Best Electrolyte Tablets For Runners

Best Electrolyte Tablets For Runners

You have probably heard a lot about electrolyte tablets and what they can do for your performance as a runner, but if you have never used them before, you may be wondering if all the hype is true. In this post, we will take a look at electrolytes, what they are, and why you might want to use them. 

What Are Electrolyte Tablets And How Do They Work?

Electrolytes are minerals that are found in the blood and which help to regulate various bodily functions including muscle contraction and blood pressure.

The three main electrolytes are:

  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Magnesium

When you have the right balance of electrolytes in your body, it can help to enhance performance and optimise overall health. A lack of electrolytes can lead to dehydration, weakness and fatigue amongst other things.

Unfortunately, when you sweat, your body loses electrolytes, which is why many runners find it useful to consume electrolyte supplements.

Electrolyte tablets are basically supplements you can take to replace any electrolytes you have lost via sweating when you are out running.

Electrolyte tablets work, as mentioned above, by replacing the electrolytes you have lost when exercising. Most electrolyte tablets will require you to dissolve them in water before consuming, but you can also buy electrolyte supplements that do not require dissolving too.

Who Invented Electrolytes?

Although there is some dispute, the first sports drink supplement as we know them today was probably created by Lucozade. Their sports drinks have been around since 1927 and are still popular today.

Alternatively, Gatorade was created in 1965 when University of Florida football coach noticed his players were losing a lot of weight during training and games. 

Since then, many advances have been made and it is more common for electrolytes to be purchased in tablet form, although electrolyte drinks like Lucozade and Gatorade are still popular.

Electrolyte Tablets V Powder?

For the most part, this is really down to personal preference. If you are using dissolvable electrolyte tablets, then you will need to bring fresh water along on your runs just like you would when using electrolyte powders.

Of course, if you do not like to bring anything along with your on your runs, then sourcing a non-dissolvable electrolyte tablet will help you to ditch the water bottle.

Is There A Electrolyte Drink Without Sugar?

Yes, brands like GU Drink Tabs, and High5 Zero are sugar-free, using stevia or artificial sweeteners to make their electrolyte tablets more palatable. So, if you are one of those runners who is trying to keep your calories down, or you are looking to avoid sugar, it is definitely possible to supplement your electrolytes when out running.

Are There Electrolyte Tablets Without Stevia?

Yes, there are several brands of electrolyte tablets that do not contain Stevia, including Skratch Labs Sport and GU Hydration Drink Tablets, but many of them contain sugar instead, so it is important that you always read the labels if you are avoiding one/both.

How Many Electrolyte Tablets Can You Take In A Day?

This varies depending on the product you are using. So, it is important that you check the directions on your supplement’s packaging.

Do You Really Need Electrolyte Tablets?

This is difficult to say because you know your body better than anyone else, if you are regularly out running and you sweat a lot as a result, chances are you could benefit from electrolyte supplements.

This is especially true if you often find yourself feeling weak, dehydrated or experiencing cramps during or after your runs.

We certainly felt better and recovered better when testing all the electrolyte tablets out.

In no particular order, we are going to cover some of our favourite electrolyte tablets:

  • Bix Electrolyte Tablets
  • SiS Go Hydro Hydration Tablets
  • High5 Zero Hydration Tablets
  • OTE Hydro Electrolyte Tablets
  • PowerBar 5 Electrolyte Tablets
  • High 5 Zero Protect
  • Bix Recovery Electrolyte Tablets
  • Nuun Sport Electrolyte Tablets
  • Aptonia Electrolyte Tablets
  • GU Drink Tabs

BIX ELECTROLYTE TABLETS - £10.90 (BEST OVERALL)

bix active electrolyte tablets
 PROS CONS
  • Sugar free - uses Stevia
  • Vegan & Gluten Free
  • 3 Great Flavours Available
  • Athlete tested and developed in German Sports Laboratory. 
  • Delivered from Germany - You need to plan in advance as takes 5-7 days for delivery
  • On the expensive side at 55p per tablet but reflects in quality of ingredients

BIX ACTIVE is a hydration supplement that helps you stay hydrated during physical activity and throughout the day.

BIX suggests for best results consume one tablet of BIX ACTIVE dissolved in 300ml of water anytime during the day.

