When it comes to better health, few things are more important than staying hydrated. Despite this, almost half of all American adults report drinking "far less" than the recommended daily allowance of six to eight 16 oz glasses of water a day. Unfortunately, this can lead to countless adverse health effects, from an electrolyte imbalance and decreased energy to a slower metabolism and even an increased risk for a stroke.
Factoring in hot weather, physical activity, or temporary illness, dehydration becomes even more of a serious concern. To go beyond what's possible with simple water, many people have started turning to pre-mixed electrolyte drinks, electrolyte powder, or sports drinks. These products can provide substantial health benefits by boosting your daily hydration routine with powerful electrolytes, essential vitamins such as vitamins C and A, and even delicious flavors to encourage you to drink more water overall.
Still, the sheer number of different brands and mixes on the market can make it difficult to separate an excellent product from a simply mediocre one--and that's without getting into the important differences between a sports drink and an electrolyte drink. To help you make sense of it all, we've taken the time to break down some of the most important things to look for in a hydration beverage. By the end of this article, you'll have all the information you need to decide for yourself which product is right for you.
First and foremost, the most important component of any hydration drink is electrolyte content. Electrolytes are essential minerals, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, that play a vital role in hydration, muscle function, and overall health.
While electrolytes are always important for bodily functions, they're even more critical when you lose extra water during intense exercise, illnesses, or hot weather. Because of this, it's important to choose a hydration drink that offers a well-balanced mix of electrolytes. Typically, the best product for pure hydration will be an electrolyte drink mix such as our Hydrate48. Rather than using up ingredient space for things like added sugar or artificial sweeteners, a good powder will focus almost entirely on the nutrients you need most to stay hydrated and healthy.
Still, some sports drinks do include electrolytes, though generally at far lower amounts than might be found in a more dedicated product.
This one might seem painfully obvious, but any good hydration drink needs to replace fluids lost throughout the day. While this typically comes in the form of plain water, some products instead use real fruit juice powder, coconut water, or other fluids to improve their taste without relying on artificial flavors.
One thing that most people don't know, however, is that excess amounts of sugar can actually worsen the symptoms of dehydration. This relationship is due to the way that sugar encourages your body's cells to shed water and increase the frequency of urination. For that reason, we generally suggest avoiding drinks with a high sugar content when hydration is your main priority.
When you drink electrolyte drinks, you're typically doing so to replenish nutrients lost through your sweat. Some people prefer to mix their goals by choosing a hybrid product that allows you to both drink electrolytes and consume fast-acting carbohydrates at the same time. While this can provide a nearly immediate supply of fast calories during a game or mid-workout, it typically provides less hydrating power than a dedicated electrolyte drink.
Also, remember that the higher the carbohydrate content of a beverage, the more calories you'll be consuming. While this may mean little for most people, sugary sports drinks can add up over time for those looking to lose weight.
It's probably a safe bet that you're already taking at least a couple of other supplements, so it's always a somewhat challenging decision to add yet another product to your daily routine. Our suggestion when deciding is to search for simplicity. While some so-called hydration drinks waste time and space by adding extra vitamins, caffeine, or other ingredients, we know that most people are already getting those benefits from another supplement or food source.
Instead, our Hydrate48 mix focuses entirely on a simple, well-balanced mix of electrolytes, natural flavors, and little else. That way, you get the maximum hydration bang for your buck possible.
Taste and Personal Preference
If you put a water bottle and a flavored drink in front of the average person, chances are they'd opt for the latter. That's why, when trying to improve your daily hydration, finding a product with a flavor you enjoy can massively increase your daily routine's consistency. Thankfully, most hydration beverages include delicious flavors like the classic lemon-lime or strawberry lemonade, and powder mixes like our Hydrate48 can be added to almost any liquid while still offering the same potent benefits.
Regardless of which you choose, remember that better health doesn't need to be a chore--and can even be delicious.
The Bottom Line on Hydration Drinks
The health industry is full of companies and brands looking to provide better, tastier hydrating beverages, each with its own unique angle or innovation. While this is admirable, we know that more complicated isn't always better, especially when it comes to something as straightforward as hydration. To reflect that philosophy, we designed Hydrate48 to include only the most effective, necessary ingredients for better daily hydration.
With a carefully-curated blend of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride, we give you everything you need to stay moving, either in the gym or out in the world. And, unlike other electrolyte drinks, we avoid unnecessary added sugars and artificial additives, so you can rest easy knowing that you're putting only the best into your body.