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dripdrop ors variety pack

While it’s more expensive than almost all other sports drinks, DripDrop is what you need to bail you out when you go too hard in too extreme conditions. Every cyclist should keep a box of this on hand during the hot summer months.

DripDrop ORS is not simply another sports drink. It is a medical grade hydration beverage that I found to be very easy to drink. It goes down well and there is no upset stomach, no bloating, and no sloshing. I have not used it in a situation where I would have otherwise needed to go to the hospital for an IV, but my experience in normal use on hot summer days leads me to believe it works as claimed.

Why DripDrop

DripDrop makes the following claims about why you should use it:

  • Use DripDrop ORS pre-activity for effective absorption and fluid/electrolyte replacement for enhanced performance without bloating or sloshing.
  • DripDrop ORS optimizes fluid consumed, increases endurance, and provides longer lasting hydration, which makes it a superior choice for all serious athletes.
  • Use DripDrop ORS to shorten recovery time, prevent low energy, and replenish essential minerals and electrolytes.

There are two big takeaways in my eyes. First, if you use it during your workouts, you’ll stay hydrated without worrying about side effects like bloating or sloshing. Second, if you are already dehydrated, this will help you recover more quickly than any other sports drink could.

Essentially, DripDrop will hydrate you better than any other sports drink, and it will do that with no unpleasant side effects. That’s because it’s not a sports drink. Nor is it a typical electrolyte replenishment drink. It is an Oral Rehydration Solution (that’s the “ORS” piece) – and these have been shown to hydrate as effectively as an IV.

Plus, a box of DripDrop will cost far less than you’d pay to go somewhere for IV therapy!

What is an ORS?

The formula for Oral Rehydration Salts, or ORS, was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF as a way to prevent children dying from dehydration, which often results from diarrhea.

Little did I know that diarrhea is the second leading cause of child deaths and kills 1.9 million young children every year. See, growing up in America, I had a virtually unlimited supply of clean drinking water. And if I overdid it playing out in the sun, I could just grab a sports drink. Problem solved. But that’s not the case in many countries.

So a lot of work went into developing this formula that provides low-cost, efficient hydration. (You can see the basic formula here, and if you want to do a deep dive, here’s a detailed document.)

The main idea is to create a drink that will utilize the body’s sodium-glucose cotransport system. Sodium draws water into the bloodstream, and sodium gets absorbed more quickly when glucose is present, so an ORS provides the right ratio of sodium, glucose, and water for ultimate absorption. (The DripDrop website explains this in layman’s terms.)

It’s no surprise that endurance athletes can benefit from this, too.

DripDrop Company History

Let’s start with the founder, Dr. Eduardo Dolhun. He attended medical school at the Mayo Clinic in the 1990s, and during one summer break, he volunteered in a rural mountain village in Guatemala where he witnessed the devastating effects of a cholera epidemic, with young children suffering from life-threatening dehydration. In 2005, he founded the Dolhun Clinic in San Francisco. In 2008, he invented DripDrop, and in 2013, secured a patent for it. Fast forward to today and Dr. Dolhun is an award-winning physician – he received the 2017 Mayo Clinic Humanitarian Achievement Award, among other accolades.

Now, DripDrop’s mission is to defeat life-threatening dehydration and continue to advance the science of Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS) and make this simple, proven, and powerful life-saving medical technology available to everybody around the world.

Price

DripDrop is a powdered drink mix that comes in single- and double-serving packets and is sold by the box.

If you’re going to be filling a 16-20 ounce water bottle, you want the double-serving packets. Those retail for $2.25 each.

Similarly, the smaller packets are about $1.12 each.

Here are the most recent retail prices:

Box of 4 sticks: $9.99

Box of 12 sticks: $28.50

Box of 24 sticks: $53.99

Box of 80 sticks: $159.49

Sometimes you’ll find that prices are cheaper on retailers like Amazon. But watch out! Sometimes the packets are single serving meant for 8oz water and sometimes double serving for a 16oz bottle of water.

DripDrop ORS Nutrition

DripDrop is an electrolyte supplement with approximately 1/2 the sugar and 3x the electrolytes compared to typical sports drinks.

It’s not just about the “less sugar, more sodium than sports drinks” concept, though. (Many products fit that criteria these days.)

It’s all about that optimum ratio.

