Do You Really Need a Hydration Multiplier?
Hydration multipliers seem to be everywhere lately. You can’t scroll through your Instagram feed or listen to a podcast without hearing their praises. Although the term is relatively new, the concept isn’t—electrolyte solutions have been around for decades and hydration multipliers are simply the latest version. If you listen to the hype, you might believe that everyone needs to use hydration multipliers, but is it true? Or can you get the hydration you need from water alone?
What Is a Hydration Multiplier?
You probably grew up hearing that you need to drink 8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated, but do you actually do it? Most people don’t! And even if you do drink 8 glasses of water a day, if you’re like most people, they’re pretty unevenly distributed—you likely drink a lot more at home than when you’re out and about.
A hydration multiplier or electrolyte solution promises to give you more bang for your buck when you add it to water. The idea is that by adding a specific ratio of the minerals potassium, magnesium, and sodium to water, it can be transported through the body more effectively. Some of these products add glucose as well; the popular hydration multiplier Liquid I.V. claims that the combination of glucose and sodium is what maximizes water absorption, in a process called Cellular Transport Technology. The result is that a 16 ounce bottle of water delivers the same amount of hydration as three bottles.
Who Should Use Hydration Multipliers?
Traditionally, electrolyte drinks have been recommended for hydration after intense workouts, when you’re feeling under-the-weather (particularly for the stomach flu!), and yes, for those wicked hangovers that we all suffered during our college years. Now, they’re increasingly being recommended as an everyday product. Why the change?
It’s probably one part slick marketing and one part truth—75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated, which can result in a whole host of problems, ranging from muscle cramps and fatigue to migraine headaches. Being dehydrated can dry out your skin, cause bad breath, and leave you feeling sluggish.
So do you need a hydration multiplier or electrolyte solution? Maybe! If you’re one of the three-quarters of Americans who are dehydrated, you can certainly benefit from one if simply drinking more water isn’t an option or hasn’t worked out for you in the past. In theory, we should be able to get the hydration and electrolytes we need from diet alone, but we all know that putting this into practice is another story.
Some signs you might be dehydrated include:
- Thirst. Obviously! If you’re thirsty all the time, you’re likely dehydrated. This isn’t always an indicator, though, because sometimes if you’re chronically dehydrated, feeling thirsty is your default and it’s hard to recognize it.
- Dark urine. Ideally, your pee should be clear—or at least almost clear. Any darker and you’re low on fluids.
- Fatigue. Fight that fatigue by drinking coffee and you can make your dehydration problem even worse.
- Difficulty concentrating. When your brain doesn’t have sufficient hydration, electrolytes, and glucose, you might have trouble focusing on the task at hand.
- Dizziness. Do you feel dizzy often? This is another sign that your brain is depleted of hydration and electrolytes.
- Headaches. One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is headaches, including migraines. Many sufferers find relief simply by upping their hydration.
The Best Electrolyte Solutions and Hydration Multipliers
At Maed, we’re big fans of Liquid I.V.—and we’ve tried a bunch of different products. Maybe it’s the glucose that makes the difference; the options without added sugar simply don’t seem to work as well, nor do they give us the same energized up-and-at-‘em feeling as Liquid I.V. That said, everyone is different, and what works for you might not work for someone else.
Here are the highest rated electrolyte solutions and hydration boosters on Amazon: