Know which one is the best: electrolyte powder, tablets or drinks

Whether one is doing any strenuous physical activity or not, the body essentially needs to stay hydrated. We all know that the human body is made up of more than70 % water. But to stock up on water only is not sufficient when one is into intense physical workouts. To avoid the bloated feeling, retain energy levels, and maintain necessary salts, taking electrolyte drinks is the key to hydration.

To think Electrolytes are just a variation of salt would be a sin. By function, they are substances that break down to electrically conductive particles (called “ions”) when dissolved in a polar solvent. When mixed with a polar solvent, the electrolyte minerals become electrically charged. Electrolyte drinks form an essential part of consumption needs of the healthy functioning human body. For people who indulge in intense physical activity, it is important to maintain a proper balance of these nutrients.

Electrolytes can be salts, acids or bases and occur inside the body rarely. Calcium (Ca), Potassium (K), Sodium (Na), Chloride (Cl), Magnesium (Mg), Bicarbonate (HCO3) and Phosphate (HPO4) are crucial electrolytes that aid in the healthy functioning of the body. Losing of bodily fluids through activities results in electrolyte loss causing conditions like dehydration, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. Additionally, a person suffering from acute electrolyte loss is likely to be under an improper balance suffering from headaches, muscle cramps, fatigue, dehydration and in some cases even seizures.

Grueling physical activities like long-distance running and cycling etc. lead massive loss of electrolytes from the body. Various electrolyte replacements available in the form of electrolyte drinks, powder mixes, dissolvable tablets, performance chews, jelly beans, and supplements can be consumed to make up for such loss. Electrolyte replacements are taken in many forms- the most common of which are powders, tablets, and hydrating drinks. Let us go through their relative pros and cons to arrive at some conclusion.

Electrolyte Powders:

  1. The powders simply require you to mix the stated volume of water and make the drink that helps you replenish electrolytes in your body.
  2. There is some amount of risk involved as the product may not work very well if the compositions are incorrect.
  3. The quantity is usually more than the drinks and the tablets which makes it affordable,
  4. It is often preferred by athletes since it gives them an option to make a drink according to their taste and results they would like to achieve.
  5. They are easily transferable and easy to carry when traveling. However, it is advised to take the prescription or proof of purchase while traveling abroad.
  6. With powders, you can achieve the desired taste
  7. Every athlete has different requirements. The requirement may also vary on certain days; therefore, powders are preferred as it helps meet their varied requirements.
  8. Using a correct proportion of juice or water with the powder is crucial. The wrong proportion may pose risk to health.
  9. It is essential that you carry clean water or packaged fluids and clean bottle to make the drinks.

Electrolyte tablets:

  1. Give you an option to create an energy drink by just dissolving the tablet in water.
  2. Easy to carry and dissolve easily owing to their small size.
  3. They come in different flavors, which enhance the taste and provide necessary electrolytes to the body.
  4. They are usually as good as the hypertonic and isotonic drinks.
  5. Due to the convenience and ease of use, it is used extensively.
  6. One only requires a bottle and clean water.

Electrolyte drinks:

  1. Often called ready to drink beverages as they do not require anything to be added.
  2. Can be consumed directly from the bottle making it convenient to use.
  3. They are produced keeping in mind the requirements of the athletes – so all you got to do is drink up.
  4. Come in nice and convenient packaging to keep it from spilling and can be carried easily.
  5. While traveling, it can be bulky and add up a lot of weight to the luggage.
  6. The drinks usually taste good and are also very hydrating.
  7. Ease of availability – can be brought off the stores and discarded after consumption, unlike the counterparts.

Choosing out of the three is a matter of convenience and personal choice, Electrolyte drinks are however most popular and are also the most popular buys.