Is Liquid IV Healthy? The Truth About This Electrolyte Powder

Whether you’ve seen it at your grocery store or tried it for yourself, chances are you have heard of this non-GMO electrolyte drink mix. Liquid IV has becoming increasingly popular among past couple years and I often am asked whether or not it’s actually good for you. While it may be a go-to supplement following a strenuous workout, or (let’s be a honest) too many glasses of wine, is liquid IV healthy?

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the ingredients of Liquid IV, explore its potential health benefits and take a closer look at any potential drawbacks. So, whether you’re a long-time Liquid IV lover or a curious newcomer, let’s get to the bottom of whether or not this “hydration multiplier” is as good as it’s cracked up to be.

What is Liquid IV?

Liquid IV is an oral rehydration solution that claims to provide you with the same hydration as drinking 2-3 bottles of water, but with just one packet. Basically, you mix the packet with water and drink it, and it’s supposed to help you hydrate faster and more efficiently than just drinking plain water. In addition to the liquid IV hydration multiplier, they also offer other variations of the product including an energy multiplier, an immune support variation, a probiotic formula, and a sleep multiplier.

Liquid IV uses its proprietary “Cellular Transport Technology” to help your body absorb water and other nutrients in a faster way.

According to the company, this technology is what sets them apart from other hydration products on the market.

In a nutshell, the idea behind their cellular transport technology is to enhance the delivery of water and nutrients to your cells. The mix of electrolytes, glucose, and other ingredients in their product creates an osmotic gradient that allows water and nutrients to be absorbed more easily into the bloodstream and then transported to the cells that need them most.

Now, we can all agree this all sounds pretty fancy and scientific, but without even diving into the ingredient list, I can’t help but raise an eyebrow. I mean, our bodies are pretty good at absorbing and transporting water and nutrients on their own, so why do we need a special technology to do it for us?

Liquid I.V. also refers to its products as “hydration multipliers” which again, gives me some pause. By definition, hydration refers to the balance between the water intake and the amount of water lost through activities such as sweating, urination, and breathing. So is Liquid IV the magic solution we’ve been looking for?

What Ingredients are In Liquid IV?

The drink mix is formulated with a blend of several ingredients, including:

  • Pure Cane Sugar: Liquid IV contains pure cane sugar and Dextrose—forms of glucose that help to create an osmotic gradient in the body. The osmotic gradient allows for the efficient absorption of water and electrolytes in the intestines, helping to improve hydration.
  • Sodium Citrate: Sodium is an electrolyte that helps to maintain fluid balance in the body. It also helps to regulate blood pressure and muscle function.
  • Potassium Citrate: Potassium is another electrolyte that plays a crucial role in maintaining proper fluid balance. It is also essential for muscle and nerve function.
  • Glucose: Glucose is a simple sugar that provides energy to the body. It is also an essential component of the body’s energy metabolism.
  • Citric Acid: Citric acid is a natural preservative that is commonly used in food and beverages. It also provides a tart taste to the drink.
  • Natural Flavors: Natural flavors are used to give the drink mix its unique taste (acai berry, we are looking at you).
  • Stevia: Stevia is a natural sweetener that is derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It is used to sweeten the drink mix without adding calories.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is an antioxidant that helps to protect the body against free radical damage. It also plays a crucial role in immune system function.
  • Vitamin B: B vitamins are essential for energy production and metabolism. They also play a crucial role in maintaining the health of the nervous system.

How Is Liquid IV Different from Traditional Sports Drinks

First off, I should note that sports drinks in general are designed to help replenish fluids, electrolytes, and carbohydrates lost during physical activity. They are typically marketed towards athletes and people who engage in intense exercise, but can also be used for general hydration purposes.

Now, when it comes to Liquid IV specifically, it is not necessarily targeting the athlete, but rather the general population who could use some extra hydration. The main thing that sets it apart from other electrolyte drinks is its claim of providing the same hydration as drinking two to three bottles of water, but with just one packet.

When it comes to price, Liquid IV is generally more expensive than other sports drinks, but it also claims to be more effective. So, if the claims are true, then maybe the higher price point is worth it.

Is Liquid IV Scientifically Proven?

While the idea of a hydration supplement may sound appealing, some skepticism is warranted. Hydration is primarily achieved through drinking water, and the human body is capable of regulating its fluid balance through natural processes. Additionally, consuming excessive amounts of electrolytes or vitamins can have adverse effects on the body.

