The main electrolytes ⚡️
Before we delve into these electrolyte drinks without sugar, let’s actually define what an electrolyte is! An electrolyte is a mineral that gets an electrical charge called an ion when it’s dissolved in water. Yes– they’re literally able to conduct an electrical current! Electrolytes can help:
- Improve nerve and muscle function
- Hydrate you
- Regulate your internal pH
- Support you from oxidate stress (like from being sick, or after exercising)
The main electrolytes are:
This baby is mainly present in salt. If you have too much salt, you could suffer from things like high blood pressure or heart issues, and if you don’t have enough, you could suffer from exhaustion, nausea, or headaches.
You might know potassium from the humble banana ?, which many people say to eat after exercising or if your muscles are cramping (now you know why– electrolytes, baby!). Potassium can support your kidneys, support bone health, and manage your blood sugar.
More and more people are associating magnesium with the supplement to take before you to go sleep, but many might not know that it’s also an electrolyte! You’ll find this baby in nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and leafy greens.
You probably know calcium for bone support ?, but did you know it was also an electrolyte? (You might have; I didn’t). She helps keep the bones, tissues, nerves, and muscles healthy and flexible.
The second part of table salt (sodium chloride), you’ll also find this electrolyte in seaweed, olives, and lettuce. I imagine it’s rare to be chloride deficient since the standard American diet has so much salt in it!
This is the electrically charged version of phosphorous, which supports bones, teeth, DNA, and RNA. In a plant-based diet, you’ll find phosphate in lentils, cashews, and russet potatoes.
Known as a performance enhancer, bicarbonates (found in sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda), are a buffer to acids in the body. You might have taken something like this when you were feeling sick to even out the extra acidity in your gut. There are really interesting studies that talk about using sodium bicarbonates to aid in cancer tumor treatments, too.
+ 8. Hydrogen
This is actually one of the strongest antioxidants out of all of them. Its biggest use is therapeutically in hydrogen water, which I’d know nothing about until about a few weeks ago, helping with overall oxidative stress as well as a lot of other
The problem with most electrolyte drinks
It took a lot of writing and deleting to complete this blog post, I’ll be honest. I didn’t do thorough enough research before I really started compiling this list. Sure, I immediately alleviated any options that had artificial sweeteners, boasted themselves like most “sports drinks” (no thanks, Gatorade), and had any “natural flavors,” no matter how appealing watermelon lime or blueberry peach may sound! I wanted this to solely be sugar-free electrolyte drinks.
So sure, I felt like I was all set. But then, the dreaded two ingredients that you’ll find in almost every electrolyte drink:
- Natural flavoring/flavors
- Citric acid
Let’s hit “natural flavors” first. According to NIH,
In reality, “natural flavors” are a far cry from what consumers might expect, as they can contain both artificial and synthetic chemicals (often used as processing aids). Nonetheless, without a legally binding Natural regulation, there has been little opportunity to contest the naturalness of natural flavors in the past.
So, yeah. Anything with natural flavors in it, I run. There are a few exceptions for when I’m really feeling like I need something sweet (hi Smart Sweets, don’t @ me), I’ve cut it completely from our kitchen.
Then, there’s citric acid (the additive in foods, not the natural acid in fruits).
NIH again, says:
Approximately 99% of the world’s production of MCA is carried out using the fungus Aspergillus niger since 1919. Aspergilus niger is a known allergen. The FDA placed MCA under the category of GRAS without any research to substantiate this claim. In 2016, 2.3 million tons of MCA were produced, predominantly in China, and approximately 70% is used as a food or beverage additive. There have been no scientific studies performed to evaluate the safety of MCA when ingested in substantial amounts and with chronic exposure.
So… yeah. Never think that the FDA has your back. They don’t.
So, let’s get back to compiling this list of drinks, powders, and major electrolytes that don’t contain any of these. It was tricky, but aside from all of these being gluten-free and vegan, they also of course don’t have added sugar, artificial colors, or anything you wouldn’t feed a kid!
The 5 best all-natural electrolyte drinks without sugar (ranked from favorite to least!)
1. Molecular hydrogen water
What it is:
Molecular hydrogen water is water that received an extra electron from the hydrogen to create diatomic molecular hydrogen gas through what’s called electrolysis. If you understand that electrolytes are minerals that get an electrical charge added to them, then it makes sense that through electrolysis, or adding an electrical charge to the water, you’re creating an electrolyte: molecular hydrogen water.
There have been so many success stories of people who’ve found solace in their chronic diseases, pain, and even cancer protocols by drinking hydrogen water– it’s one of the most powerful electrolytes of all of them, and if you have a water ionizer at home, you’re able to get electrolytes every time you drink your water! It’s crazy! Plus, you don’t have to worry about whether it’s keto-friendly, is low-sugar, or adds to your daily calories– it’s just pure, beautiful water, with therapeutic hydrogen. ?
What a water ionizer is used for (when put on different alkaline levels):
- Sanitizing solutions (bleach-alternative spray, laundry detergent, dishwater liquid)
- Beauty water (for the face, hair, bath, and pets)
- Hydration and food prep (an alternative to your tap or filtered water!)
- Cleaning food, food prep, stain removing
This is definitely an oversimplification of what a water ionizer can do– I’d definitely suggest watching Amanda Bobbett’s Youtube channel as she’s given so much amazing information about hydrogen water and the main source of all of these amazing types of alkaline, acidic, and hydrogen water usages.
There are a ton of places you can purchase hydrogen water. I’m currently doing my research on the best ones for us, and so far, I’ve found a few options that I’m considering:
Healthy Hydration Hydra-Home Unit ($1,795)
Plus, with the right upkeep, you really don’t have to worry about dehydration, because you can always literally refill your glass with more electrolytes as long as you’re home! A hydrogen bottle is also an option for a lower price tag, but it won’t have the variability of alkalinity that the machine will have.
What it is:
They deem themselves “Salty AF,” because they prioritize the sodium chloride part of the electrolyte! Although all of their powder blends are sugar-free, most of them have citric acid, which is actually black mold. The only one that doesn’t is the unflavored one, which is why I’d recommend that over the other ones.
What it’s for:
The LMNT co-founder Robb Wolf developed LMNT as a way to get proper hydration after his exercises when undergoing intense training. His diet– primarily made up of low carbs– wasn’t cutting it, and eventually he developed LMNT to help restore his energy (along with other athletes like him).
What it is:
You’ll find that this has a majority of the electrolyte types: potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium, along with L-Tyrosine, which helps produce neurotransmitters like dopamine.
What it’s for:
Replenishing electrolytes during the most high-energy moments of the day. In fact, you can take up to 10 per day depending on how much you need.
What it is:
A supplement made “by athletes for athletes,” this particular supplement is solely magnesium– that’s it! You can use it before bed, or throughout the day.
What it’s for:
Focusing mainly on the magnesium part of the electrolyte collection!
5. All-Natural Electrolyte Drink (Maple Syrup + Trace Minerals)
Wholefully’s recipe includes all-natural salt, lemon and lime juice, filtered water, liquid trace minerals, and maple syrup to taste. The electrolyte in here is sodium!
Here are some other common ingredients in electrolyte drink mixtures:
- Coconut water
- Celtic sea salt
- Himalayan pink salt
So… what are you looking to get your hydration these days? And how are you looking to restore your electrolytes– through a powder, supplement, or a water ionizer machine?
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