We Bought and Tested 11 Sports Drink Mixes, Tabs, and Caps at REI

Allan I. Fleming

What’s in your water bottle these times? If it’s much more than just water, you are not by yourself Many stamina athletes and outside adventurers are achieving for sports consume mixes, tablets and caps.

The reasons go over and above just introducing taste. Many of these mixes are made for refueling, enhanced overall performance and in some situations boosting recovery.

On a journey to REI, we acquired every thing we could get our palms on in the electricity consume section, with the goal of screening them in the industry. The adhering to is a record of our best picks, from our favorite to minimum favorite, based mostly on flavor, nourishment, and overall performance.

one. NUUN Hydration Electrolytes – Clean Lime ($7.00/10 servings $.70/serving)

A serving is one pill dissolved in sixteen ounces of water.

This is our best choose in massive component because it tastes terrific and also presents 40 mg of caffeine. Occasionally on lengthier runs you want and will need that further tiny burst of electricity that caffeine delivers. In addition to caffeine, one pill also consists of 38 mg of vitamin C as effectively as 360 mg of sodium and a hundred mg of potassium. There are also a number of other electrolytes in this pill which enable maintain your process regulated. As well as, the taste conquer out all the relaxation.

Execs: It smells great and tastes terrific. It is straightforward to consume at home temperature but is really great chilled. The lime taste is particularly refreshing when it’s scorching out. It is also minimal in sugar at one gram per serving.

Downsides: If you are not into caffeine, you’ll want to decide on a little something else.


2. NUUN Hydration Electrolytes – Strawberry Lemonade ($7.00/10 servings $.70/serving)

A serving is one pill dissolved in sixteen ounces of water.

What’s not to really like about strawberry lemonade? It much more than lived up to our anticipations and exhibits up on a regular basis in our water bottles. It is incredibly similar in makeup to the NUUN Clean Lime mentioned higher than with 38 mg of vitamin C, 360 mg of sodium and a hundred mg of potassium.

Execs: Tastes like you’d expect it to: a tiny sweet and a tiny tart. It is minimal in sugar at one gram per serving. Tremendous refreshing on both lengthy runs and rides. We also like just sipping on it in the course of the day.

Downsides: Has a a little ‘fake sugar’ aftertaste.


3. Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes Fizz – Grape ($4.ninety six/thirteen servings $.38 cents/serving)

A serving is one pill dissolved in sixteen ounces of water.

The vintage grape taste is acquainted and straightforward to consume. It reminds us of Kool-Aid with just the tiniest trace of bubbles. It does not have caffeine so we did not working experience improved electricity but we did remain hydrated and relished drinking early and usually with this consume. Compared with the NUUN solutions mentioned higher than, this pill has mg of vitamin C, 200 mg of sodium and a hundred mg of potassium (a a little distinct composition but no fewer powerful in our trial).

Execs: This consume is not overly sweet, is gluten free and dissolves promptly. It does not contain any sugar. If you never like it, there’s a great likelihood your kids will.

Downsides: The stevia leaf extract gave the consume a a little odd aftertaste.


4. NUUN Hydration Electrolytes – Grape ($7.00/10 servings $.70/serving)

A serving is one pill dissolved in sixteen ounces of water.

If you are searching for a consume with just a trace of taste, consider this one. It is a tiny weaker in flavor than the Hammer hydration consume listed higher than. Like the other NUUN tablets we reviewed, this supplying has 38 mg of vitamin C, 360 mg of sodium and a hundred mg of potassium.

Execs: Somewhat effervescent. It is also gluten free and vegan. It is minimal in sugar at one gram.

Downsides: The flavor is weaker and a tiny sweeter than we prefer.


5. Skratch Labs Activity Hydration Drink Blend with Strawberries ($one.ninety five/one serving)

A serving is one packet dissolved in sixteen ounces of water.

See a little something floating in your consume? Never be concerned, this combine is truly created with items of strawberries. As well as it’s Non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free, vegan and kosher. It has 380 mg of sodium, and also contains the greatest volume of sugar per serving (19 grams) out of all the drinks we examined.

Execs: It has a really normal flavor. (Much less like strawberry flavoring and much more like water that is been flavored with true fruit.)

Downsides: You may possibly not want to offer with the seeds if you are racing. As well as, if you are arranging a shorter exercise or operate, the sugar this one contains could be overkill.


sports drink mixes taste test
Photo: Erin McGrady

six. Hammer Nutrition Heed Hydrating Electrical power Electrolyte Drink – Lemon Lime ($2.00/one serving)

A serving is one packet dissolved into sixteen-28 ounces of water.

We were anticipating to like this one a large amount much more than we truly did, in particular because we really liked Hammer’s grape consume. Unfortunately, the taste fell flat and we did not really obtain it to be energizing (there’s no caffeine.) It does have 40 mg of sodium and 27 mg of potassium.

Execs: This one smells great and is also refreshing because of the citrus flavors. We relished it improved chilly fairly than home temp. It is minimal in sugar at 2 grams per serving.

Downsides: It has a syrupy flavor and was a bit far too sweet for us. The aftertaste was reminiscent of sunscreen.


