Electrolyte powders vary wildly in total electrolyte counts, so this guide is to help you pick the best electrolyte powder for intermittent fasting.
These electrolyte drinks can be really important tools to make your intermittent fasting, endurance exercise, using a sauna, or keto diet regimens to be successful as well as safe.
Surprisingly, there are no standards for containing adequate electrolytes for these drinks, so a product can call itself an electrolyte drink without having any appreciable levels of electrolytes.
Keep in mind, they are also meant for healthy people and not meant to be taken if you have kidney disease.
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What qualifies as the best electrolyte powder?
The basic criteria for the best electrolyte powder are that they actually contain the necessary electrolytes to stay hydrated.
Electrically charged minerals include sodium, chloride, potassium, and magnesium.
You may be surprised to find out that most electrolyte drinks do not actually contain significant enough electrolyte amounts to help you.
This is even true of the most common ones on the shelf today like Gatorade and Powerade.
Here are criteria for the best electrolyte powders for fasting that are important for good taste and quality:
- Contains plenty of electrolytes: sodium, potassium, and magnesium
- Free of artificial sweeteners
- Contains bicarbonate for acid-base balance as a bonus
- Uses natural sweeteners, preferably monk fruit, for taste
- Free of artificial colors
- Trace minerals are a nice bonus
- Vitamin C and natural B-vitamins are helpful but not required
Don’t have time to read the whole post?
The best electrolyte powders in order of quality are:
- Seeking Health Optimal Electrolytes-the best overall for taste and quality of electrolytes
- Trace Minerals 40,000 Volts!-the best for people who dislike sweetened electrolyte drinks
- Perfect Keto Daily Electrolytes-highest in magnesium content
- LMNT Keto Electrolyte Drink Mix-great for sodium and potassium replacement but not as much magnesium as the others on the list
- Key Nutrients Electrolyte Powder Plus-good overall with extra vitamins and trace minerals, but not as much magnesium as the others on this list.
- Dr. Berg’s Electrolyte Powder: must add salt to it, but has trace minerals
|Seeking Health Optimal Electrolyte–Best overall||140 mg||510 mg||150 mg||Highly-rated, Monk fruit sweetener, Best tasting, Taurine, Creatine, D-ribose, Bicarbonate||Can clump, but easily stirs anyway|
|Trace Minerals 40,000 Volts (per tsp)-Best overall||105 mg||150 mg||190 mg||Highly rated, Contains sulfate, Ionic trace minerals, Best-tasting, Unsweetened||Salty taste for some people|
|Perfect Keto Daily Electrolytes||240 mg||600 mg||250 mg||Highly rated, the most magnesium, contains Bicarbonate||Some people experience a laxative effect|
|LMNT Keto Electrolyte Drink||1000 mg||200 mg||60 mg||Highly-rated, Best for sweating, endurance||Stevia-sweetened, which has an aftertaste for some people|
|Dr. Berg’s Electrolyte Powder||10 mg||1000 mg||120 mg||Highest potassium, contains trace minerals||Stevia-sweetened, not enough sodium|
|Key Nutrients Electrolyte Powder Plus||110 mg||100 mg||100 mg||Highly-rated, Best value, has B-vitamins and some trace minerals||Stevia-sweetened, which has an aftertaste for some people|
|Ultima Replenisher Hydrating Electrolyte Powder||55 mg||250 mg||100 mg||Highly-rated||Stevia sweetened and not enough sodium, no added features|
Must contain at least 100 mg of sodium
The electrolyte that you stand to lose in the highest amounts during exercise or a fast is sodium. Yet, manufacturers shy away from adding sodium to your electrolyte solutions.
This simply isn’t acceptable.
When shopping for an electrolyte drink, make sure that it contains at least 100 mg sodium per serving.
This is harder to find than you would think.
Still, if you are doing intense sweating, you may need to add a salt tablet or extra sodium to your drink no matter how much sodium your drink contains.
Note: If your electrolyte drink contains sodium, it will also contain chloride because they are found together as a salt.
Contains a good amount of magnesium
I recommend finding electrolytes containing at least 100 mg of magnesium.
This is because of the simple fact that most people are low in magnesium at baseline and fasting and exercise depletes magnesium further.
Because this can be difficult to find in perfect combination with other electrolytes, I included those with greater than 50 mg of magnesium per serving.
Related post: Magnesium for IBS Constipation
Contains a good amount of potassium
The best electrolyte powders are going to have at least 300 mg of potassium in them to
Other helpful ingredients:
Best overall and best for fasting
There are two that stand out as the best overall electrolytes because they clearly have better mineral ratios and better overall ingredients than all the other brands on the market today.
Those two brands are Seeking Health and Trace Minerals Research.
Seeking Health Optimal Electrolytes
Most electrolyte powders contain stevia, which for many people, has a bad aftertaste or is too cloyingly sweet.
The only brand on the market today that uses a better sweetener called monk fruit is Seeking Health Optimal Electrolytes.
I’ve tried many electrolyte powder drinks and this one tastes the best by far. It’s the only sweetened one I can stand to drink, to be honest.
It also has a good electrolyte profile, with 140 mg of sodium, 510 mg of potassium, 150 mg of magnesium, along with small amounts of D-ribose, creatine, and taurine. These ingredients support muscle recovery and energy.
Another big benefit of this one is that it contains bicarbonate to help alkalize the drink. It also makes it pleasantly fizzy too. My favorite flavor is the mixed berry one, but the lemonade and orange flavors are also tasty.
The only downside I can find is that it tends to clump a bit. But, this doesn’t deter its ability to dissolve in water.
