free shipping on all orders over $99 on fleetfeet.com, and we’ll match a lower price from a qualifying retailer.
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