9 Ways To Get Electrolytes Besides Gatorade

A common belief amongst endurance athletes is that we must constantly replenish our electrolyte stores while riding. If we run low on electrolytes, we might face problems such as cramping and hyponatremia.

Naturally, you might choose a sports drink such as Gatorade, but what if you don’t need the calories? Or maybe you don’t like the sweet, strong flavor?

You might want to look at ways to get your electrolytes without consuming typical sports drinks. Here are nine products that could fit your needs:

endurolytes logo

1. Hammer Endurolytes

Endurolytes, a product from Hammer Nutrition, are capsules full of electrolytes. They contain sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, Vitamin B6, and L-Tyrosine.

You can get Endurolytes in pill form, but if you don’t fancy swallowing pills while riding, you can also get a straight Enduroyte powder that can be mixed in with a bottle of sports drink (or plain water, but the salty taste isn’t pleasant.)

Official website: www.HammerNutrition.com
My review: Hammer Endurolytes Review

 

nuun logo

2. NUUN tablets

Nuun tablets must be the coolest electrolyte drink available. A Nuun tablet contains sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, so it has the typical electrolytes, but that’s not all.

What’s really cool is that to mix Nuun, you just drop one tablet into your water bottle. Nuun effervesces (i.e. fizzes up) and mixes itself. Also, Nuun comes in a variety of flavors that actually taste good.

Official website: www.Nuun.com
My review: Nuun Tablets Review

 

elete logo

3. Elete

Elete is a concentrated electrolyte liquid that contains sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride. It is flavorless, so it can be mixed in plain water without a problem.

If you like the crisp taste of plain water and don’t want any calories or artificial ingredients, Elete is the choice for you.

Official website: www.EleteWater.com

 

ultima replenisher logo

4. Ultima Replenisher

Ultima Replenisher is an electrolyte drink mix that is packed with vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. It appears to have the best variety of ingredients, making it somewhat of a cross between an electrolyte drink and a multivitamin.

It is also low in sugar and contains no artificial ingredients.

Official website: www.UltimaReplenisher.com

 

nutribiotic logo

5. Essential Electrolytes by NutriBiotic

Essential Electrolytes are pills that combine 100 mg of vitamin C along with electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chloride, zinc, and chromium.)

These pills are very similar to Hammer Endurolytes (similar amounts of the same ingredients,) except these are half the price.

Official website: www.NutriBiotic.com

 

hylytes logo

6. Hylytes

Hylytes are electrolyte replenishment capsules which contain sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and L-Tyrosine.

These appear very similar to Hammer Endurolytes, but with lower levels of electrolytes. (And at $9.95 for 24 capsules, they are more than twice as expensive, so I can’t imagine why you’d buy these.)

Official website: www.Hylytes.com

 

camelbak elixer logo

7. CamelBak Elixir tablets

To circumvent the problem of sugary sports drinks causing mold growth in hydration packs, CamelBak decided to make their own drink tablets that are safe for use in hydration pack bladders.

Much like Nuun, these Elixir tabs come in different flavors and contain a variety of electrolytes. And yes, they effervesce when you add them to water, so there’s no mixing required.

Official website: www.Camelbak.com

 

e-lyte logo

8. E-Lyte

E-Lyte is a bottled drink consisting of potassium, sodium, magnesium, chloride, phosphate, bicarbonate, and sulfate in a purified water solution. It is concentrated, so you mix a small amount of this into your water bottle.

It sounds most similar to Elete.

Official website: www.CrampNoMore.com

 

zym logo

9. ZYM Tablets

ZYM is another electrolyte tablet that dissolves in water, much like Nuun and Camelbak Elixir. ZYM contains Vitamin C, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins (B5, B6, B12.)

ZYM also offers a line of tablets containing caffeine.

Official website: www.GoZYM.com

 

Try one of those drinks or pills at the right time and you’ll feel refreshed, without the extra calories!

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15 Comments so far

  1. ron on July 16th, 2009

    thanks for making it simple and easy to figure what’s the best product for the money.

  2. Frank on July 17th, 2009

    Great overview, Levi! I’ve never been a huge fan of gatorade and friends, because they leave me feeling heavy and most are made with high fructose corn syrup.

    Also, I recently read some info that the need to replenish electrolytes is much less than most believe (via mythbusters and lifehacker) and that milk or diluted juice do the job just as well.

    In any event, have you ever made your own? I don’t remember the recipe, but I made a good one with chilled tea, honey and salt. I also found a few recipes using electrolyte powders like those above that seemed interesting.

    Thanks for the overview!

  3. Levi on July 17th, 2009

    @Ron

    You’re welcome. I hate to see people paying more for inferior products, which is all too common with any sort of supplement.

    @Frank

    Sometimes I do carry a tea honey drink, as it’s much healthier than any commercial sports drink. And sometimes I do straight herbal tea (no sweetener) if I don’t need calories.

    Sometimes I add some sea salt, too (the expensive stuff like “Real Salt” which contains a variety of minerals.)

