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If you exercise a lot, live in a balmy climate, work in a physically demanding job, or you're just prone to sweating, staying properly hydrated involves more than just drinking water. Staying hydrated means replacing electrolytes lost when you sweat. Hydration packets (also known as hydration multipliers) are an easy, healthy way to replenish lost electrolytes so you can stay active and stay hydrated. And they may even help your workouts improve, according to recent studies.

Registered dietician nutritionist Roxana Ehsani further explains the value of hydration multipliers. "A hydration multiplier contains electrolytes, and is essentially an electrolyte powder that you can add to water. There may be situations in which a person who needs these extra electrolytes, such as a competitive athlete who is training for an extended period of time and losing lots of fluid, could benefit from drinking a hydration multiplier to help them rehydrate."

Ehsani also suggested hydration packets aren't just beneficial for athletes or gym enthusiasts. "A non-athlete ... who is suffering from diarrhea or vomiting may have lost tons of fluid and could benefit from taking in an electrolyte powder to help rehydrate."

We rounded up the best hydration multipliers so you don't have to break a sweat making a choice.

The best hydration multiplier

Are you properly hydrated? What should you look for in a hydration multiplier? How much water am I supposed to drink, anyway? We've got the answers to all your hydration-related questions. But first, the best hydration multipliers and hydration packets.

Hydration multiplier cheat sheet:

  • Electrolytes needed per day: 1600-2000 mg
  • Sources of electrolytes usually found in hydration multipliers:  Potassium, Sodium, Calcium, Chloride, Phosphate, and Magnesium

LMNT Electrolyte Packets


Earning 4.4 stars on Amazon, LMNT hydration packets scored big with reviewers who liked the flavor and the fact that this electrolyte formula features no added sugar and only has 2 grams of carbs. This formulation contains 1000 mg of sodium, 200 mg of potassium and 60 mg of magnesium with no additives included.

Top features of LMNT hydration packets:

  • Packets included: 12
  • Electrolytes included: Sodium, potassium, magnesium
  • Key ingredients:  Salt (Sodium Chloride), Citric Acid, Magnesium Malate, Potassium Chloride, Natural Flavors, Stevia Leaf Extract
  • Form: Powder packets
  • Flavor: Citrus Salt, Watermelon Salt, Orange Salt, Raspberry Salt

Pros: LMNT offers a high percentage of daily electrolytes, without the usual added sugar and chemicals that come with many hydration multipliers. The flavors were a hit with verified Amazon buyers.

Cons: 1000 mg of sodium can be a lot for anyone dealing with kidney issues and/or taking blood pressure medication. And at a little over $2 per packet, LMNT is pricer than some of its competitors. 

$25 at Amazon

Liquid I.V.


An Amazon top-seller, Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier features five essential vitamins and three-times the electrolytes of traditional sports drinks. A zesty and refreshing hydration multiplier, Liquid I.V. is made with no artificial colors or sweeteners. This gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free formulation features vitamins B3, B5, B6, B12 and vitamin C in every serving.

Key features of Liquid I.V.:

  • Packets included: 16
  • Electrolytes included: Sodium (500mg)
  • Key ingredients:  Vitamins B3, B5, B6, B12 and vitamin C
  • Form: Powder packets
  • Flavor: Lemon Lime

Pros: Liqud I.V. earns 4.7 stars on Amazon from verified buyers who like the convenience of these on-the-go-ready packets.

Cons:  Though Liquid I.V. doesn't overdo the sodium, it does include 11 grams of sugar in each serving. And with a lengthy ingredient list that starts with sugar, it's no wonder some verified buyers found this hydration multiplier way too sweet.

$22 at Amazon

IQMIX Sugar Free Electrolytes Powder Packets


Promising 3x the electrolytes of sports drinks, IQMIX hydration packets claims to boost mood, support mental clarity and prevent muscle cramps. We like that there are no added sugars in this gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO formulation. 

Earning 4.3 stars on Amazon, reviewers were mixed on the taste, which sometimes might mean using more water. At least 16 ounces of water is suggested here.

This formulation features Magtein, the only form of magnesium absorbed by the brain.

Top features of IQMIX hydration packets:

  • Packets included: 20
  • Electrolytes included: Sodium (500mg), Potassium (380 mg), 
  • Key ingredients:  Magtein Magnesium L-Threonate (supports brain clarity), Lion's Mane mushroom powder (promotes gut health)
  • Form: Powder packets
  • Flavor: Lemon Lime, Peach Mango, Blueberry Pomegranate, Blood Orange

Pros: IQMIX doesn't overload users with sodium. We like the extra brain boost promised here without the extra sugars.

Cons: Not all buyers liked the flavors or taste.

$24 at Amazon

Primal Harvest Electrolytes Packets 


Earning 4.4 stars on Amazon Primal Harvest Electrolytes Packets  earn high marks on taste from buyers how found this powder very hydrating. This powder is sweetened with Stevia, not sugar, to avoid the highs and lows that come with sugar intake. 

This product is available at Amazon for $45.

Key features of Primal Harvest Hydration Packets:

  • Packets included:  30
  • Electrolytes included: Sodium (500 mg), Potassium (380 mg), Magnesium (50 mg), Calcium (23 mg)
  • Key ingredients: Vitamins C, B3, B6, and B1
  • Form: Powder packets
  • Flavor: Lemon Berry

Pros: With no added sugars, Primal Harvest Packets don't overload on sodium and are designed to be rapidly absorbed.

