In this article:
- What Does Your Body Need to Stay Hydrated?
- What Are Electrolytes?
- Different Types of Electrolytes
- Cure vs. Nuun vs. Liquid IV: A Deep Dive
- Which Electrolyte Supplement Is Best?
Many people are starting to realize the importance of supplementing with electrolytes. Electrolytes not only keep you hydrated but can seriously improve everything from your workout performance to your energy levels to your cognitive function.
To help you pick the best electrolyte supplement for you, we compiled a brief guide that compares the three most popular brands on the market today. Read on to discover how Cure, Nuun, and Liquid I.V. stack up against each other and which one you should go for.
Hydrating Electrolyte Mix
What Does Your Body Need to Stay Hydrated?
Before we get to talking about electrolytes, let’s briefly talk about what hydration is in the first place. You might know that the human body is about 60% water, which has hundreds of vital functions.
Even a 1% reduction in your total body water can have noticeable effects on your body and brain. For this reason, your body tries to keep your water supply as balanced as possible. It does so by regulating your thirst.
The process goes something like this: When you lose more fluids than you take in, your body sends signals to your brain that make you feel thirsty. When you start drinking, your body regulates when you’ve had enough and sends signals to your brain to make you feel satisfied. While thirst doesn’t always indicate dehydration, your body is likely already dehydrated by the time you feel thirsty.
Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it had a chance to replenish. This can be a potentially serious condition and is most often caused by a hot climate, excessive sweating, diuretic medications, and—of course—not drinking enough.
There are several forms of dehydration:
- Isotonic: This occurs when your body loses equal parts water and necessary electrolytes (more on this later!).
- Hypertonic: This happens when your body loses more water than electrolytes.
Hypotonic: This happens when your body loses more electrolytes than water.
So, while it may seem like dehydration is the simple process of not getting enough water, there’s an equally important factor in the equation: electrolytes. Your body needs both water and the proper ratio of electrolytes in order to stay hydrated.
What Are Electrolytes?
Let’s briefly go back to our high school chemistry class to answer this question. You might remember that electrolytes are salts that produce ions—or electrically-charged molecules—when they’re dissolved in water. These ions have a positive or negative charge—hence the name electrolytes.
When it comes to the electrolytes that we put into our body, we’re talking about minerals that are dissolved in our body’s fluids. These minerals conduct electricity, which is the main way that our cells communicate with one another.
We’ll spare you the details of this incredibly sophisticated process. But keep in mind that electricity allows your cells to send impulses to each other, which is at the crux of our body’s functions. Thanks to these electrical impulses, your heart can beat, your lungs can breathe, and you’re able to think—in addition to performing many other actions of the brain.
If you lose too many electrolytes through the skin, gastrointestinal tract, or kidneys, you’ll experience a variety of side effects. Your heart won’t work as well, your blood pressure will drop, you might have trouble breathing, and you might experience some serious brain fog. While severe dehydration is not incredibly common, it’s extremely dangerous and can even lead to death.
Different Types of Electrolytes
With a good overview of the importance of electrolytes, let’s take a look
at six of the most essential ones and the roles they play within your body.
Hydrating Electrolyte Mix
Sodium is one of the most important electrolytes in the body. It’s responsible for maintaining the proper amount of fluid outside of your cell and for regulating the electrical signals between the cells.
Amongst all the electrolyte disorders, a sodium deficiency—called hyponatremia—is the most common. The symptoms of hyponatremia are mostly neurological and include headaches, confusion, and even delirium.
Hyponatremia can occur when you lose too much of your body’s water supplies without replenishing the sodium. It can also happen when you drink too much plain water without added electrolytes. You should get about 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day depending on your activity level
Potassium lives mainly inside your cells and works with sodium to generate electrical impulses in your body and brain. A deficiency in potassium can lead to problems with the heart, which mainly includes heart palpitations.
If you’re deficient in potassium, you may experience weakness, fatigue, and muscle twitching. You should get about 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day.
We all know that calcium is necessary for healthy bones. It helps with remineralizing all the bone in your body—in addition to your pearly whites. Calcium also helps your body with muscle contractions, hormone secretions, and transmission of nerve signals between cells.
You mostly get your calcium from your diet, which is absorbed by the intestine (a process regulated by vitamin D). While a calcium deficiency is most damaging over the long term—since it results in weaker bones—it can also quickly manifest as muscle cramping, fatigue, and irritability. You need about 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day.
Magnesium is mainly responsible for regulating neurotransmitters, such as GABA—which makes you feel relaxed. It also regulates hormones such as melatonin, which helps you sleep at night. Aside from its neurological effects, magnesium also helps your muscles relax.
If you’re deficient in magnesium, you may feel muscle spasms and even experience heart palpitations. You need about 400 milligrams of magnesium per day.
Phosphate is an important mineral—a type of electrolyte—that is mostly found in your bones and teeth. It regulates many metabolic processes and is one of the building blocks of your DNA. If you’re deficient in phosphate, you may experience significant weakness in your muscles. You need about 1,000 milligrams of phosphate per day.
