We reviewed 27 products, and only 9 ultimately passed both our dietitians’ review and our internal vetting process.
When researching electrolyte powders, we considered the following factors:
Price: We included products at a range of price points. However, regardless of price, we considered whether a product provides a good value for the cost.
Taste: We looked for powders that you’ll actually want to consume. We personally tried some products, while for others we relied on customer reviews for feedback on flavor.
Nutrients: We reviewed the nutritional content of each product, paying particular attention to calories, carbohydrates, sugars, and electrolytes, with the largest focus on sodium and potassium.
Certifications: We considered whether products have certifications. In particular, we looked for electrolyte supplements that are Informed Sport Certified or NSF Certified for Sport — third-party certifications that are important for competitive athletes.
Variety: We looked for a variety of electrolyte supplement options in terms of sizes, flavors, and forms, including powders and tablets.
Added ingredients: We considered whether products contain additional ingredients — such as caffeine, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and natural or artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors — and whether those ingredients provide a potential benefit or downside.
FDA compliance: All the brands and products on our list are in compliance with labeling guidelines required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Vetting: The electrolyte powder brands and products on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.
Note that the price per serving may vary depending on where you shop and the size of the container you purchase. Additionally, many companies offer discounts for buying in bulk or through a subscription.
Electrolyte powders are most commonly associated with athletes and avid exercisers. These powders are designed to replenish lost electrolytes that can occur with sweating or during certain illnesses.
Sodium is the main electrolyte and mineral lost through sweat, so most electrolyte powders focus mainly on replenishing it. Sodium also helps support fluid retention, allowing you to stay more hydrated during physical activity (9).
Potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride are other electrolytes you’ll often see in electrolyte supplements since they’re also lost through sweat, though in smaller amounts.
Electrolyte powders may also contain other ingredients to support athletic performance, such as caffeine, amino acids, and simple sugars.
Additionally, depending on the product and its marketed use, electrolyte powders may be fortified with essential nutrients or contain proprietary blends with ingredients such as antioxidants, herbs, adaptogens, or other potential health-promoting compounds.
For the average person, electrolyte powders are often unnecessary, especially if you’re consuming a nutritionally adequate diet.
Instead, electrolyte powders are often recommended for athletes who engage in vigorous physical activity for long periods — typically 60–90 minutes or longer — and are at risk of dehydration and sodium losses due to excessive sweating (9).
An electrolyte powder may also benefit people who:
sweat excessively (this may be described as “salty sweat,” which causes visible white sweat stains on clothing)
spend a lot of time in hot outdoor environments
have physically demanding jobs such as roofing and landscaping
are experiencing ongoing vomiting and/or diarrhea due to an illness
Because excessive alcohol intake can lead to fluid losses through vomiting, increased urination, and other factors, some people may find an electrolyte powder helpful if they’re experiencing a hangover.
Ultimately, electrolyte powders are useful for anyone who is experiencing fluid losses and looking for a quick way to replenish lost electrolytes.
Which electrolyte powder you might purchase depends on your intended use, goals, and preferences. Additional factors to consider include:
Form: Depending on your preferences and ease of use, you may wish to purchase an electrolyte powder in a container with a scoop, in single packets, or in tablet form.
Price: When deciding whether an electrolyte powder fits your budget, be sure to consider the cost per serving. Additionally, some companies offer discounts if you buy in bulk or sign up for a subscription.
Third-party testing for sport: If you’re an athlete competing in high level sports, you may want to make sure your electrolyte powder is certified safe for sport. Informed Sport and NSF Certified for Sport are third-party testing companies that ensure products are free of substances that are banned by major sporting organizations.
Sodium content: Sodium is the main electrolyte lost through sweat, so you should aim to replace sodium during periods of excessive sweating.
Other electrolytes: Potassium, calcium, and magnesium are additional electrolytes lost in smaller amounts through sweat. Therefore, powders containing small amounts of these nutrients may be beneficial.
Sugar content: If you’re engaging in endurance training (such as long-distance running, cycling, or hiking), you may benefit from products that are high in simple carbs (in the form of sugar) to fuel your exercise. However, for non-endurance training, you likely don’t need a powder with a large amount of sugar.
Other ingredients: Depending on your preferences and exercise goals, you may wish to include or avoid certain ingredients, such as natural sweeteners (like stevia or monk fruit), artificial sweeteners (like sucralose), caffeine, B vitamins, amino acids, and artificial colors or flavors, just to name a few.
Electrolyte powders may be beneficial for people who are losing large volumes of fluids and electrolytes, such as athletes, those with physically demanding jobs, and those who are sick. For the average person, electrolyte powders are usually unnecessary.
Is it safe to take an electrolyte powder every day?
Your body is very efficient at regulating your electrolyte levels, so consuming extra electrolytes is generally safe. However, consuming too much sodium can put you at risk of certain health issues, such as high blood pressure, while too much potassium can lead to heart attacks.
Electrolyte powders can be helpful during strenuous exercise or other times when you’re sweating a lot.
When selecting an electrolyte powder, be sure to consider the ingredients, nutritional profile, flavor options, cost, and third-party certifications to determine which product is best for you.
Also keep in mind that you might not need to take an electrolyte powder every day or at all. It’s best to talk with a healthcare professional before adding an electrolyte powder to your wellness and exercise routine.
Last medically reviewed on May 26, 2023
How we reviewed this article:
Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.