All Bix products are certified non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free and vegan.

Available flavours include:

  • Grape
  • Grapefruit
  • Cherry

There are 20 tablets in the tube making it 55p per tablet but there are introductory offers available on the website to make it cheaper. 

USAGE NOTE - No more than 5 tablets to be consumed in 1 day. 

 

SiS GO HYDRO ELECTROLYTE TABLETS - £7.39

sis hydro go electrolyte tablet
 PROS CONS
  • Good value and choice of flavours
  • Well known trusted brand
  • Developed for British Olympic team

GO Hydro is designed to ensure you are effectively hydrated to produce your best performance. As an effervescent tablet that readily dissolves in plain water, (simply drop one tablet in your 500 ml water bottle) without the calories.

GO Hydro meets your sodium requirements at a specific concentration (30mmol/L) that is scientifically proven to produce superior hydration compared with water alone.

Developed to keep the British Sailing team optimally hydrated at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Simply drop a tablet into water for effective hydration, with virtually no calories, before and during sports.

Available flavours include:

  • Berry
  • Cola (with caffeine)
  • Lemon
  • Pineapple and Mango
  • Pink Grapefruit
  • Strawberry and Lime

There are 20 tablets in the tube making it 37p per tablet. 

USUAGE NOTE - Do not consume more than 4 tablets a day

 

HIGH5 ZERO HYDRATION ELECTROLYTE TABLETS - £7.39

high5 zero electrolyte tablets
 PROS CONS
  • Good value and choice of flavours
  • Neutral option with no flavour
  • Batch tested option available for professional athletes

High5 ZERO is a refreshing sugar free electrolyte drink with zero calories that makes it simple and easy to stay hydrated. When you sweat, you lose vital minerals so it's important that they are replenished. With key electrolytes, sodium and magnesium, ZERO gives you what water can't.

This scientific formula includes Vitamin C to support a healthy immune system, protect cells from oxidative stress and reduce tiredness and fatigue. The magnesium in ZERO contributes to electrolyte balance, whilst also supporting muscle protein synthesis.

Available flavours include:

  • Blackcurrant
  • Strawberry and Kiwi
  • Berry
  • Citrus
  • Tropical
  • Orange and Cherry
  • Pink Grapefruit
  • Neutral

There are 20 tablets in the tube making it 37p per tablet. 

OTE HYDRO ELECTROLYTE TABLETS - £7.50

 

OTE hydro electrolyte tablets
 PROS CONS
  • 4 great flavours with option of caffeine in pink grapefruit flavour

OTE Sports Hydro Tabs are one of the best ways to help your body rehydrate. Each tablet is naturally flavoured and sweetened and contains the important electrolytes sodium, potassium and magnesium.

With only 8 kcal per tablet, OTE Sports Hydro Tabs have been developed for use during all sports where staying hydrated is important to maintaining performance. They are also perfect for using when you are exercising in hot or humid conditions, or working outdoors.

Available flavours include:

  • Blackcurrant
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Pink Grapefruit (includes caffeine)

20 tablets in a tube making it 38p per tablet but cheaper when you buy cheaper when you buy a box of 6 tubes. 

 

POWERBAR 5 ELECTROLYTE TABLETS - £4.50

powerbar 5 electrolyte tablets
 PROS CONS
  • Natural flavours for a light refreshing taste
  • No aspartame, artificial colours or preservatives
  • Vegan friendly
  • Only a small tube containing 10 tablets increasing plastic wastage

With Powerbar 5 Electrolyte Tablets you can mix yourself a zero calorie sports drink which provides the body with the 5 main electrolytes (sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium and calcium) in the same ratio they are lost through sweat.

Available flavours include:

  • Raspberry-Pomegranate
  • Blackcurrant
  • Mango-Passionfruit

Dissolves really easily and has a light refreshing taste. 

10 tablets per tube making it 45p per tablet.

USAGE NOTE - Recommended no more than 1 tablet per day

AVAILABLE FROM WIGGLE

 

HIGH5 ZERO PROTECT TABLETS - £7.39 (BEST TO USE FOR HOT DRINK)

high5 zero protect electrolyte tablets
 PROS CONS
  • Can be drunk hot
  • Helps increase your immune system
  • Limited flavours

ZERO Protect is an advanced ZERO tablet which not only hydrates you, but also maintains your immune system during and after intense exercise.