Ingredients

Here are the ingredients for the Berry flavor:

Sugar, Fructose, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Potassium Citrate, Natural Flavors, Magnesium Citrate, Dextrose, Salt, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Fruit and Vegetable Juice as Color, Sucralose, Zinc Aspartate.

It’s an interesting mix. Various sugars, various electrolytes, even an artificial sweetener.

Most importantly, DripDrop contains electrolytes – sodium, potassium, and magnesium – plus zinc and glucose, which aid the re-hydration process.

Nutrition Facts

Per 1 stick:

Calories 35
Sodium 330mg
Potassium 185mg
Total Carbs 9g
Sugar 7g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 70mg
Magnesium 39mg
Zinc 1.5mg

Because it’s low in sugar, it’s also low in calories.

Remember, the sugar is only there to improve the hydration potential. (Your body needs the sugar to better absorb the sodium, which your body needs to restore fluid balance and get the water into your cells.)

The levels of electrolytes might seem low compared to some other popular electrolyte supplements aimed at endurance athletes. But the idea here is not “GIVE ME ALL THE ELECTROLYTES.” The idea is to get the formula right, because the ORS formula is going to help you rehydrate in the shortest amount of time.

The key is that the formula creates a low osmolarity drink, which means it gets absorbed faster in the body, shortening the time it takes to rehydrate. (A representative from DripDrop shared that their level of osmolarity is 235, which is in the ideal range, compared to most sports drinks which are 355, way above the ideal range.)

I’m not an expert on osolarity and osmolality, but the general idea is that you want to consume a beverage with a low osmolarity relative to your body, because then your body works to pull that water into your cells.

Why does DripDrop contain sucralose?

DripDrop contains just a small amount of sucralose, and the sucralose is there for a very good reason – to improve the taste. Because DripDrop contains a large amount of salt, and they want to include just a small amount of sugar, the taste would be way too salty if it wasn’t for the sucralose.

The use of sucralose enables Drip Drop to maintain a great taste without diluting the formula’s hydration power with excess sugar.

I often mention that I prefer to avoid artificial sweeteners, but I make exception for a limited amount of sucralose, when necessary.

In this case, it’s a worthwhile trade off. There is perhaps a small downside from consuming artificial sweetener, but there is a huge upside in remedying dehydration!

Comparisons: DripDrop vs Other Hydration Drinks

Let’s compare DripDrop to other popular options, including hydration drinks and electrolyte supplements.

DripDrop vs Nuun

Both DripDrop and Nuun are primarily electrolyte/hydration supplements ideal for, but not exclusive to, endurance athletes. In recent years, Nuun has created no less than ten different formulations, so for this comparison I’ll look mainly to “Nuun Sport.”

Nuun’s electrolyte blend is nearly identical, with a focus on sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Nuun contains slightly less of these electrolytes, but it does add a small amount of calcium.

The big difference is that Nuun contains only one gram of sugar, so if you are suffering from dehydration, it probably will not rehydrate you as quickly as DripDrop would.

Another important difference (if you have a personal preference) is that Nuun uses stevia leaf extract for a sweetener, rather than using sucralose.

DripDrop vs Gu Roctane

Gu Roctane Ultra Endurance energy drink mix is designed to provide you with both hydration and energy for ultra-endurance events. It is high in sodium and high in sugar/carbs, delivering 250 calories per serving. It also contains amino acids.

So Gu Roctane makes sense during endurance events. But it’s not the best idea if you’re just trying to get hydrated.

DripDrop vs Endurolytes

Hammer Nutrition offers the original Endurolytes capsules, Endurolytes Extreme (with more sodium), and Endurolytes Fizz, convenient tablets similar to Nuun.

It’s hard to compare to DripDrop, because Endurolytes are purely an electrolyte supplement, and they are designed to allow you to choose the right dosage for your body weight, temperature and humidity, and type of endurance event you are in. They’re actually lower in sodium than most products, and they’re nearly sugar-free, providing very few calories.

A key tenet of Hammer Nutrition’s philosophy is to separate your energy needs (sugar/calories) from hydration (fluids/electrolytes). This is great, assuming you are smart and diligent enough to manage your intake of sugar and electrolytes to make sure your body doesn’t get out of whack and end up dehydrated.

DripDrop vs Liquid I.V.

