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Running Accessories • June 1, 2023

Best Hydration for Running in the Heat (Or Any Weather)

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What You Need To Know

Our Top Picks

Tested by us, for replacing all the electrolytes lost when running

Electrolytes & Nutrition

Highlight the key electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, and potassium

Variety of Choices

Supplements to replenish everything from all-out efforts to everyday running

Stay Hydrated This Summer

Running hydration is something every runner knows they need, but so many don’t know where to start. Anyone who’s run more than a 5K knows that there’s always Gatorade, the one that started it all. Which is fine if you’re a time traveler from 1992 and love added sugars to keep your pre-diabetes plans on track. But times have changed and we’ve learned a lot since then regarding nutrition, especially for endurance athletes.

Luckily for us, we’re in the middle of an arms race between nutrition brands to get you the best balance of electrolytes to keep your running game strong. Ten years ago you would’ve had a few options; today, it seems like a new hydration option pops up each week.

On one hand, it gives you plenty to pick from; on the other, it’s hard to sift through. Which is why we’re here. We put together this list of hydration supplements that we’ve tried through our own training. We break down which mix is best for which endeavor, from the night before a marathon to the morning after a workout, to, well … hangovers (you’re a runner, we know).

No matter which one you go with, make sure you go with something. It’s impossible to replenish the electrolytes you lose in the summer months with water only (anyone who’s run Summer GRIT knows what we’re talking about). You’ll feel better, your workouts will go smoother, and you won’t crash later in the day. Also, your fall marathon will thank you.

Our Top Picks for Running Hydration

LMNT Shop photo


$45 / 30 servings

Best For

Pre or post all-out efforts

1000 mg sodium 200 mg potassium 60 mg magnesium 0 g of added sugars

Raspberry Salt, Mango Chili, Watermelon Salt, Lemon Habenero, & more

Salt is a Four-Letter Word

We’ve had some salty mixes on here, and few hit the sodium highs like LMNT does. It’s simple: LMNT is a zero-sugar electrolyte drink mix, with everything you need and nothing you don’t. And boy, does it bring you back to life after a hard workout. The icing on the cake is that the flavors are the best on this list. Honestly, we sometimes just mix them with soda water and it’s an absolute treat, especially on hot days.


skratch hyper hydration shop photo

Skratch Hyper Hydrate

$23.50 / 8 servings

Best For

The night before all-out efforts

1720(!) mg sodium (5 times most drink mixes) 150 mg potassium 16 g of added sugars

Passion Fruit

Stay Salty, My Friends

Okay, so if you don’t mind drinking ocean water, then boy, have we got a drink mix for you. Nobody lives up to the “high in sodium” accolade more than Skratch Hyper Hydrate. It has more sodium than an entire bag of potato chips. When you’re going all out for all day long, a normal hydration mix just can’t replace all the electrolytes you’re losing. This one can. We use this stuff the night before marathons to help keep us hydrated. It’s especially important and helpful to do this the night before a big race if the weather is predicted to be warm. Disregard the taste and gulp it down. During the race, go for the standard hydration.


saltstick shop photo


$20 / 12 servings

Best For

During or after activity

430 mg sodium 120 mg potassium 0 g of added sugars

Lemon-lime, Tart Orange, Tropical Mango

Stick ‘Em Up

If you’ve heard of SaltStick, you’re probably thinking about the little electrolyte caps that look and taste a lot like chalk. Those are pretty good, but did you know SaltStick also makes a mix – aptly named DrinkMix? This formula helps keep you hydrated, avoid heat stress and prevent cramping with its solid ratio of electrolytes, cleanly-sourced ingredients and no sugar. It’s also the only on this list that Robbe actually uses as just a drink mix because it tastes really good (the Mango version, anyway).


liquid iv hydration

Liquid IV

$22 / 16 servings

Best For

Before, during, or after activity

500 mg sodium 280% DV Vitamin B12 370 mg potassium

[yellow title=”11 g added sugars (sugar free version available”/]


Seaberry, Strawberry Lemonade, Lemon Lime, White Peach (sugar free)

Right Into My Veins

We actually added this one late, but it should’ve been one of the first, because it’s saved our lives a few times this summer. I say that figuratively, because it works great as a hangover bounceback or, of course– when you need to get those electrolyte levels up after a hard workout. It packs a wallop of sodium at 500 mg (one of the highest on this list), and offers a ton in the way of B Vitamins, which may save you after you’ve had a few too many. We also appreciate the sugar option for a workout boost, or sugar free if you’re looking to stay clean.


gnarly hydrate shop photo

Gnarly Hydrate

$27 / 40 servings

Best For

During activity

250 mg sodium (500 mg in Salted Margarita) 80 mg magnesium 4 g added sugars

Ruby Red Grapefruit, Orange Pineapple, Raspberry, Salted Marg

Get Gnarly

We’ve given Gnarly rave reviews for their protein powder, but they go the full distance with their hydration as well. We took their limited edition Margarita flavor to the ultimate test (making margaritas) and felt great the next morning, thanks to the rehydrating properties of the mix. Of course, you’ll probably want this during your activity, so having a solid dose of electrolytes in the form of sodium and magnesium are imperative, and luckily, Gnarly Hydrate has both. For extra sodium, pick up the Margarita option, which has double the sodium of the baseline Hydrate mix.


