Looking for ways to increase hydration on the trails? I’m breaking down the best electrolytes for hiking so you can stay hydrated and energized throughout your day hike. Best of all, they are vegan and cruelty-free!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to make a purchase. These are products I’ve personally used or would use myself and stand behind. You can read disclaimer here.
Having an electrolyte imbalance with not enough essential electrolytes in the body can lead to dehydration, muscle cramps, and fatigue. You typically lose electrolytes through sweating which is why it’s important to always stay hydrated during physical activity – indoors or out.
The last thing you want is to end up miles into your hike and not be able to make it back.
Electrolyte replacements aren’t the only option. There are other alternatives with natural ingredients that help supplement electrolytes for optimal performance. I will cover those in this article as well.
At the end of the day, maintaining hydration (especially in extreme heat) during a hike, a long run, or even just an hour of exercise, is essential for electrolyte balance in the body. This will help boost energy levels and build momentum that will allow you to go further in your chosen activity.
9 Best Electrolytes for Hiking
I’ve rounded up some of the best electrolytes hydration mixes to help increase energy and keep you going longer on the trails.
And if you struggle with drinking plain water, electrolyte supplements are a great way to infuse your water with flavor to make it easier to drink. This will ensure you get plenty of water as well as help balance the body’s electrolyte levels.
It’s a win-win.
Hydrate Organic Electrolyte Powder
Hydrate is a certified organic vegan, gluten and soy-free electrolyte powder developed for all lifestyles. It’s an excellent source of hydration and electrolytes plus sea minerals to help you replenish lost nutrients.
It comes in a blend of natural ingredients including Himalayan salt, coconut water, stevia, and lemon juice with no artificial flavors or sweeteners. In addition to only containing 1 gram of sugar. It also contains vitamin C to help boost immunity and protect you from cell damage.
The added lemon juice gives the powder a light, fresh lemonade-type flavor for a smooth refreshing taste.
Hydrate is an eco-friendly option providing an easy way to stay hydrated and replenish electrolytes. All you have to do is mix 1 tbsp of powder with 16 ounces of water or juice for optimal results.
Nectar Hydration Electrolytes Powder
Nectar Hydration is a vegan and clean version of electrolytes formulated by a team of scientists and doctors with 4 times the electrolytes than your typical sports drink. It was developed with the intention of hydrating the body more efficiently than water sources alone.
Designed for daily use with no sugar, calories, and only real food ingredients, Nectar hydration packets are great for hiking or in your day-to-day activities. And as far as flavor goes, I love that they use organic fruit for a refreshing and natural taste. A major plus!
DripDrop Hydration Powder
DripDrop Hydration is a vegan, doctor-formulated powder intended to help with dehydration while delivering 3x the electrolytes and half the sugar as sports drinks.
It uses what is called the “sodium-glucose cotransport system” to rehydrate and accelerate the absorption of fluids. While also providing essential electrolytes including vitamin C for maximum immune support.
You can easily replenish hydration by mixing in one packet of your favorite tasting flavor with only 8 ounces of water.
Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator
Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator is plant-based, Informed Choice certified, vegan, and contains no artificial colors or flavors. It’s also gluten and soy free with only 5 calories per serving and 120-130 mg of potassium.
In addition to 240-250 mg of sodium, 20mg of magnesium, and 50mg of calcium which also serves as an immune booster.
Enjoy by mixing one scoop with 16 ounces of cold water in your reusable water bottle. Consume during and after hiking or other activities to prevent dehydration.
It’s naturally tasty and delicious so there is no need for added sugar.
Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier
Liquid I.V. is a vegan electrolyte drink mix with no artificial sweeteners as well as non-GMO, gluten, and soy-free.
Just one packet contains five essential vitamins including B12 and vitamin C offering 3x the electrolytes than your typical sports drink. All while providing twice the hydration than drinking water alone.
It comes in a variety of flavors to choose from such as citrus fruit lemon lime, acai berry, passion fruit, and watermelon among many others making it easy to change it up. Plus, they come in a small stick hydration pack so you can easily stash as many as you’d like in your hiking bag.
Simply add a packet to your water bottle with 16 ounces of water and you are good to go!