Liquid IV is a “hydration multiplier” with a similar premise as DripDrop. It’s based on the same WHO guidelines for an ORS. In their words:

“The breakthrough science of Cellular Transport Technology (CTT), utilized in all of our products, is based on an optimal ratio of ingredients designed to enhance rapid absorption of water and other nutrients into your bloodstream.”

The ingredients are slightly different – e.g. Liquid IV uses stevia extract where DripDrop uses sucralose – but in general, these look to me like very similar products. You can probably just choose between these two by going with whichever flavors you like best.

DripDrop vs Banana Bag

Banana Bag gets its funny name from the slang term “banana bag” that’s used to refer to a certain type of IV fluids plus vitamins and minerals that give it a yellowish tint. This is another ORS drink, very similar to Liquid I.V.

Banana Bag has more added vitamins than DripDrop, and Banana Bag contains no artificial or zero-calorie sweeteners – neither sucralose nor stevia.

The downside is that Banana Bag is much more expensive than DripDrop.

DripDrop ORS Taste Test

I have tried the original three flavors. Here are my thoughts:

Berry

This is a very strong, potent berry flavor. (It’s actually strong enough I prefer to mix it into a 20-24 oz water bottle instead of the 16 oz it says on the packaging.)

The Berry is very sweet compared to the lemon flavor. However, I’d say it’s a little tart compared to a lot of other fruit or berry flavors in other products.

I think I taste both strawberry and raspberry. Which may explain why it’s both sweet and tart.

Within the DripDrop line, I prefer berry over lemon.

Lemon

The lemon flavor is very strong and very tart. It reminds me of an artificial lemonade drink mix I’ve had before. I just can’t remember which one!

It definitely was not Country Time lemonade; that was the good stuff I had as a kid!

(Again, it’s so strong that I prefer to mix one stick into a 20-24 oz water bottle instead of the 16 oz it says on the packaging.)

I describe the flavor as “interesting.” It’s not bad. But if I was ordering a handmade lemonade at a concession stand, and I got a beverage that tasted like this, I’d be heartily disappointed.

So, the flavor is palatable, it’s just not very good.

The one compliment is that it doesn’t have that distinctive (and gross) artificial sweetener flavor. The flavor is definitely artificial, but the sucralose isn’t a problem.

Watermelon

The watermelon flavor is the best, by far. The scent is really really good. The flavor is really good. Not exactly a watermelon Jolly Rancher, but similar.

With this one, I could detect a hint of saltiness, but it wasn’t bad. It was no worse than any other sports drink. Actually, I’d almost say it’s enjoyable. At the very least, it’s comforting.

It’s probably most similar to the watermelon-flavored GU Chomps, and I can’t get enough of those!!

Watermelon Berry (DIY)

Thanks to Antonio Brown for this idea. You can mix up two small packets – one berry, one watermelon – together in a 16 oz water bottle to create this flavor.

Mixed up like this, you still get the pleasantly smooth watermelon flavor, but with a sharp berry kick at the end. It’s a fun combination! It might be my favorite flavor, actually!

Berry on its own can be too sweet and too tart, i.e. too powerful. Where as watermelon is a little bit muted, allowing the salty flavor to get through. But when you combine the two flavor packets, you get the best of both worlds.

DripDrop Hot

There is also a new line of DripDrop flavors designed to be consumed hot. Flavors include Hibiscus, Honey Lemon Ginger, and Spiced Apple Cider.

I will sample those this winter!

DripDrop Experience and Results

How well does DripDrop work in the real world? This is what matters most.

I tested this in moderate summer conditions on regular road bike rides. I have also tried it on days I was feeling lousy (and was almost positive that mild dehydration was at fault).

Here’s what I found out.

It’s easy to drink.

Regardless of flavor, I noticed that DripDrop goes down easy. It’s very easy to drink and goes down well.

I was very apt to drink it, and to drink a lot of it. This is great because there are times you need more fluids, but you simply don’t want to drink any more plain water.

No upset stomach.

No matter how much I drank, I had no upset stomach, no bloating, and no sloshing.

They weren’t kidding!

I would still like to test this when running, because you’re much more likely to have extra fluids sloshing around when running compared to the relatively calm body position of road cycling.

Feeling worn down? It does help recover from mild dehydration.

Whether you have a hard training and racing season or life is just hectic, it’s inevitable you’ll find yourself dehydrated at some point. By the the time you notice, it’s too late.