Cons: A pricier options than its competitors, this formulation does feature more "other ingredients" than its competitors.

$45 at Amazon

Teami Electrolytes Powder


Though Teami Hydrate doesn't come in individual packets, we'd be remiss if we didn't recommend it.  We've been big fans of this brand's gut and collagen powders and Hydrate delivers as well. The rare hydration multiplier that doesn't rely on Sodium as its main electrolyte source, Hydrate features no added sugars or chemical preservatives, additives and is dairy and soy-free.

Some buyers found the taste aspirin'y, while most found the Raspberry Lemonade flavor completely enjoyable.

Teami Hydrate is on sale on at Amazon, $26 (reduced from $30).

Key features of Teami Hydrate:

  • Electrolytes included: Potassium (1000 mg), Sodium (10 mg) , Calcium (75 mg), Chloride (15 mg), Phosphate, and magnesium (120 mg)
  • Key ingredients: Beet Root, Stevia Extract
  • Form: Powder 
  • Flavor: Raspberry Lemondate

Pros: We like that this formulation offers a boost of Potassium, which can help with muscle cramping and that Hydrate doesn't overload users with Sodium. 

Cons: You'll have to mix at home. This product doesn't come in packets.

$26 at Amazon

DripDrop Zero Sugar Electrolyte Powder


Promising three times the electrolytes of sports drinks, while delivering five essential vitamins and minerals, DripDrop Hydration Packets utilize a combination of Sodium, Potassium, and Magnesium to deliver a 4.5-star rated hydration packet.

This product is available at Amazon for $32.

Key features of DripDrop Hydration Packets:

  • Packets included: 32
  • Electrolytes included: Sodium (330 mg), Potassium (185), Magnesium (39)
  • Key ingredients:  Vitamin B, Vitamin C and Zinc
  • Form: Powder packets
  • Flavor: Lemon Lime

Pros: DripDrop features a hydrating packet that also offers essential vitamins helpful with energy, immunity and metabolism.

Cons: While DripDrop uses no added sugars, it does include a longer list of additives than similar products we referenced.

$32 at Amaazon

Moon Juice Mini Dew Electrolyte Powder


This 2-in-1 formula delivers electrolytes that hydrate and support brain function and focus. A formulation derived from watermelon and pink salt, Moon Juice Mini Dew uses no added sugars and earns 4.2 stars on Amazon.

Key features of Moon Juice Mini Dew:

  • Servings included: 30
  • Electrolytes included: Watermelon, pink salt
  • Key ingredients:  Chelated Essentials Minerals and Ionic Trace Minerals help with absorption
  • Form: Powder 
  • Flavor: Watermelon

Pros: We like the 2-in-1 formulation, which hydrates and helps with brain function.

Cons: Cost. Sure, Mini Dew is more expensive than some of its competitors. But judging by comments like this, it's worth it. 

$44 at Amazon

Cure Hydrating Electrolyte Mix


Offering a natural, plant-based formulation with no added sugar, Cure Hydration Packets promise to deliver four times the electrolytes of sports drinks. Using a formulation derived from Sodium and coconut water, Cure promises to be two-times more hydrating than drinking water alone.

  • Packets included:  14
  • Electrolytes included: Sodium (240 mg), coconut water
  • Key ingredients:  Coconut
  • Form: Powder packets
  • Flavor: Orange

Pros: Plant-based, with no added sugar, Cure earned 4 stars on Amazon from verified buyers who found the orange flavor refreshing.

Cons: While we like that the Sodium content is low here, Cure doesn't deliver much by way of electrolytes. A great product for someone looking to boost energy after a low-impact workout or walk, this probably doesn't offer the kind of hydration needed for an intense workout or run.

$22 at Amazon

What you need to know about hydration multipliers

Chances are you were raised with the notion that drinking eight ounces of water per day meant you had properly hydrated for the day. Modern science knows better. 

"There is no fluid-intake recommendation that is right for everyone," Ehsani explained. "Everyone is different, has different body sizes, composition, medical conditions, and engages in different types of physical activity, that influences how much they need."

In fact, the Harvard University T.H.Chan School of Public Health recommends men consume about 13 cups of fluid per day, while women consume about nine cups of fluid each day. That can come in form of water, juices, coffee, tea and fruits and vegetables high in water.

In order to stay hydrated, however, it's important to take in essential vitamins and minerals that help with absorption. 

Ashley Koff, a registered dietician, emphasized the importance of mineral intake when it comes to staying hydrated. "What will impact your hydration is not just the amount you take in BUT the amount of minerals you get in too so that you are absorbing the water.  The combination of minerals and electrolytes is essential to your body actually absorbing what you're taking in."

When considering adding hydration multipliers into your routine, know that there is a big difference between an electrolyte powder and a sports drink. The biggest difference being the average sports drink contains about 36 grams, which is close to or above the amount of sugar recommended for an adult man or woman to take in per day. With so many zero-sugar hydration multipliers on the market, there are now ample ways to stay hydrated without overloading on sugar each day.

Since hydration multipliers are considered a supplement, they're not regulated by the FDA. Whenever you add a new supplement into your routine, make sure to check in with your doctor first -- especially if you've experienced health issues or are currently taking medications.

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