nuun shop photo

Nuun Sport Hydration

$7.50 / 10 servings

Best For

During activity

300 mg sodium 25 mg magnesium 150 mg potassium 1 g added sugars

Strawberry Lemonade, Citrus Fruit, Cherry Limeade, Mango Orange, and a ton more

Nuun More Hydrated

The only thing longer than a treadmill mile is the 60 seconds it takes for your Nuun tablet to dissolve. But, we have to say, it’s worth it. Nuun drinks are some of the tastiest and with 300mg of sodium per serving, you’ll be rehydrated in no time. There’s also a handful of flavors with caffeine for that extra boost. Bonus points for vegan, kosher, gluten-free, non-GMO, and informed choice certifications. For those of you with zero chill, f you want something that does the job a bit quicker, opt for the Nuun Instant– a rapidly rehydrating mix with optimized electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals.



$36 / 32 (8 oz.) servings

Best For

During activity, hangovers

330 mg sodium 39 mg magnesium 185 mg potassium 7 g added sugars (keto version available)

Tropical variety, Fruit Punch, Decaf Green Tea, Watermelon, & more

Drip ‘Til You Drop

It seems like every week we get another pitch from a hydration brand, and this is one of the new ones. But they’ve done their homework and everything is in its place for this hydration mix. Not only does it replace key electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, and potassium, it also provides a nice one-two punch of zinc and vitamin C for immune support and is naturally flavored. DripDrop also offers a Keto Zero version of the mix. The only thing weird about DripDrop is the portion sizes. The small stick says it’s supposed to be for 8 oz. of water, but it has the right amount of electrolytes as most other brands’ 16 oz. servings. I guess just pick up the 8 oz., and if you need more, add more.


tailwind shop photo (1)

Tailwind Endurance Fuel

$29 / 30 servings

Best For

Ultrarunning, long endurance events

303 mg sodium 14 mg magnesium 88 mg potassium 35 mg caffeine

Cola, Matcha, Raspberry, Tropical

The Wind Beneath Your Tail

Tailwind used to be the race day choice of both Meaghan and Thomas. The company started out as a fuel source for runners, but over the last five years, has really dug deep into the trail and ultrarunning scene. Their Endurance Fuel mix is specifically designed for long (very long) running events and endurance endeavors. Which is why it’s actually good that this mix has 25g of sugars, so it acts as a fuel source in addition to replenishing your electrolytes. The added caffeine is a nice bump as well. The mix is easy on the stomach and digests easily, meaning you’ll be fine to eat that grilled cheese and pierogi bowl at the mile 60 aid station.


osmo shop photo


$20 / 20 servings

Best For

Pre, post, or during activity

260mg sodium 29 mg magnesium 17g of added sugars

Blackberry, Lemon Lime, Blueberry Pomegranate, Orange

Osmo Kramer

The nice thing about Osmo is they offer a few different drink mixes to supplement your workout, as well as your before and after routine. You’re taken care of on a full 360. Robbe used the Active Hydration mix for a bunch of his training cycle for the New York Marathon last fall, and it seemed to do the job (he can’t remember any terrible feeling runs, so it must have worked). The flavors could probably use a little facelift since they’re basically the same as the standard Gatorade mixes that have been around for decades. If you do use this as your hydration choice, spring for the Blueberry Pomegranate, it’s actually one of the better flavors we’ve tried. Also, it could use a little more sodium, but if you’re in cooler temps, this should work for you.



$36 / 12 servings

Best For

Post-workout on a hot day

45 mg sodium 320 mg potassium 23g of natural sugars (no added sugar)

Tart Cherry

Sweet Cherry Pie

More recovery than hydration, we’re just putting this on here because it tastes so good. Chill your Cheribundi in the fridge and enjoy the tart cherry juice joy that comes from crushing this pouch after a hard workout (it also comes in bottles). Packed with antioxidants, Cheribundi helps reduce soreness and rebuild muscles faster. But who cares about all that– it’s just a nice treat that you deserve.



Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Kevin says:

    What about liquid IV?

  2. Jason says:

    Another vote here for Liquid IV. And for GU’s drink tabs. I personally prefer GU’s tabs to nuun’s (I’m not a big fan of nuun’s tanginess/effervescence), and GU has a bit more sodium, though a lot less potassium. If you can deal with a few grams of sugar, Liquid IV has more sodium than SaltStick’s DrinkMix, and over 2x the potassium of nuun, and their Lemon Lime tastes almost identical to Gatorade’s Lemon Lime, if you like Gatorade.

    And while not technically “hydration” per se, SaltStick’s FastChews have become my summertime pre-run go-to for <5mi runs where I'm not brining water with me.

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meaghan nyc marathon
Meaghan Murray
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Meaghan signed up for her first marathon three weeks before the race, because it was $10 more than the half she planned to run. She learned everything in running the hard way. Now a USATF & UESCA certified run coach, she loves encouraging friends to go for big goals as she continues to chase faster times. She enjoys a hot cup of coffee, a cold martini, and making bagels for friends and family.

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