    However, for big events like endurance MTB races, I stick with stuff like Hammer Perpetuem, Endurolytes, GU gel, Nuun tabs, etc.

  4. Jonathan on July 27th, 2009

    My electrolyte recipe:

    1/4 tsp Epsom salt (magnesium)
    1/4 tsp baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
    1/4 tsp potassium chloride (potassium)
    1/4 tsp table salt (sodium)
    1/4 tsp Sea Salt (numerous minerals)
    2 tsp of sugar
    2 tbls Tang (ascorbic acid, citric acid, minerals)
    2 qts water

  5. Jocelyne Majoy on August 10th, 2009

    I’m a marathon runner and was just introduced to the Endurolytes capsules. My question is, is it safe to take the capsules and a gel during the three hour training runs and races? Can you have too much of a good thing?

    Thanks for responding,

    Jocelyne

  6. Levi on August 10th, 2009

    @Jocelyne

    I don’t see why not. As long as you’re sticking to the recommended 1-3 capsules per hour you should be fine.

    There’s really nothing harmful in there and the doses of electrolytes from a few Endurolytes capsules are a relatively small portion of your overall diet.

    Also, Hammer gels are purposely low in electrolytes so they make a good match for Endurolytes.

  7. Kelly on May 10th, 2010

    Great overview, but have to disagree about the Nunn tablets. Why do they have to ruin a good idea with artificial flavors and propylene glycol?

    Why consume something that wasn’t meant for human consumption?

    Kelly

  8. rdcast on September 29th, 2010

    Not recommending proper hydration for couch potatoes is a “bad idea” for the very good reason that here in the US, we have a general dehydration problem of epidemic proportion. We all need more than the purest water. Distilled water, arguably being the purest, has no salts, enzymes or vitamins. Pure water acts as a parasite, soaking up all the nutrients from within our cells and surrounding serum.

    Persistent dehydration at any level WILL cause early death and other signs of aging in everybody. So please, don’t leave out us sofa potatoes. We happen to outnumber all you fitness fanatics 10,000 to 1. Don’t assume only babies and athletes are in need of what you’re calling electrolytes, sport drinks and powders. Most liquids consumed by North Americans, have a molecular bond to added ingredients like syrups, colorants and only God knows what else. This feature renders most of our liquid intake, as recognized by our biology, as food, while utilizing only a very small percentage as a hydrating compound. If, throughout a normal day, we consume 24oz of soda, 36oz of beer or wine, 12oz of milk, our bodies will have taken in, out of those 72oz, only 10oz for hydrating purposes. The remaining 62oz will be processed as food, being eliminated as such.

    The trick is, how to hydrate starting with the purist water + salts/minerals, vitamin, enzyme and the like, as supplements. What levels are needed for each, how are they assimilated/absorbed by the human body?

  9. Levi on September 29th, 2010

    @Kelly

    I addressed that in my Nuun review.

  10. Levi on September 29th, 2010

    @rdcast

    I’m not sure what you mean by “Not recommending proper hydration for couch potatoes.” I recommend proper hydration for everyone! However, I don’t recommend sports drinks for couch potatoes because you don’t burn very many calories sitting on a couch.

    You can get hydrated by drinking water and green tea and get nutrients (including electrolytes) by eating a healthy diet.

    Maybe most North Americans whose diet consists of junk food and tons of soda and beer should read my website and they wouldn’t have so many problems ;)

  11. rdcast on September 29th, 2010

    “You can get hydrated by drinking water and green tea and get nutrients (including electrolytes) by eating a healthy diet.“

    Yes, given pure enough water. Water is hard to drink and usually will do you harm, if living in NY. I suggest hydration treatment separately with the proper liquid. Not just to survive, but to improve health and longevity. Food consumption is an entirely separate and more complex issue in my view.

    “Maybe most North Americans whose diet consists of junk food and tons of soda and beer should read my website and they wouldn’t have so many problems ;)“

    I totally agree, or I wouldn’t have used my time to post. Thank you, your blog is awesome.

  12. Brett Barker on June 22nd, 2012

    Theres also stuff like http://vitalyte.com

  13. Khat Howard on August 21st, 2013

    Thank you for all of these great resources. I personally discovered Trader Joe’s Electrolyte-Enhanced water, coming in a variety of sizes and starting at $0.99 for 1 litre bottles that are fairly easy to handle. They just taste like water and since I lost my colon t o FAP in 1/10 and just cannot stand the taste of Gatorade, this stuff has kept me hydrated and mostly out of the hospital -even through this brutally hot summer when I would normally get dehydrated by drinking just plain water. I don’t normally endorse a specific brand or trade name, but I truly believe in Trader Joe’s EE water,if nothing else they make .

  14. Micki on January 24th, 2014

    Which if these mentioned has the highest sodium content with the most electrolytes?

  15. Levi on January 24th, 2014

    @Micki

    Most of these products allow you to choose what dose you want. Specifically, the Endurolytes powder and Elete liquid are perfect for this.

    But even with the flavored tablets like Nuun, you can mix it strong or weak.

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