If you’ve resolved to up your fitness game in 2024, remember to replace lost salts and minerals and stay hydrated with the best electrolyte drinks – as tested by our expert nutritionist.

Electrolyte drinks help replenish the naturally occurring salts and minerals that help balance our bodies’ fluids. Our electrolytes get depleted through exercise, most notably through sweating. The best electrolyte drinks often also contain carbohydrates and other nutrients to help you stay hydrated and to improve recovery.

But not all electrolyte drinks are created equal. It pays to consider the amount of the electrolytes potassium, chloride and particularly sodium in each drink, which help with preventing cramping, aiding muscle contraction and supporting hydration respectively.

If you’re not a heavy sweater, or need to reduce your intake of sodium for health reasons, you might want an electrolyte drink with lower sodium levels (say, less than 250mg per serving).

How we test electrolyte drinks

Nutritionist Rob Hobson has tested eight of the best electrolyte drinks to help you find the right one to support your hydration and recovery needs. An award-winning, registered nutritionist and sports nutritionist with over 15 years of experience, Rob is a distinguished expert in the fields of nutrition, health, and sports. During the testing process, Rob tested each electrolyte drink for taste, solubility and effectiveness in terms of their hydration and nutritional benefits. Check out his roundup, and full reviews, below.

What’s the best electrolyte drink?

After my extensive tests, I’d recommend the Nuun Hydration Sport as the best electrolyte drink. That’s down to a number of factors, including its reasonable price, how well it dissolves in water, its natural ingredients list – and, of course, its taste. Plus those mini tubes make it really easy to stick in a bag or pocket for electrolyte-boosted hydration on the go.

Other electrolyte drink recommendations

Taste:Just pipping Nuun to the post here is the Skratch Labs Hydration Sport Drink Mix. With eight refreshing flavours to choose from, it’s the one I’d look forward to most at the end of a tough workout.
Long workouts:Gu Hydration Tablets mix with 750ml and contain a decent mix of electrolytes. Their punchy flavours hold up to being mixed with that much water and don’t lose their appeal even after longer sessions.
Everyday hydration:In powder rather than tablet form, the Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Powder contains vitamin C and is an ideal way to keep on top of your daily hydration needs. Its nine flavours are pleasant enough, albeit on on the milder side.
Budget-friendly hydration:At almost a fifth of the price of the Skratch Labs option per serving, MyEndurance Hydr8 is a great budget choice. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals and good sodium levels, too, though it’s only available in orange.

Best electrolytes according to our nutritionist

Product shot of Nuun Hydration tablets

1. Nuun Hydration Sport

Serving size:1 tablet in 475ml water
Sodium per serving:300mg
Price per serving:65p
Flavours:13 flavours available (4 caffeinated)

Taste: 4/5
Solubility: 5/5
Effectiveness: 4.5/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5

With a good range of flavours, and available with or without caffeine, these mini tubes from Nuun are ideal for hydrating on the go. I found they dissolved well in water and didn’t require any shaking. I also liked how they have the most natural ingredients list of any product I tested, including natural sweeteners and colouring.

Skratch Labs electrolyte drink

2. Skratch Labs Hydration Sport Drink Mix

Serving size:1 scoop to bottle of water
Sodium per serving:800mg
Price per serving:£1.39
Flavours:8 available

Taste: 4.5/5
Solubility: 4.5/5
Effectiveness: 4.5/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5

One of the best-tasting electrolyte drinks I had the pleasure of testing. Each serving contains a hefty 800mg of sodium, so it’s perfect for heavy, salty sweaters. I found this drink to not only be refreshing but also effective at increasing energy, making it beneficial as both an intra-workout and recovery drink. There are also an impressive eight flavours available, with each one providing a nice, hydrating option at the end of a tough workout.

Product shot of GU Hydration tablets

3. GU Hydration Tablets

Serving size:1 tablet in 750ml water
Sodium per serving:320mg
Price per serving:55p
Flavours:Lemon and lime, three berries, orange, strawberry lemonade

Taste: 4.5/5
Solubility: 5/5
Effectiveness: 4.5/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5

Ideal for larger bottles and longer sessions, GU tablets will see you through intense or prolonged training. I found the tablet combined well in water and didn’t require any additional shaking to combine. There’s a good amount of electrolytes in the mix, especially sodium, and I enjoyed the punchy flavours, but they may be a bit too intense for some people.

