Low Calorie Alternatives to Sports Electrolyte Drinks

Affiliate Disclosure

Articles, Nutrition

[leadplayer_vid id=”50DB03905E815″]


In a previous article on sports drinks, I discussed the fact that preventing dehydration isn’t the only goal of a sports drink, since electrolytes in sports drinks maintain proper mineral levels for nervous system function and muscle contractions.

Sugar in sports drinks (usually in the form of a simple carbohydrate) provides energy for intense exercise, and since the body only stores enough glucose for about 90 minutes of exercise, consuming carbohydrates from sports drinks during exercise has a proven benefit.

But after a workout, you may not actually want to consume a full bottle of 200-250 calories of pure sugar mixed with electrolytes, especially if you're planning on sitting down to a “real meal” (for health and weight management reasons, I highly encourage the consumption of real food after exercise as an alternative to engineered food).

In the video above, I present three alternatives: electrolyte tablets, a powdered electrolyte/antioxidant blend, and a liquid mineral source. Here are the nutrition labels/information for all three, along with links to get them (note: I do not make any money or get paid by any of these companies when you click on the links).

nuun Tablet:

Active Ingredients:
Sodium (carbonates) 175.0mg
Potassium (bicarbonate) 50.0mg
Calcium (carbonate) 12.5mg
Magnesium (sulfate) 12.5mg
Vitamin C 37.5mg
Vitamin B2 500mcg
Other Ingredients: Citric acid, sorbitol, sodium carbonate, natural flavors, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, polyethylene glycol, magnesium sulfate, sodium benzoate, calcium carbonate, acesulfame potassium, riboflavin-5-phosphate.

(the “uhydration” blend shown in the video above actually uses stevia, rather than an artificial sweetener)

Solar Synergy (also, reviewed in this article):

Peter Gillham Liquid Minerals:

Supplement Facts
Serving Size: (2 Capfuls) 1 oz
Servings per Container: 32
Calories 20
Total Carbohydrates 5 (0.05%)
69 fully soluble ionic minerals *
*Daily value not established.
Other Ingredients: Purified water, natural vegetable glycerine, sea minerals concentrate (antimony, barium, beryllium, bismuth, boron, bromine, cadmium, calcium, carbon, cerium, cesium, chloride, chromium, cobalt, copper, dysprosium, erbium, europium, gadolinium, gallium, germanium, gold, hafnium, holmium, iodine, indium, iridium, iron, lanthanum, lithium, lutetium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, neodymium, nickel, niobium, osmium, palladium, phosphorus, platinum, potassium, praseodymium, rhenium, rhodium, rubidium, ruthenium, samarium, scandium, selenium, silicon, silver, sodium, strontium, sulfur, tantalum, tellurium, terbium, thallium, thorium, thulium, tin, titanium, tungsten, vanadium, ytterbium, yttrium, zinc and zirconium), citric acid, natural flavor blend, stevia and potassium sorbate.

If you have questions about low-calorie alternatives to sports electrolyte drinks, then leave your comments below!


Ask Ben a Podcast Question

12 thoughts on “Low Calorie Alternatives to Sports Electrolyte Drinks

  1. Burke Robinson says:

    Hey Ben I have a tough mudder coming up in 5 days. What type of pre race diet would you recommend 48 hours out and into race day ?

  2. sklooney731 says:

    How does the Solar Synergy hold up in high heat? I live in TX and most of my electrolyte drinks get really warm during outdoor training (despite adding a lot of ice). I noticed it contains Goat Milk Cream…just curious if that would get kinda nasty in hot weather?

  3. Valentina Soule says:

    Hey, thanks for the post.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.

  4. mairead says:

    HI Ben – I cant find these products in the UK . Can you help me with what i should be looking for rather than just brands please ?

    1. Look for products with ingredients very similar to the labels/ingredients that I've put in the post above…

  5. Kelcey says:

    I usually use hammer electrolytes during my sweat-fest bike workouts. Do you recommend additional electrolytes post workout as well?

    1. Yes, if the workout is 90+minutes, I recommend electrolyte supplementation with the first 20-40ounces of water consumed after the workout.

  6. lucia colbert says:

    Have you ever reviewed "cellfood" ?
    if so how does it compare?

    Also what about the ingredient in the nuun, polyethylene glycol?
    is this not kinda toxic?

    1. I have not reviewed cellfood yet. It is a bit more complex than those mentioned above, since it has added nutrients like amino acids, etc. I'd hazard a guess that it's far more expensive, but I'm not sure.

      As far as PG toxicity, I'll check to see if it is protein bound, which will slow release. PG is GRAS (generally recognized as safe) at smaller doses like this, but i'll do some homework for you.

  7. Cheryl Wood Harris says:

    I'm a marathon walker and walk for several hours at a time in the heat and humidity of Houston. I drink a considerable amount of Gatorade during that time, but would like to stop getting the sugar, and I'm allergic to aspartame. Could I put one of these products into my Camelbak and use it throughout my workout? I can't wait until the end of my walk to replace my electrolytes: I need them continuously after 60-90 minutes.

    1. You could do that, especially at low intensities at which you're primarily oxidizing fat (assuming you're not a "super skinny" person). It would be a good alternative to Gatorade.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *