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According to Healthine’s dietitian and certified physical trainer, Liquid I.V. electrolyte powders can be an effective way to replenish lost electrolytes. They also taste good.

Liquid I.V. is a popular electrolyte powder that claims to help you rehydrate faster than water alone.

Electrolyte powders are commonly used in the sport and fitness world as a way to rehydrate and replenish lost electrolytes, which happens when we sweat a lot during exercise or are in hot climates.

As a dietitian and certified personal trainer, I had the opportunity to try all of Liquid I.V.’s products to see if they’re actually worth using.

Keep reading for my experience, as well as everything you need to know about Liquid I.V., its products, and the science behind them.

Liquid I.V. is an electrolyte powder company that was founded by Brandon Cohen in 2012. In 2020, Unilever bought Liquid I.V.

The company offers various pre-packaged electrolyte powders that are intended to support hydration. In particular, the company is known for their Cellular Transport Technology (CTT®️), which is better at hydrating than water alone, according to the company.

Pros

  • It comes in convenient on-the-go packets (great for travel).
  • It has an overall enjoyable taste.
  • The product comes in a wide variety of flavors.
  • It’s not too salty.
  • It’s helpful for rehydration, especially during exercise or periods of excessive fluid losses.

Cons

  • Some may find it too expensive.
  • The Pina Colada flavor is strong and may be unappealing to some.
  • Despite claims, the products are not unique compared with other electrolyte powders.
  • It’s not certified safe for sport, which may be a downside for competitive athletes.
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Photo provided by Katey Davidson, MSCFN, RD, CPT

Liquid I.V.’s products are intended to be used as electrolyte replacements. Some additional ingredients are added depending on the product’s intended benefits.

To use a Liquid I.V. product, pour one packet into 16 ounces (473 mL) of water and mix well.

The company claims that their products are unique because of their Cellular Transport Technology, or CTT®️. According to the company, this technology uses active transport instead of passive transport to deliver sodium and water to working cells, allowing people to hydrate faster than standard water alone.

Passive transport (osmosis) occurs when water molecules (a solvent) gradually and naturally pass across a membrane from a low solute concentration (low sodium) to a high solute concentration (high sodium) without assistance (1).

In contrast, active transport involves sodium, potassium, glucose (sugar), and water actively being transported through the intestinal wall. Ultimately, this can lead to quicker transportation of these compounds (1).

According to the company’s website, Liquid I.V. products contain a specific ratio of ingredients that’s necessary for active transport to occur.

While this sounds intriguing, this concept is not new and has been around for decades.

In fact, oral rehydration solutions (ORS) — beverages that can rehydrate at-risk individuals quickly and effectively — work under the premise of sodium-glucose cotransporters (SGLTs) in the body, pairing sodium and glucose together to facilitate faster water absorption (2).

That said, Liquid I.V. does meet the standards to be classified as an ORS according to the World Health Organization’s standards. Therefore, it’s reasonable to use this product as an electrolyte replacer (3).

However, I wouldn’t consider it unique compared with many other electrolyte powders and beverages on the market.

Liquid I.V. offers five products, which vary in their ingredients and intended use. All products passed Healthline’s extensive vetting process except for the Sleep Multiplier.

Sleep Multiplier

The Sleep Multiplier is a bedtime drink mix that contains melatonin, L-theanine, and valerian root to promote better sleep.

Its electrolyte formulation is also slightly different than the Hydration Multiplier, as the Sleep Multiplier contains slightly less sodium (16% DV versus 22% DV) and less potassium (4% DV versus 8% DV).

This product failed Healthline’s vetting process because the brand makes claims about the ingredients in the product that are not properly accompanied by the required FDA disclaimer.

Because the product is not in full compliance with FDA guidelines, Healthline cannot recommend it to readers at this time.

