6 Drinks That Will Give You an Instant Energy Boost (and Aren’t Coffee)

No crash or jitters.

When you’re sweating your butt off, sometimes water isn’t enough to fully rehydrate you. That’s because you lose more than just water when you perspire: Sweat is also made up of electrolytes like sodium and potassium, so a major workout can leave you with an imbalance that makes you endlessly thirsty. Luckily, the best electrolyte drinks can help bring your body back to baseline.

How? Well, electrolyte hydration solutions include the minerals that help manage the fluid balance in our bodies to keep us hydrated. “The different electrolytes manage the shift between what’s going in the cell, what’s staying inside the bloodstream, and your plasma volume to make sure that everything’s flowing the way that it should,” explains Tim Dileo, MS, RDN, CSSD, assistant director of athletics for sports nutrition at the University of Connecticut and a registered dietitian with Top Nutrition Coaching. Meaning: Electrolytes help the fluid we’re drinking get to where it needs to go inside our bodies.

While we can certainly get electrolytes from food, Danielle Smith, RDN, LDN, another registered dietitian nutritionist with Top Nutrition Coaching, says that food alone doesn’t usually provide the necessary amounts. That’s where sports drinks and rehydration formulas step in to ensure that you’re hitting your daily targets and staying well-hydrated, no matter what’s on the menu.

The best electrolyte drinks, at a glance:

Who can benefit from an electrolyte drink?

Anyone! But electrolyte drinks are most often recommended to athletes or people with strenuous jobs, like construction workers and landscapers working out in the elements. “If you’re doing a really intense workout or if you’re out in the heat, that’s the time when you’re going to want the electrolyte beverage to replace what you’re losing in sweat,” says Dileo. You’ll want to sip it throughout the entire time you’re sweating and after you’re done, adds Smith.

But it’s not just super-active people who can benefit from electrolyte drinks. “I often recommend that people start out the morning with electrolytes, just because I find that having an adequate balance of electrolytes really does help with overall hydration and just not feeling as thirsty,” Smith says.

Electrolyte drinks can also be particularly helpful when you’re sick or dealing with GI issues like diarrhea that leave you struggling to stay hydrated. Additionally, Smith recommends electrolyte drinks to people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, when maintaining adequate hydration is essential.

What to look for in an electrolyte drink

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