You can use this great tasting zero calorie immune electrolyte drink during exercise and throughout the day to rehydrate with vitamins, plant extracts and key electrolytes, including sodium and potassium.

Available flavours include:

  • Orange and Echinacea
  • Turmeric and Ginger

20 tablets per tube making each tablet 36p. 

AVAILABLE FROM HIGH5

 

BIX RECOVERY ELECTROLYTE TABLETS - £6.90 (BEST FOR RECOVERY)

 

bix recovery supplement
 PROS CONS
  • 12 Vitamins, Minerals & Electrolytes in 1 effervescent tablet
  • Reduces muscle cramps, tension and stiffness the next day
  • Great tasting with natural flavours
  • Delivered from Germany - You need to plan in advance as takes 5-7 days for delivery
  • On the expensive side at 69p per tablet but reflects in extra ingredients not found in most electrolyte tablets.

Bix Recovery is developed by sports nutritionists and food scientists with the highest quality ingredients to provide you with the best hydration tablet on the market.

Available flavours include:

  • Mixed Berry
  • Orange and Mango

10 tablets per tube making it 69p per tablet but there are introductory offers on there website making it cheaper. 

bix electrolyte tablets

 

NUUN SPORT ELECTROLYTE TABLETS - £6.99 (BEST FOR PERFORMANCE)

nuun sport electrolyte tablets
 PROS CONS
  • Lots of flavour choices
  • Specialists in electrolyte tablets
  • Expensive but quality ingredients

Grab some Nuun Sport! When you sweat, your body loses vital minerals and electrolytes needed for healthy recovery and lasting performance.

Nuun Sport provides a great balance of ingredients for mineral replenishment and optimal hydration before/during/after your workout.

The option of caffeine in some of the flavours makes this great for race day and before hard sessions.

Available flavours include:

  • Citrus Fruit
  • Fruit Punch
  • Grape
  • Lemon and Lime
  • Orange
  • Strawberry Lemonade
  • Tri-Berry
  • Tropical
  • Watermelon

10 tablets per tube making it 70p per tablet. 

AVAILABLE FROM NUUN SPORT

 

APTONIA ELECTROLYTE TABLETS - £6.99 (BEST VALUE)

aptonia electrolyte tablets
 PROS CONS
  • Great value
  • Stevia instead of sugar for sweetness
  • Added vitamins of B2, B6 and C
  • Limited to just lemon flavour
  • Slightly weak flavouring

Decathlon's team of sports enthusiasts developed these electrolytes to compensate for the loss of minerals during training and runs lasting less than 3 h.

Created by triathletes, these electrolytes compensate for the losses of minerals and eliminate the lactic acid from your body during your training and/or runs lasting less than 3h.

Available flavours include:

  • Lemon

20 tablets per tube making it 35p per tablet. 

AVAILABLE FROM DECATHLON

 

GU ELECTROLYTE TABLETS - £9

GU electrolyte tablets
 PROS CONS
  • Good choice of flavours
  • The most expensive of the tablets we tested
  • Only 12 tablets in each plastic tube increasing plastic waste

GU Hydration Drink Tabs provide a boost to your water by supplementing it with electrolytes for improved performance and recovery.

Each drink tab contains just 10 calories, in addition to 320 milligrams of sodium and 55 milligrams of potassium to help maintain fluid balance and delay fatigue by replacing electrolytes depleted during exercise.

Available flavours include:

  • Lemon/Lime
  • Orange
  • Strawberry Lemonade
  • Tri-Berry

12 tablets per tube making it £1.33 per tablet making it the most expensive tablets we tried.

AVAILABLE FROM GU ENERGY

 

Conclusion

Electrolytes can have a real impact in your performance, the quality of your training and recovery but it comes down to which brand you prefer personally and if you prefer the convenience of electrolyte tablets or powder you can mix in your water. 

    DO USE ELECTROLYTE TABLETS FOR RUNNING?

    If you have any questions you would like to ask about electrolyte tablets, please ask below in the comments.

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