LyteLine LytePow! Ionic Electrolyte Powder Mix
LytePow electrolyte powder is a hydration supplement with a proprietary sea mineral blend to quickly help replace electrolytes lost from sweating. It’s perfect for hiking, trail runs, and post-workout recovery. Not only for endurance athletes but outdoor enthusiasts as well.
With LytePow you won’t get unnecessary junk stuff added to it like ordinary low-quality electrolyte drink mixes. Just the most important electrolytes with high-quality ingredients to help replenish the body’s water levels – clean and plant-based.
Nuun Sport Tablets
Nuun tablets are vegan, non-GMO and use no artificial flavors or sweeteners. They’re not only a flavorful and hydrating combination of electrolytes, they’re also a great option for ease of use.
You simply drop a tablet in your water bottle and let it dissolve. Making it a perfect choice for hiking, exercise, and supplementing on the run. Nuun Sport is also certified by Informed Choice.
Sold in a variety pack or single tube.
Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Hydration Powder
The Ultima Replenisher powder comes in a variety of stick packs or in single packs offering a lot of electrolytes at zero calories. It is also vegan and available in a wide variety of flavors so there is plenty to choose from.
With so many tasty options, you’ll never get bored!
It’s an easy way to get optimal hydration with zero grams of sugar, zero carbs, and unnecessary calories. It is also naturally sweetened with organic stevia leaf and uses real fruit extracts to infuse the flavor.
Drink this to enhance hydration on the trails and fuel your energy without having to consume a lot of water. Depending on the temperatures and how much you are sweating of course!
Just add a stick pack to 16 fluid ounces of water and you will buy yourself hydration time versus shoving a lot of water down your throat. Long days of hiking or just being outdoors on hot days can catch up to you.
Better safe than sorry!
TruWild Hydrate Electrolytes & Amino Acids
TruWild Hydrate is a vegan, plant-based electrolytes powder developed for daily use. In addition to electrolytes, TruWild has added amino acids for optimal muscle and recovery support.
The all-natural hydration and electrolyte drink mix provides essential vitamins and minerals to help support strenuous exercise and outdoor activity. Specifically designed for adventure seekers and fitness training for both women and men.
This product is non-GMO, organic, gluten-free, and includes vitamin C, B6, and B12 to name a few. It’s also easy to mix with just 1 scoop of powder and 6-10 ounces of cold water.
5 Main Electrolytes
Electrolytes are essential minerals that carry an electric charge to help regulate the body’s functions and maintain a neutral fluid balance. There is no single main electrolyte that overpowers the rest as they all serve an important purpose.
The 5 main electrolytes are:
Electrolytes and Their Functions
These electrolytes are essential for various bodily functions and can lead to serious health conditions if not balanced properly. For example, low electrolyte levels can not only lead to dehydration but can also result in a dangerous condition that can further complicate your health.
Signs and symptoms to look out for:
- high blood pressure
- abnormal heart rate
- mental imbalance and confusion
- muscle weakness
The good news is, you can easily get electrolytes from various plant-based foods and drinks. However, if you experience any of the symptoms listed above, be sure to seek medical attention right away.
Natural Drink Options
The best way to replenish essential nutrients and electrolytes is by consuming them straight from the source. While there are several drink options out there you can stash in your backpack, the best electrolyte drink is that which comes from fruit.
There is absolutely no replacement for nature’s own. Plus, it’s what the body thrives off of and absorbs much faster. Especially in its raw food state.
The following 3 are my go-to drink options:
1. Coconut Water is a great option for boosting electrolytes including potassium, sodium, and magnesium. Just make sure it is 100% coconut water with no additional ingredients. Preferably directly from the coconut itself. Coconuts can be found at most grocery stores and if you prefer a sweeter coconut taste, Thai coconuts are the best!
Another pure form of coconut water is Harmless Harvest which is one of my best coconut water recommendations.
2. Watermelon Juice is a great source of hydration and electrolytes providing potassium and magnesium which are essential for nerve and muscle function. It’s also an excellent source of iron and other essential vitamins including A and C.
3. Cactus Water is my most recent favorite addiction for hydration and added electrolytes. It’s one I highly recommend giving a try if you don’t like the taste of water. I recently discovered it in the Keys and came in handy while paddling all day!