Trace Minerals Research Endure
Trace Minerals Research 40,000 Volts! Liquid Concentrate Drops: In just 1 teaspoon, this electrolyte replacement contains 105 mg sodium, 190 mg magnesium, 600 mg chloride, 150 mg potassium, 650 mcg boron, and 20 mg of sulfate.
My favorite part about this brand is that it is unsweetened and can be added to water throughout the day for hydration. Each 8 oz bottle contains 48 servings, so it is a great value too.
Highly rated with hundreds of positive reviews, this is a great no-nonsense electrolyte supplement.
This electrolyte drink has zero calories, too, making it perfect for fasting.
If you are low in magnesium, as a large majority of people are, this is a good bet for replacing electrolytes during a fast or when following a ketogenic diet.
Contains 250 mg of magnesium as magnesium citrate, a highly absorbable form of this mineral. It also contains a good ratio of sodium at 240 mg and potassium at 600 mg per serving. The occasional reviewer states that it clumps, but overall this product is highly rated and gets good reviews.
Best for endurance or heavy sweating
LMNT Keto Electrolyte Drink: By far the best sodium content for endurance and sweating is LMNT.
It contains 1000 mg of sodium per serving and 200 mg of potassium. Unfortunately, it only contains 60 mg of magnesium and contains stevia as a sweetener.
It gets very good reviews for energy and performance, but many people do complain that it is too sweet because of stevia or has an aftertaste of stevia.
Highest potassium content
Dr. Berg’s Original Electrolyte Powder has the highest potassium content with 1000 mg of potassium per serving.
Unfortunately, it only contains 10 mg of sodium, which isn’t enough for people who have salty sweat or for people who are fasting.
But, it does contain trace minerals which is a bonus.
It is all-natural and is stevia-sweetened.
Key Nutrients Electrolyte Powder Plus: is an electrolyte hydration powder that is very economical and checks all of the boxes for making the best electrolyte drink list.
It contains 110 mg of sodium, 100 mg of magnesium, 115 mg calcium, and 250 mg of potassium, with a nice addition of B-vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin, and some vitamin C as well.
Sweetened with stevia like most of the nutrition drinks on the list here.
Contains copper, so avoid this one if you have Wilson’s disease or copper overload.
Unfortunately, it only contains 55 mg of sodium, but checks all the other boxes for electrolytes, including 100 mg of magnesium, 250 mg of potassium, also contains 65 mg of calcium and 100 mg of vitamin C.
The sodium can easily be remedied by adding ⅛ teaspoon of salt, which would bring this mixture up to around 350 mg of sodium.
Comes in lemonade, grape, and raspberry flavors and is zero calories.
Better than common sports drinks, but didn’t make the cut
It is easy to add sodium to your electrolyte drinks, but it’s not as easy to fix a low magnesium electrolyte supplement. For this reason, these popular electrolyte powders didn’t make the cut.
- Nuun Electrolyte Drink Tablets
- Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier
- Jigsaw Health Electrolyte Supreme Powder Packets
- Pedialyte Hydration Station: didn’t make the cut because it has sucralose and artificial sweeteners don’t belong on this list.
Of course, you could always buy your own magnesium powder like this one to correct this issue fairly easily.
Fasting can make your body lose more magnesium, especially for prolonged fasts and if the body becomes acidic [R].
Your body’s magnesium blood content can drop by 10 percent after exercise [R].
Not to mention, the average American is low in magnesium anyways.
For this reason, I held fast to the magnesium rule for my electrolyte recommendations.
Related post: 13 Interesting Benefits of Fasting for Gut Repair
When you fast, you will also lose more sodium in your urine than you would if you weren’t fasting [R].
Combine this with exercise and sodium is a critical ingredient in your electrolyte supplements.
By experience, I can tell you that I am able to complete an intermittent fast much more effectively if I drink some sodium.
Many other experts in fasting recommend adding salt to their water or electrolyte drinks for this reason.
Most electrolyte drinks don’t skimp on potassium and for good reason. Potassium is an electrolyte that many people fall short of in their diets.
Exercise causes poor replenishment of potassium into the muscle without supplementation [R].
Luckily, fasting research doesn’t show large losses of potassium, so it is probably of lesser importance during a fast than sodium and magnesium [R].
Still, most Americans don’t eat enough potassium-rich foods, so it never hurts to get a little extra in your supplements as long as you have healthy kidneys.
Research shows that intermittent fasting can be beneficial for many health conditions, such as reducing cancer risk, heart disease risk, and is even helpful for reducing body fat and reducing body weight.
However, most people living in the West grew up grazing on food all day and all night, so adapting to a fast often requires some tools like electrolytes.
Maintaining hydration with adequate water and herbal tea can be really helpful during a fast.
But to be successful with fasting, many people need to replenish their electrolytes during the fasting period.
There are many perfectly good electrolyte hydration drinks on the market, but they have sugar. Because of this, they don’t work if you are fasting.
Most people can maintain a fast if they have an electrolyte drink with around 20 calories in it.
What about coconut water?
Coconut water doesn’t contain enough sodium and contains carbs and natural sugar, which means it doesn’t meet the criteria as an electrolyte drink for fasting.
Heidi Moretti, MS, RD is The Healthy RD. A registered dietitian for 20 years, has a passion for functional nutrition and natural medicine. Has researched supplements and plants as medicine throughout her career. Loves helping people gain function and vitality by tackling the root causes of illness.
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body and is shared for educational purposes only. While The Healthy RD’s posts are backed by research, you are unique, so you must seek care from your own dietitian or healthcare provider. This post is not meant to diagnose or treat any conditions. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider before making changes to your supplement regimen or lifestyle.