Overall, the ingredients found in Liquid I.V. products are similar to many other electrolyte powders on the market. Here’s a list of these ingredients, including their intended uses or benefits:

  • Stevia leaf extract: zero-calorie, zero-sugar natural sweetener
  • Cane sugar: simple sugar used for flavor, quick energy, and to support sodium-glucose transport
  • Dextrose: simple sugar used for quick energy and to support sodium-glucose transport
  • Potassium citrate and dipotassium phosphate: sources of potassium, a common electrolyte lost through sweat
  • Salt: source of sodium, the most common electrolyte lost through sweat
  • Sodium citrate: mostly used to help balance flavor
  • Citric acid: used to balance flavor and is sourced from cassava root, potatoes, and corn
  • Natural flavors: The company claims they source their flavors naturally from various plants.
  • Silicon dioxide: common ingredient used for product consistency and texture
  • Vitamin C: water-soluble vitamin added to support immune function and recovery
  • B vitamins: B vitamins like niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), and cyanocobalamin (B12) are added to support metabolism and cell function.

Liquid I.V. products are also free of gluten, GMOs, dairy, soy, and artificial sweeteners.

Keep in mind that because Liquid I.V. products contain 11 g of carbs and 10 g of sugar, they may not be suitable for people following a ketogenic (keto) diet or those trying to limit their sugar intake.

Also, it’s worth noting that Liquid I.V. products don’t contain other electrolytes that are oftentimes added to electrolyte powders and beverages, including calcium, chloride, and magnesium.

While these electrolytes are not lost in large quantities through sweat, some people may prefer a powder that contains them.

Here are the prices of Liquid I.V.’s supplements at time of publish:

  • Hydration Multiplier: $24.99 for 16 packets ($1.56 per serving)
  • Energy Multiplier: $24.99 for 14 packets ($1.79 per serving)
  • Hydration Multiplier + Immune Support: $24.99 for 14 packets ($1.79 per serving)
  • Hydration Multiplier + Probiotic Kombucha: $24.99 for 14 packets ($1.79 per serving)
  • Sleep Multiplier: $23.99 for 10 servings ($2.40 per serving)

You can purchase products in bundles to save money. For example, if you buy the Hydration Multiplier, Energy Multiplier, and Hydration Multiplier + Immune support, you”ll pay $66.99, or $1.52 per serving.

For orders within the United States, shipping is free for standard delivery (3–6 business days) and costs $15 for expedited shipping (2–3 business days).

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Photo provided by Katey Davidson, MSCFN, RD, CPT

I had the opportunity to try all of the Liquid I.V. products for 1 month. Here are my thoughts.

Taste

Overall, I’d say that the products taste pretty good. Obviously, it will depend on your personal preferences, but I found most of the products to be enjoyable to drink.

I particularly enjoyed the Strawberry Lemonade, Yuzu Pineapple, and Tart Green Apple flavors. I also gave a few samples to friends and family, who also enjoyed these and other flavors, including Watermelon.

The powders weren’t overly salty, which is a common problem I find with electrolyte powders. You can still taste some saltiness, but I think it’s well balanced with the added sweetness.

That said, there was a unanimous agreement that the Pina Colada flavor was too strong and not enjoyable. Its smell was also very strong, almost resembling sunscreen.

I thought the powders were a bit sweet as well, especially since they contain both added sugar and stevia. However, my boyfriend — who has a much bigger sweet tooth than I do — said he really enjoyed them.

One additional tip: Add ice — it helps enhance the overall flavor.

Ease of use

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Photo provided by Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD, CPT

Liquid I.V. products were easy to use, thanks to their single-use packet design.

I brought a few samples with me on my trip to Greece and found that they fit in my bag easily without taking up too much room. Plus, they were easy to pour into my water bottle without the powder going everywhere.

If you’re looking for an electrolyte powder to take on the go, Liquid I.V. is a great option.

Performance

While traveling in Greece, I did a lot of hiking and walking uphill in high temperatures. So, dehydration was a big concern.

I’ve found that it can often be hard to keep your water cold while traveling, which can make drinking water a bit more difficult. However, I noticed that when I added Liquid I.V., I was able to drink larger quantities of water and rehydrate faster, likely because of the flavor and electrolytes.

My boyfriend also used the products while he was exercising in the heat and after a night of drinking. He said that the powder helped him hydrate quicker and mitigated some unwanted symptoms of dehydration from a hangover.