While these are my top picks for natural drink options, electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium can also be found in orange juice. Additionally, you can add a spoonful of sea moss gel for an added boost of electrolytes.
To ensure you are not missing out on any nutrients and are keeping your electrolytes in check, it’s a good idea to include a variety of fruit in your hiking bag. You can thank me later!
This is if you prefer taking the all-natural, healthiest route of course.
Some Food Options To Replace Electrolytes For Your Hiking Trip
If you want a food alternative for electrolytes, you can opt for packing a hiking lunch and snacks instead. Taking electrolytes is a personal preference, not essential. But you can always pack additional electrolytes just in case.
Personally, I prefer packing up lunches and snacks like fruit or energy bars on a long hike along with my reusable bottle of water. Especially in hot weather, when you are prone to burn calories and energy much faster.
Opting for natural food sources like fruits and veggies, will keep you full and hydrated much longer. Plus, you’ll be replenishing lost electrolytes you sweat along the way.
Here are a few options to consider:
Spinach, kale, or collard greens are great in veggie sandwiches or in wraps and are a good source of calcium and magnesium.
Bananas make a great snack and are loaded with potassium.
Mangoes, guava, avocado, apricots, and pears are also packed with a chock-full of potassium as well as magnesium, and sodium.
And the list goes on!
What I typically like to do when I plan a hiking trip is fuel up with a smoothie loaded with natural electrolytes and hydration beforehand. And when I say, natural electrolytes, I mean fruit.
I also pack up a small cooler with watermelon juice so I have that waiting for me when I get back. Ready to rehydrate and recharge! In addition to that, I add in fruit snacks and a hydrating electrolyte lunch as well.
I’ve added lots of ideas for hiking lunches and snacks in the article below.
FAQs about the Best Electrolytes for Hiking
Do Electrolytes Rehydrate Faster Than Water?
If you are in a state of mild dehydration, electrolyte supplements will help you rehydrate much faster than just water. No matter how much water you drink in one shot, water alone will not help you at this point.
Dehydration is not something to take lightly. It can sneak up on you when you least expect it, so having electrolytes ready to recharge your system is highly beneficial.
Do I Really Need Electrolytes For Hiking?
Absolutely. Staying hydrated is not an option.
Whether you go for strenuous or beginner hikes, the body will deplete fluids as you go. Especially in hotter climates. Therefore, it is super important to maintain good levels of electrolytes to avoid running into unnecessary emergencies that could easily be prevented.
Keeping the body hydrated and fueled with electrolytes will also ensure you make the best of your hike and enjoy it while you’re at it.
Should I drink electrolytes while hiking?
You should definitely drink electrolytes while your hiking. It’s the best way to ensure you stay hydrated. Particularly if you are one who tends to sweat a lot.
Furthermore, if your body is not in a good state of hydration and has a low level of electrolytes, it will deplete your energy and slow you down.
Is Coconut Water a Good Electrolyte Replacement?
Coconut water is an excellent source of electrolyte replacement as it contains generous amounts of potassium, calcium, and sodium. It is among the most popular all-natural electrolyte drinks. But as stated earlier, just make sure it is 100% coconut water without any other ingredients added to it.
The best coconut water will always come straight from the source or if you go for Harmless Harvest, it comes pretty darn close to it!
What electrolyte is best for backcountry hiking?
If you’re going on a backcountry hiking trip, I would recommend packing up some electrolyte tablets or powder packs for easy access. This way you don’t get bogged down with bottles and containers. Depending on what you are hauling.
If you can throw in some coconut water, I would highly recommend it. That, in addition to electrolyte foods and snacks.
How do you make electrolyte water for hiking?
Making your own electrolyte water is easy. Below is a simple electrolyte recipe you can make yourself.
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cups distilled water (100% raw coconut water)
- 2 tbsp date syrup
- 1/8 tsp Himalayan Pink salt (it contains 84 trace minerals)
Blend all ingredients until well blended then store in your reusable water bottle or in airtight mason jars if you want to keep it in your cooler. Unless of course, you have a backpack cooler.
You can also add sea moss for additional nutrients and minerals or simply mix it in with 100% natural fruit juices like coconut, watermelon, and orange juice.
Pin to Pinterest