A common belief among 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. And it’s not that difficult – there are many electrolyte tablets and powders to choose from!

How to Replace Electrolytes Without Gatorade

Here are eleven 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 Endurolyte powder that can be mixed in with a bottle of sports drink (or plain water, but the salty taste isn’t pleasant). The latest edition is “Endurolytes Fizz” – effervescent tablets providing electrolytes and flavor, with no need to swallow pills.

Read my Hammer Endurolytes review for the full details and where to buy.

Official website: www.HammerNutrition.com


nuun logo

2. NUUN tablets

Nuun tablets could 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.

Read my Nuun Tablets review to learn more.

Note: Hammer Nutrition’s new “Endurolytes Fizz” product is very similar, but Nuun was the first to popularize the effervescent electrolyte tablets.

Official website: www.Nuun.com


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, but might taste a little salty.

If you like the crisp taste of plain water and don’t want any calories or artificial ingredients, Elete is a good choice for you. You can get a pocket-size bottle on Amazon.com to try it out.

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.

Available in five flavors: Raspberry, Orange, Grape, Lemonade, and Cherry Pomegranate. Grab a variety pack on Amazon and it’s less than $1 per serving.

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 that these are half the price and easily found on Amazon.com with free shipping.

Official website: www.NutriBiotic.com


dripdrop o r s boxes

6. DripDrop ORS

DripDrop ORS (stands for “oral rehydration solution”) is formulated to be as effective as an IV for dehydration recovery – without the excess sugar you’d find in sports drinks. Their patented, clinical formula is currently being used by leading hospitals, pro athletes, and US Special Forces.

Contains sodium, potassium, and magnesium, as well as zinc and vitamin C. Flavors include berry, lemon, and watermelon. Purchase on Amazon.com.

Official website: www.DripDrop.com


vitalyte drink mix powder bag

7. Vitalyte

Vitalyte is an electrolyte beverage mix that’s low in sugar but packs a full spectrum of electrolytes – sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It’s made with natural, gluten free, and non-gmo ingredients. It contains no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. The isotonic formula offers the proper balance of electrolytes, glucose, and buffers to be absorbed as fast and effectively as an IV for rehydration without gastric discomfort.

It’s a great deal when you buy in bulk on Amazon.com – 80 servings for $19.99.

Official website: www.Vitalyte.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.BodyBio.com


zym logo

9. ZYM Tablets

ZYM is another electrolyte tablet that dissolves in water, much like Nuun. 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


lyteshow bottles

10. LyteShow

LyteShow is an electrolyte-replenishing, liquid concentrate that delivers nothing but electrolytes – no unnecessary additives, sweeteners, or calories here. (It might be the same exact formula as Hi-Lyte, next on the list.)

Just add it to your water or other preferred beverage.

Find the best price on Amazon.com.

Official website: www.LyteShow.com


hi-lyte bottles

11. Hi-Lyte

Hi-Lyte is a blend of electrolytes and trace minerals that naturally replenishes electrolytes lost through sweat. Specifically, that means magnesium, sodium, chloride, potassium, zinc, and citric acid. It contains no sugar, no flavor, and no additives. It’s available in capsules or as a liquid concentrate and can easily be taken alongside your preferred food and drink.

Find the best price on Amazon.com.

Official website: www.Hi-Lyte.com


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

Discontinued Products

hylytes logo

Discontinued: 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. (Perhaps that’s why the company seems to have gone out of business?)

Official website: www.Hylytes.com


camelbak elixer logo

Discontinued: 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.

Update: CamelBak Elixir tablets have been discontinued.

Official website: www.Camelbak.com


This guide was originally published on July 16, 2009. It was updated with new market information and re-published on June 19, 2018.

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

  2. 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. @Ron

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


    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. 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. 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,


  6. @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. 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?


  8. 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. @Kelly

    I addressed that in my Nuun review.

  10. @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. “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. Theres also stuff like http://vitalyte.com

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

  15. @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.

  16. Great blog! Could you please recommend product or recipe without sodium (i mean chloride) & sugar. I got them enough with regular diet and need to lower them. I guess I could just exclude the from ingredients of Jonathan’s list. Where do I get “potassium chloride” and Tang from?

  17. @Yan

    If you don’t want sodium or sugar, you probably aren’t looking for a sports drink or electrolyte supplement. And if you want to be healthy, you’re definitely not looking for Tang, either! It’s nothing but sugar and artificial coloring.

    Perhaps filtered water or some type of tea would be best for you. Most bottled beverages contain sodium and/or sugar (and/or artificial sweeteners).

  18. Want to DIY? Make one gallon from two packets of unsweetened kid’s powdered drink mixes, add about 1/2 of the sugar, and add 1/4 tsp table salt, 1/4 tsp of imitation salt, 1/4 tsp Epsom salt, and 1/8 tsp of baking soda. This homemade sports electrolyte replacement hydration liquid is 1/10 of the retail cost of the University of Florida Gator’s sports drink aide.
    Been using this for ultra endurance cycling events for 25 years with no bad affects.

  19. Ok so I am doing a health care product for 9th grade health and I picked gatorade for my product but heres what I am stuck on; finding similar products that are relatively close to it.

    From my teacher:

    Choose a health product that you use.

    What is it?
    Then tell me:

    Find 3 comparable or similar products
    Then tell me:

    Got the first thing its the 3 comparisons I am stuck with. Anyone have good ideas and products comparable with Gatorade?

    • @Austin

      These are the closest ones I can think of:

      BodyArmor SuperDrink
      Vitamin Water

      Good luck!

  20. Levi, I have just found your site while I was looking for Back Nine Lytes. I have used generic pedialyte half and half in my water. Do you have any thoughts on this. I am a golfer.

  21. 250 ml of citrus juice with 500 ml of water in a 750 ml water bottle with a pinch of salt gives you all the electrolytes u need when sweating it out on a ride. Chuck in a multi vitamin for luck. Half juice half water is good too.

  22. Can you suggest electrolytes (drinks, powders, etc) without calcium?


    • @Rachael

      Try Elete. Just a few drops in your water.

      It’s one of the few electrolyte supplements that does not contain calcium.

  23. Have you tried Skratch? I found it at REI and it’s all natural.

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