I used to get terrible muscle cramps during workouts until I realized I wasn’t properly replenishing electrolytes. In this article, I’ll cover whether popular energy drinks like Monster actually contain electrolytes, and how to know if you have an imbalance. I’ve tried countless sports and energy drinks over the years to find out: do energy drinks have electrolytes? Learn which electrolyte drinks provide the biggest bang for your buck.
Do Energy Drinks Have Electrolytes?
Most energy drinks contain electrolytes, although each mineral’s exact composition and amount inside each drink varies from brand to brand.
Electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, and phosphorus. These minerals play vital roles in the body, including aiding fluid balance, nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction, and DNA synthesis.
Let’s dive into what to consider when you’re looking for an energy drink and what the best drinks with electrolytes are so you can find the perfect option for your needs and preferences.
The Electrolyte Myth of Hydration Science
Many people believe that electrolyte-containing energy drinks are necessary to stay properly hydrated and consume enough minerals for the body’ needs.
While sports and energy drinks are a great way to rehydrate and increase your electrolyte intake, they’re not completely necessary. You can achieve a well-hydrated state without any energy drinks!
Contrary to popular belief, you can get all of the fluids and minerals you need without an energy drink in sight! Plain water is enough to avoid thirst and dehydration. You can include more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to increase your intake of electrolytes and other micronutrients.
What to Look For in an Electrolyte Drink
You can use electrolyte drinks to rehydrate yourself and increase your mineral intake. However, with so many electrolyte drinks to try, how do you know which is the most effective and suitable for you?
Here are some important factors to consider when you’re searching for the best electrolyte drink.
Glucose is often a key ingredient in energy drinks because it adds flavor and boosts energy. It’s an essential rehydration component as it helps create a concentration gradient in the intestines that causes more water to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
The body’s primary source of energy is glucose, so a sugar-containing electrolyte drink is perfect during and after workouts when you need to replenish lost water and glycogen. However, some electrolyte drinks contain more sugar than is necessary, so be aware of this when choosing a specific brand.
Mineral Content and Composition
Essential electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, and phosphorus. Search for a drink that contains adequate amounts of each of these minerals to maximize your nutrient intake.
However, some electrolyte drinks may not contain all these minerals and will only have the ‘main’ or most important ones for rehydration, which are sodium, potassium, and chloride. So, if you can’t find an all-encompassing electrolyte drink on the shelves, just make sure it has sodium, potassium, and chloride at the very least.
If your main goal is to build muscle, you might want to search for an energy drink that contains a higher-than-average amount of protein or branched-chain amino acids. Added protein can support glycogen resynthesis, protein remodeling, and muscle growth.
Best Energy Drinks With Electrolytes
So, what are the best energy drinks that contain electrolytes? Below, we’ve listed the best electrolyte energy drinks for hydration, energy boosting, and mood enhancement.
The best source of electrolytes for hydration is good old water. Plain water rehydrates the body and provides a range of essential minerals that help to replenish lost electrolytes and restore balance in the body.
For even better effects, choose mineral water that has been supplemented with additional electrolytes.
Fast-Acting, Long-Lasting Energy
Some of the best electrolyte energy drinks for providing quick and long-lasting energy include the Skratch Labs Sports Hydration Drink and the Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Hydration Powder. Both of these supplements contain ingredients that support energy production and glycogen replenishment for maximum exercise performance and recovery.
For those of you looking for a drink that boosts your mood and provides fluids and electrolytes, the Tailwind Energy Caffeinated Endurance Fuel Drink is a great option. The added caffeine boosts energy and mood, improving mental focus and enabling you to challenge yourself to the max in your workout.
What Happens When You Have an Electrolytes Imbalance?
You’ll be able to tell if you have an electrolyte imbalance or deficiency due to the range of symptoms that result from inadequate electrolyte levels in the body. Each electrolyte plays essential roles and functions, so a lack of just one or two of them can cause various side effects and symptoms.
The most common side effects of electrolyte imbalances include headaches, fatigue, dizziness, muscle cramps and aches, tingling in the limbs or numbness in the hands and feet, and changes in digestion. It’s important to know how often should you supplement with electrolytes and what does should you take.
Here are some common questions and answers relating to electrolyte drinks.
Do Monster Energy Drinks Have Electrolytes?
Most Monster energy drinks contain electrolytes, such as Monster Hydro, which also contains B vitamins and branched-chain amino acids. However, their electrolyte content is relatively low compared to other energy drinks on the market. There are electrolytes that can increase muscle hydration and endurance.
Do Sports Drinks Really Replenish Electrolytes?
Sports drinks are appropriate for hydration during and after a workout, where it can really replenish electrolytes. It is essential in supporting exercise performance and overall health. Although not every brand of electrolyte drink contains every electrolyte that your body needs, most contain sodium, potassium, and chloride at the very least. However, too much consumption can overdose you on electrolyte drinks.
How Do You Know If You Are Low on Electrolytes?
Some of the main signs of electrolyte imbalances and deficiencies include fatigue, dizziness, headaches, water retention (edema), muscle aches, muscle cramps, and numbness or tingling in the fingers and toes.
Most energy drinks contain electrolytes, although each electrolyte’s exact composition and amounts vary from brand to brand. Make sure to check which electrolytes an energy drink has before choosing it over other options to ensure you’re maximizing your mineral intake.