Or is it?

In my experience, you can recover quickly with DripDrop. Case in point: I woke up on a Monday really sore, tired, and feeling crappy. It’s that worn out feeling with a slight headache that wouldn’t go away, even after eating some food. Tell tale signs of dehydration. So right about lunch time – remembering I had this fancy beverage – I mixed up a glass of the lemon Drip Drop and chugged it down real quick.

(Like, real quick – I’d never consume so much liquid in such a short time if it was during a bike ride!)

Before long, my headache had dissipated, I was feeling more perked up, even a little chipper.

It might help you recover from a hangover.

I have not yet had the chance (misfortune?) to use this for any serious hangover recovery. I just don’t drink much alcohol.

I’m actually more likely to use it to prevent the hangover in the first place. If I have been drinking, I’ll drink Drip Drop ORS before going to bed for the night. You know the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

There was one day I had a mild hangover because the one drink I had the previous night was much stronger than I expected. Sixteen ounces of Drip Drop was a great way to start the day. It didn’t put me at 100%, but I was comfortable and functional.

It might keep me hydrated in extreme heat.

This seems to work so well in normal conditions, I would think its fantastic hydration capability would be even more noticeable in extreme heat and/or high-intensity activities.

But I need to do more testing in those types of conditions, perhaps during a mountain bike race in July, before I make any claims.

DripDrop Is Best For

Honestly, DripDrop offers something for everyone. If you’re dehydrated, have a hangover, vomiting and diarrhea, even just a cold – try DripDrop. Have a tough job like a fireman? Try DripDrop. Elite endurance athlete? Try DripDrop.

Everyone should have DripDrop in their first aid kit.

Everyone should have some at home in the kitchen, medicine cabinet, and/or first aid kit. And keep some in your travel bag or purse – something you’ll always have with you.

It’s just something to keep around – you never know when you might need it.

You could even take it to people that are hosting a party as a little token of your appreciation. It could keep all the guests healthy and happy the next morning! (Similarly, if you are the host, be sure to have extra ready to hand out!)

If you have a tough, demanding job.

If you have a tough job where you don’t get to drink water easily and frequently, you could use DripDrop.

DripDrop is great here for two reasons:

  1. One bottle of DripDrop will hydrate you better than multiple bottles of plain water or Gatorade.
  2. It’s easy to drink a lot of it all at once, and actually absorb it properly.

Endurance athletes.

Whether you’re an elite endurance athlete or a weekend warrior, I’d encourage you to try it and see how it works for you.

(Remember, you always want to make sure something new works during practice. Don’t wait and try it during competition and hope for the best.)

Assuming it works for you, it could be a secret tool in your arsenal to improve performance in hot and/or humid events.

It’s expensive enough that I’m not going to switch to using Drip Drop exclusively during my regular rides. If I was still actively racing, though, I’d consider it.

Where to Buy DripDrop

You can buy DripDrop locally in stores or order online.

If shopping locally, check CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens. Those seem to be their main distribution channels.

It’s easy to order online. You can order online direct from the company, choosing either a one-time order or set up a recurring subscription. Many other online retailers stock it, too.

Obviously, you can order on Amazon. Sometimes the price is even lower on Amazon than ordering direct from the company. Amazon also offers the “subscribe and save” options for recurring subscriptions.


My final verdict is…

At $2.25 per packet (one packet = one 16 oz bottle), it’s one of the more expensive sports drinks I’ve tried. The only one I can think of above this price range is GU Roctane, and that contains far more ingredients and gives you the calories of an energy bar.

But you know what, DripDrop is good for its intended purpose. So, if you’ve had hydration troubles in the past, whether from overdoing it during endurance races, or just from going out and having a few drinks and realizing your body doesn’t recover like it did when you were 25, try DripDrop. I think everyone should have some DripDrop on hand, just like everyone should have a first aid kit.

Official website: www.DripDrop.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: DripDrop
Product: DripDrop Oral Rehydration Solution
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2021-08-31
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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2 Comments
  1. have you tried the Berry Watermelon secret flavor mix like Antonio Brown does at games?

    • Yep, that’s the “DIY” flavor I mentioned in the taste test! I never would have tried that if it weren’t for those clips of AB mixing it up on the sidelines in his Gatorade bottle.

      Pittsburgh Steelers fan right here 🙂

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