Product shot of Ultima Replenisher electrolyte powder

4. Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Powder

Serving size:1 tablet in 450ml water
Sodium per serving:55mg
Price per serving:77p
Flavours:9 available

Taste: 3.5/5
Solubility: 5/5
Effectiveness: 3.5/5
OVERALL: 4/5

In powder rather than tablet form, this vitamin C-rich drink is ideal for everyday hydration and wellness. There’s a good mix of electrolytes and a range of nine moreish flavours to choose from (I loved the raspberry and pink lemonade flavours). However, as they are sugar-free, I found the flavours to be milder than other options I tested, so these may not be popular with those who prefer a stronger, more flavoursome electrolyte.

Product shot of SIS electrolyte tablets

5. SIS Go Hydro

Serving size:1 tablet in 500ml water
Sodium per serving:870mg
Price per serving:40p
Flavours:13 available

Taste: 5/5
Solubility: 5/5
Effectiveness: 5/5
OVERALL: 5/5

We all know Science In Sport is a brand driven by scientific data, so it knows a thing or two about optimal hydration. Its Go Hydro range has the highest sodium content per serving of any electrolyte drink I tested and it’s also one of the most reasonably priced. I tried the strawberry and lime flavour, which was light and refreshing with a slight tang. The tablets also dissolved quickly in water without the need for any additional shaking.

Product shot of High 5 Zero electrolyte tablet tubes

6. High 5 Zero

Serving size:1 tablet in 750ml water
Sodium per serving:250mg
Price per serving:40p
Flavours:9 available

Taste: 4.5/5
Solubility: 5/5
Effectiveness: 5/5
OVERALL: 5/5

Another trusted player in the sports nutrition market, High 5 is the go-to brand for many endurance runners, including many members of the Men’s Fitness team. It’s a good choice if you’re training for extended periods as one tablet is enough for a 750ml water bottle. They may be free of sugar, but these tabs are full of flavour – I tried the citrus flavour, which offered a nice balance of sweetness and tanginess.

7. Hux Hydration Tablets

Product shot of Hux Hydration tablet tubes

Serving size:2 tablets in 200ml water
Sodium per serving:116mg
Price per serving:70p
Flavours:Lemon and elderflower, ginger and lemongrass, watermelon

Taste: 5/5
Solubility: 4.5/5
Effectiveness: 4/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5

Hux tablets are a good low-sodium option and are more suited to general hydration and wellness than intense workout sessions. They have a good mix of electrolytes as well as a pleasantly sweet and tangy flavour. The tablets also dissolved quickly in water. I reckon you could dilute them further if you needed more fluid and they would still retain the flavour.

Product shot of My Endurance Hydr8 electrolyte tablets

8. MyEndurance Hydr8

Serving size:1 tablet in 400ml water
Sodium per serving:345mg
Price per serving:25p
Flavour:Orange

Taste: 4/5
Mixability: 4/5
Effectiveness: 4.5/5
OVERALL: 4/5

Hydr8 tablets are packed with vitamins and minerals with good sodium levels to suit endurance athletes. They’re fortified with B vitamins too and work out to be the cheapest electrolyte drink per serving on test. The orange flavour is nice and tangy but a little on the sweet side. Also, I found the tablets didn’t mix quite as well as others I tested, meaning I had to shake to get the end residues to combine.

Product shot of Powerbar 5 Electrolyte tablets

9. Powerbar 5 Electrolytes

Serving size:1 tablet in 250ml water
Sodium per serving:250mg
Price per serving:33p
Flavours:Raspberry and pomegranate, lemon tonic, blackcurrant, pink grapefruit, mango and passionfruit

Taste: 3.5/5
Solubility: 4.5/5
Effectiveness: 4.5/5
OVERALL: 4/5

Powerbar’s hydration tabs have an intense yet refreshing flavour (I tested the pink grapefuit flavour) and a caffeine kick for a pre-workout pick-me-up. They’re sugar-free, too, and come in tiny tubes that we could just slip into a pocket – perfect for hydrating on the go. I also found that the tablets dissolved quickly, with no need for shaking.

What are electrolyte drinks?

Electrolyte drinks, which usually come in a dilutable powder or tablet form, help to replenish the body’s electrolytes which are lost through sweat, such as sodium, potassium and chloride.

The role of electrolytes is to help regulate the body’s fluid balance, nerve function and muscle contraction while also assisting with the passage of nutrients in and out of cells – so it’s important to keep them topped up, especially if you’re exercising and sweating for a prolonged period of time.

When should I take electrolyte drinks?

The prime time to take electrolyte drinks is straight after exercise, to replenish the electrolytes you lost while sweating during your workout.

However, there are also times when drinking electrolyte drinks before or during your workout can be useful too. For example, if you’re about to begin a long race or gruelling training session, optimising your hydration beforehand can be beneficial. Likewise, electrolyte drinks can be helpful during exercise too – but only if you lose significant amounts of sweat or are training/competing for an extended period.

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