This electrolyte is key in maintaining the internal and external fluid balance of your cells. It also helps your body maintain a proper pH balance, which keeps it from becoming either too acidic or too alkaline.
If you’re deficient in chloride, your blood may become too alkaline—the opposite of acidic. As a result, you may experience mental confusion, heart palpitations, and muscle spasms. You need about 2,300 milligrams of chloride per day.
Cure vs. Nuun vs. Liquid IV: A Deep Dive
Now that we have a good overview of electrolytes and an idea of how much we need, let’s dive right into comparing the three most popular electrolyte supplement brands. Here’s how they stack up in some major categories.
This supplement was originally created as a hangover remedy, which is why it contains B vitamins and vitamin C. However, it can be used for many purposes, including as a post-workout recovery supplement. That said, it’s fairly high in sugar, which is something the fitness aficionados amongst us might want to avoid.
- Electrolytes: Potassium (380 mg), Sodium (510 mg).
- Other Ingredients: Vitamin C, Vitamins B3, B5, B6, and B12, Vitamin C, Stevia, Natural Flavors, Cane Sugar, Mined Salt.
- Sugar Per Serving: 11 Grams.
- Form: Powder Sticks.
- Flavors: Caramel Apple, Piña Colada, Strawberry, Golden Cherry, Watermelon, Passion Fruit, Açai Berry, Apple Pie, Lemon Lime, Guava.
- Cost: $24.99 for 10 Packets.
Nuun is mainly focused on workout recovery. It contains a substantial amount of sodium—which is the electrolyte that’s mainly lost through sweat.
However, because it uses Stevia to add sweetness, it’s very low in sugar. Glucose—in small amounts—is a necessary ingredient to aid with fluid absorption, which is one fault we find with this electrolyte supplement.
- Electrolytes: Sodium (300 mg), Potassium (150 mg), Magnesium (25 mg), Chloride (40 mg), Calcium (13 mg).
- Other Ingredients: Citric Acid, Dextrose (Corn Sugar), Natural Flavors, Beet Powder, Avocado Oil, Stevia.
- Sugar Per Serving: One Gram.
- Form: Dissolvable Tablet.
- Flavors: Citrus Fruit, Fruit Punch, Grape, Lemon Lime, Orange, Strawberry Lemonade, Tri-Berry, Tropical, Watermelon.
- Cost: $7 for 10 Tablets.
Cure is the only formula that’s made entirely with plant-based ingredients that are rich in naturally-occurring nutrients. As such, it uses sustainably-sourced coconut water and Himalayan pink salt.
To add flavors, colors, and sweetness, only plant-based and all-natural ingredients are used. This formula contains just the right amount of naturally occurring sugar to aid with fluid absorption through the glucose transport mechanism.
- Electrolytes: Potassium (310 mg), Sodium (240 mg).
- Other Ingredients: Organic Coconut Water Powder, Watermelon Juice Powder, Non-GMO Citric Acid, Pink Himalayan Salt, Organic Watermelon Flavor, Sodium Citrate, Organic Stevia Extract, Lemon Juice Powder, Beet Powder, Monk Fruit Extract.
- Sugar Per Serving: Four Grams.
- Form: Powder Packet.
- Flavors: Endless Summer (Watermelon), Wild Thing (Berry Pomegranate), Main Squeeze (Lemon), Ruby Riot (Grapefruit), and Golden Hour (Ginger Turmeric).
- Cost: $20.99 for 14 Packets (Discounts Available).
Which Electrolyte Supplement Is Best?
While all three electrolyte supplements are solid choices, there are several reasons why Cure comes out on top. It’s made with all-natural ingredients, it contains just the right amount of glucose, and it contains the ideal balance of electrolytes.
If you’re passionate about wellness, you would most likely prefer to use all-natural ingredients that nourish your body. Cure never uses anything synthetic or artificial. Instead, our formula is made with sustainably-sourced coconuts and Himalayan pink salt. For this reason, you can be sure that you’re putting only the healthiest ingredients into your body.
In addition, Cure is made using the perfect ratio of key ingredients to get you hydrated. With three grams of naturally occurring glucose, you can be sure that your body is efficiently getting fluids to your cells—without hindering your workout progress.
Hydrating Electrolyte Mix
In addition, the ratio of potassium to sodium that you need is roughly two to one. This is exactly what Cure contains—unlike other electrolyte supplements that contain a much higher ratio of sodium.
Hydrate With Cure
With all of the electrolyte supplements available on the market, it might be hard to choose which one to go for. Cure offers a delicious electrolyte powder that will get you hydrated quickly while keeping you on top of your wellness game. Plus, it comes in a variety of flavors, so you never get bored!
Effects of Dehydration on Brain Functioning: A Life-Span Perspective | Karger Publishers
Calcium Absorption - An Overview | ScienceDirect Topics