With all of that said, I also tried the products on days when I wasn’t exercising or sweating a lot. While the powder was a nice alternative to plain water, I didn’t find it that useful. So, this is definitely a product that I’d reserve for occasions when you’re at risk of dehydration and electrolyte losses.

Some online reviewers note that they have experienced mild nausea or stomach upset. However, there are currently no known side effects of consuming Liquid I.V. electrolyte products.

Still, it’s worth noting that most of the products contain 500 mg of sodium, which is 22% of the DV. Considering most people usually exceed their daily sodium limit, drinking Liquid I.V. may cause you to consume too much sodium, especially if you’re not losing much through sweat (5).

As with any electrolyte powder, it’s important to follow Liquid I.V.’s package instructions and recommended dosages. You also shouldn’t consume multiple packets per day, unless advised by a healthcare professional.

If you’re interested in trying Liquid I.V. and the ingredient list works with your preferences and needs, then I think Liquid I.V. is worth trying.

It’s tasty, convenient, and may help you rehydrate quicker, especially when you’re sweating a lot or losing fluids quickly.

However, some downsides include its higher cost compared with other electrolyte powders, and the fact that it’s not certified for sport by a third-party organization, which would ensure that the product is free of substances banned in competitive sports.

Additionally, depending on your taste preferences, you may find some of the flavors too strong and sweet.

Finally, while I think Liquid I.V. is a tasty option, I wouldn’t say that it’s unique compared with other electrolyte powders on the market. There are plenty of other products to consider, each of which vary slightly in price, ingredients, taste, and availability.

Related: The best electrolyte powders, according to a dietitian

Liquid I.V. has an overall positive reputation, based on online reviews.

For example, on Amazon, it has a 4.7-star rating out of 5 with over 99,798 global ratings. Many customers say they enjoyed the taste and felt it helped with athletic performance, hydration, and even hangover symptoms.

In addition, the company participates in many philanthropic activities. In particular, Liquid I.V.’s website states that they have donated 33.3 million servings of Liquid I.V. to people in need around the world.

That said, the company has been involved in a few lawsuits related to accessibility and misleading claims.

The first lawsuit claimed that Liquid I.V.’s website was not digitally accessible (6).

The second lawsuit claimed that their Cellular Transport Technology has been around for decades and claims surrounding the product are deceptive (7).

This led to the company changing its packaging to remove the claim “one bottle equals three”, which suggests you can obtain three times the hydration from their product compared with water (7).

After reviewing the product, it does appear that Liquid I.V. uses sensationalized language to promote its product. However, because the product is considered an ORS and can effectively rehydrate individuals, the language doesn’t appear to be deceptive.

If you’re looking for alternatives to Liquid I.V., there are many great options, including Bare Performance Nutrition Electrolytes, Nuun Sport Hydration Tablets, and Gnarly Nutrition Gnarly Hydrate.

Is it OK to drink Liquid I.V. every day?

If you engage in vigorous exercise, hard labor, or are in a humid environment in which you’re sweating a lot, then you may benefit from taking Liquid I.V. or another electrolyte supplement daily. But it’s usually not needed for the average person.

Additionally, because it’s high in sodium, people with hypertension (high blood pressure) or those who have been recommended a lower sodium diet should not try Liquid I.V. without talking to a healthcare professional, such as a physician or registered dietitian first.

Is Liquid I.V. safe for kidneys?

For the average person, Liquid I.V. is likely safe for the kidneys. However, if you have kidney disease, it’s important to monitor your sodium and potassium intake. This may make Liquid I.V. unsuitable for you.

Liquid I.V. products are electrolyte powders that aim to replace lost electrolytes and promote quick rehydration, which is often needed after intense exercise, prolonged exposure to hot environments, or periods of sickness when fluids are lost.

From personal experience, I can tell you that Liquid I.V.’s products are convenient, easy-to-use, and come in a variety of tasty flavors. They’re also helpful if you’re having difficulties drinking enough water and need to rehydrate quickly.

That said, I would say the product is pretty similar to other electrolyte powders on the market and isn’t unique in its performance, despite what the company claims.

Overall, I did enjoy Liquid I.V. and think it can be a suitable option if it fits within your budget, dietary needs, and taste preferences.