7. Hammer Nutrition Recoverite Recovery Drink – Strawberry ($3.50/one serving)

A serving is one packet dissolved in 4-eight ounces of water.

This consume is created with grass-fed whey protein and provides a 3:one (carbs:protein) ratio to enable you get well just after action. The combine contains 50 mg of sodium, twenty mg of potassium and 10 grams of protein. Though the packet contains milk, considerably like other whey protein powders, it does not will need to be refrigerated. For greatest flavor and in general effects, combine the packet with chilly water and consume it right away just after a exercise. We seasoned diminished muscle mass soreness just after using this merchandise adhering to a lengthy operate and journey, and were ready to train tough the adhering to day.

Execs: It smells great and it’s minimal in sugar at 2 grams. Contains 50 mg of sodium as effectively as sixty mg of l-carnosine (an antioxidant) and twenty mg of potassium. There are no preservatives in this consume.

Downsides: This consume is a tiny far too sweet for our flavor buds. It was practically as if we were drinking strawberry flavored bubble gum.


eight. Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem Extremely Endurance Gasoline – Orange Vanilla ($3.25/one serving)

A serving is one packet dissolved in sixteen-28 ounces of water.

This consume is encouraged for stamina athletes who are education for a number of hours or much more. It contains 210 mg of sodium, 80 mg of potassium and 7 grams of protein. We applied it on a two hour highway journey and even though we liked it at the commencing, we discovered it tough to consume afterwards on in the exercise.

Execs: Very low in sugar at 2 grams and no preservatives. Contains a little volume of unwanted fat which will come from soy lecithin (the extract from soybean oil). Our electricity felt steady in the course of the journey.

Downsides: This consume does not flavor great unless it’s chilly. When the consume is warm it reminded us of watery oatmeal. It also contains soy, so it may possibly not be a great solution for people with allergies or attempting to remain absent from soy solutions. In addition, we never encouraged using this consume in hydration bladders due to the fact the protein ingredient tends to individual and settle at the base. Put it in a bottle wherever you can shake it as important. Eventually, if this consume is premixed and left out in warm climate, it can spoil so program appropriately. (Hammer suggests drinking this in just 3-5 hours of mixing it.)


nine. NUUN Hydration Efficiency Electrolytes + Carbs ($2.00/ one serving)

A serving is one packet dissolved in sixteen ounces of water.

We had large hopes for this consume because we like blueberries and strawberries, but we could scarcely belly the taste. It contains 380 mg of sodium, 200 mg of potassium and 80 mg of chloride.

Execs: This is created with dried fruit powder. It is a Non-GMO merchandise.

Downsides: The smell was overpowering and the flavor was a little sour. It is also fairly large in sugar at twelve grams.


10. SaltStick Caps ($2.00/3 servings $.sixty six/serving)

A serving is one cap.

In addition to the drinks and tablets higher than, we also attempted SaltStick Caps. Both are vegetarian and contain electrolytes as effectively as vitamin D, as effectively as zero grams of sugar. According to SaltStick, the system is made to enable lessen warmth pressure and muscle mass cramping. We discovered this to be genuine just after screening them on a number of distinct mid-day runs. Note: we took the pills about fifteen minutes prior to action.

Execs: Consists of 215 mg of sodium, 63 mg of potassium, 22 mg of calcium and eleven mg of magnesium. The capsule has incredibly tiny flavor if you get it down in one swallow.

Downsides: It is a fairly massive capsule, and if you never like swallowing pills you may possibly not like this supplement. Think about opening the capsule and dissolving it in a sports consume if you never like swallowing pills.


eleven. SaltStick Caps As well as ($3.00/ 3 servings $one.00/serving)

A serving is one cap.

SaltStick Caps As well as have all of the added benefits of standard SaltStick Caps in addition to a little shot of caffeine. Immediately after screening the caps on two distinct six-mile runs in ninety-diploma climate, we felt potent and seasoned zero cramps.

Execs: The SaltStick Caps As well as have 30 mg of caffeine as effectively as a hundred ninety mg of sodium, 53 mg of potassium, 14 mg of calcium and 7 mg of magnesium.

Downsides: Same dimension capsule (fairly massive) as the SaltStick Cap so it may possibly be tough for some to swallow. Once again, if you never enjoy pills, contemplate opening the capsule and dissolving it in a sports consume.



There are so many sports consume choices out there that it can be tough to know what to decide on. Immediately after carrying out some screening, NUUN Hydration Electrolytes Clean Lime stood out head and shoulders higher than the relaxation. We loved not only the taste, but also the increase it gave from the extra caffeine and the value.

Whilst all people has distinct preferences and needs, this guidebook is intended to be a jumping off place to guidebook you in the proper path the upcoming time you obtain you in the sports consume aisle. Our best picks are beneath.

Best Taste: NUUN Hydration Electrolytes – Clean Lime
Best Benefit: Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes Fizz – Grape
Best Gasoline/Efficiency: NUUN Hydration Electrolytes – Clean Lime
Least volume of sugar: Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes Fizz – Grape

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