7 best electrolyte drinks 2022 in the UK: Decathlon, OTE and more
Finish a session in a sweat, drink a glass of water – this is standard procedure. But if you regularly train for an hour or more, leaving you drenched in sweat, you need one of our best electrolyte drinks.
Check out our guide to find out when and why you need electrolytes (essential salts and minerals that carry an electrical charge). But in short, when you sweat, your body loses them and they need to be replaced quickly. Sodium, magnesium, potassium, calcium and chloride are all electrolytes.
What are the symptoms of low electrolytes?
David Wiener, training and nutrition specialist at fitness app Freeletics, explains: “Electrolytes are found in cells all over your body, including skin, brain and muscle, and they carry out crucial processes to keep us alive.”
Low electrolyte levels can wreak all kinds of havoc on your performance and recovery – not ideal if you are aiming for new PBs.
“Physical symptoms include dehydration, muscle cramps and weakness, headaches, nausea and dizziness,” he says. “Electrolyte imbalance can also impair cognitive function, affecting your mood, concentration, coordination, and reaction time.”
How can I replace my electrolytes quickly?
Enter electrolyte drinks, designed to help you replace lost electrolytes and replenish your stores mid- or post-workout.
Below, our team of testing experts have listed the best electrolyte powders and tablets to help you get stronger and recover faster during an intense session. Some of them even taste good.
How can I get electrolytes naturally?
If you spend less than an hour exercising moderately, you’re probably getting enough electrolytes from your daily diet.
Sophie Holmes, fitness and nutrition coach, says the best way to recover is with “a balanced meal and plain water”. She recommends focusing on electrolyte-rich foods, such as kale, spinach, broccoli, avocados, almonds and beans.
It’s the endurance fiends who should focus on topping up their salts with electrolyte supplements. If you like long runs and bike rides, intense hikes and high-energy gym sessions — basically, any activity that leaves you exhausted and sweaty — then this is you.
Note that in hot weather, sweaty outdoor sessions lasting longer than 30 minutes may also warrant an increase in electrolytes.
When should I drink electrolytes?
Most guys take post-workout electrolyte supplements to rebalance their levels and rehydrate faster, but Holmes reckons salty sweaters (if your sweat stings or leaves a white residue on your clothes) should gulp one down first. training to give their body a boost. You may want to do the same if you train outdoors in the summer.
If you’re taking on a big challenge or event, then Dr. Sinead Roberts, owner and performance nutritionist at Feed.Fuel.Performance, says salting on the go is essential. “Electrolytes are absolutely crucial during endurance and ultra-endurance exercise, when you can’t wait for the salt afterwards, you need it to keep going.”
How we test
For 2022 men’s health Sports Nutrition Awards, we recruited a panel of 200 fitness enthusiasts and industry experts to test a range of market-leading electrolyte products for a month.
The testers completed an in-depth survey, telling us about the nutritional value, impact on performance and recovery, taste, and ease of use of each supplement.
Below are our winning electrolyte drinks bearing the Sports Nutrition Awards 2022 logo. The rest of the products in this roundup have the highly esteemed The Men’s Health Lab seal of approval.
Prepare to enter beast mode…