That being said, there is some scientific basis for the use of certain electrolytes and vitamins in promoting hydration and overall health. For example, electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and glucose (all present in liquid IV) play important roles in fluid balance and muscle function and can influence fluid absorption rate through osmosis.

Liquid IV’s Cellular Transport Technology was actually created on the basis of Oral Rehydration Therapy, which was formulated by the World Health Organization to reverse dehydration in near-fatal occurrences and has a lot of scientific backing.

When Should You Use Liquid IV?

Liquid IV can be used in a variety of situations where hydration and nutrient replenishment is needed, such as after intense physical activity, during travel or when experiencing mild dehydration symptoms. IT can also be a good idea for people who struggle to drink enough water or maintain a well-balanced diet. You may even try to use it in desperation as a hangover cure…while this may help to alleviate some hangover symptoms, the best course of action is to use it (with plenty of water) the night before, rather than the morning when the symptoms have already taken hold.

What are the Drawbacks of Liquid IV

While Liquid IV can be a convenient and tasty way to stay hydrated, there are some potential drawbacks to keep in mind. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Cost: Liquid IV is more expensive than other types of hydration solutions. This is because it contains a blend of electrolytes and vitamins, which can be more costly to manufacture than plain water or sports drinks.
  2. Flavor: Liquid IV uses sugar and Stevia leaf extract to sweeten the drink. While many people enjoy the taste of Liquid IV, some people are sensitive to the taste of artificial sweeteners. And although Stevia is deemed safe by the FDA, it has been known to disrupt gut bacteria when consumed in excces.
  3. High Sugar Content: One of the main drawbacks of liquid IV is its high sugar content. In fact, the first ingredient on the package label is pure cane sugar, followed by Dextrose (another form of simple sugar.) Each stick of liquid IV contains 11 grams of added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 24 grams of added sugar per day. So after one Liquid IV, you are nearly half way to your recommended daily value.
  4. Sodium content: Liquid IV contains sodium as an electrolyte to help maintain fluid balance in the body. However, too much sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, and other health problems. It’s important to balance sodium intake with other electrolytes and to consume it in moderation

Should You Drink Liquid IV Every Day?

Whether or not you should drink Liquid IV every day depends on your individual hydration needs and lifestyle. If you are someone who regularly engages in physical activity or lives in a hot climate, you may benefit from daily use to help maintain proper hydration levels. Additionally, if you struggle to drink enough water or consume a well-balanced diet, Liquid IV may help you meet your daily hydration and nutrient needs. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Liquid IV should not be relied on as a substitute for drinking enough water or other hydrating fluids. Additionally, if you have specific medical conditions or dietary restrictions, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before incorporating Liquid IV into your daily routine.

Does Liquid IV Work?

In short, yes, it can help you re-hydrate faster than water alone, which after all—is the claim. But Liquid IV also makes many more claims about its products supporting energy, aiding with weight management, etc. And these claims, we can be less sure about. Certainly these are all advantages to keeping your body well-hydrated. However, not necessarily because of Liquid IV.

Is Liquid IV FDA Approved?

Supplements do not receive approval by the FDA, so no, Liquid IV is not FDA Approved.

Is Liquid IV Healthy?

Yes and No. Whether or not Liquid IV is healthy depends on a variety of factors, including individual health needs and lifestyle. On the positive side, Liquid IV can be a convenient and tasty way to stay hydrated, as it contains a blend of electrolytes and vitamins that help to promote proper hydration and energy metabolism. Additionally, Liquid IV is free from artificial ingredients, which can be a plus for people looking for a more natural hydration solution. However, there are also potential drawbacks to consider, such as the cost, potential sensitivity to sweeteners, and excess sugar intake. It’s important to balance the potential benefits of Liquid IV against these drawbacks and to use it in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet and hydration routine. Overall, Liquid IV can be a useful tool for staying hydrated, but it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before incorporating it into your daily routine to ensure that it’s right for your individual health needs.

Disclaimer: I am a certified nutrition coach and personal trainer, not a registered dietician or physician. The information in this post are meant to be for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Please consult a licensed professional for specific medical advice.

Please also note that some of the links above are affiliate links so I may earn a small commission off of purchases made through them. All thoughts and product selections are my own

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