With summer approaching fast, we'd like to help you choose the perfect hydration drink mix for your athletic needs. During hot summer months, proper hydration is critical to endurance athletes who are training more than 90 minutes. Drinking water alone during extended endurance activities will do more harm than good so it's critical that you choose an electrolyte hydration mix that works for you. With so many great products available, it's never been easier to find something that hydrates well and tastes great. If you're ready to jump in, check out this selection of our favorite hydration mixes! If you want to learn more, there are two types of electrolyte hydration mixes that you will want to try:
  1. Hydration mixes that focus on optimal hydration and do not contain a large amount of calories per bottle. Products in this category typically have 50-100 calories per serving (mixed with a 16-21 ounce water bottle). In the past 5 years, Skratch Labs has emerged to lead this category by focusing on a product that tastes great, uses natural ingredients and hydrates well during exercise. Although we consider Skratch to be the leader in this hydration category, you'll see below that there are other brands who are producing a similar product that you might also like.
  2. Hydration mixes that blend hydration and fueling endurance activity with liquid + higher caloric content. These products typically have 150+ calories per serving (16-21 ounce water bottle). Brands in this category have taken the attitude that you can hydrate while fueling with the right amount of calories for your endurance activities. These products are positioned as an "all-in-one" drink mix option. When using these products, you may not need solid food to complete your fueling needs.
If you want to spend some time reading this blog post from Skratch Labs, we highly recommend it. With that said, we can't tell you exactly which hydration drink mix will be the right one for you, but we can help guide you into finding something that you love. How to choose a hydration drink mix that works well for you: 
  1. Find a product that tastes really really good. If you're going to be drinking 80-100 ounces of hydration drink mix during a 5 hour bike ride, you better think it tastes great. Frankly, whether a hydration drink mix has a lot of calories or few calories matters very little...the better it tastes, the more you'll drink and the more you'll be hydrated. This is the most important factor to consider when choosing a new drink mix.
  2. Test products from each of the two categories listed above (low calorie vs higher calorie). While we do not recommend consuming a hydration mix with a lot of protein, we do recommend that you take the time to try new things. Trying new products over the course of 7-8 training sessions on 7-8 days will allow you to get a better feel for the products that are more effective for you. Over the course of the summer, you should be able to find something that you love.
Don't forget, you can sample a few of our favorite hydration drink mixes in single servings by ordering our hydration sampler. Every sampler purchased will receive a FREE Camelbak podium bottle! Our featured hydration mixes:

Skratch Labs Exercise Mix (low calorie):

[product_grid id="77772"] Skratch Labs Exercise Mix is our best selling hydration mix and our personal favorite. As mentioned above, this mix is lower calorie and focused on hydration as opposed to adding calories to your fueling plan. When mixed at the recommended concentration, Skratch Exercise Hydration Mix has what Skratch believes is the optimal levels of sugars, sodium and potassium for optimal fluid transfer across the small intestine. We think this mix tastes great, which is the primary reason we use it more frequently than other mixes. Skratch Exercise mix is caffeine free with the exception of Matcha and Lemons.
  • Recommended concentration: 1 serving per 16 ounces
  • Calories per serving: 80
  • Sodium: 360mg
  • Potassium: 40mg

Bonk Breaker Real Hydration (low calorie):

[product_grid id="356875"] Bonk Breaker Real Hydration is new in 2016 and like Skratch, it tastes great. Like Skratch, Bonk Breaker Real Hydration doesn't have a strong flavor, which we like. In contrast to Skratch, Bonk Breaker has slightly less sodium per 16 ounces and almost 5x the amount of potassium. We highly recommend trying these two side by side to see if you can tell the difference! Both flavors are caffeine free.
  • Recommended concentration: 1 packet, 2 servings per 16 ounces
  • Calories per serving: 70
  • Sodium: 300mg
  • Potassium: 198mg

Nuun Active Hydration (low calorie):

[product_grid id="68348"] We've added Nuun Active Hydration to the list because it is a low calorie option. With just 10 calories per serving, Nuun Active is unlike the rest of these hydration products. Nuun also has Nuun Plus, which allows you to add calories in the form of dextrose to your drink mix. Nuun Active is also unique because it comes in an easy to carry tube. The effervescent tablets come in 10 serving tubes which make them very easy to add to mid-ride water stops. Nuun Active comes in 9 flavors to make sure you have a lot of variety!
  • Recommended concentration: 1 tablet per 16 ounces
  • Calories per serving: 10
  • Sodium: 360mg
  • Potassium: 100mg

Clif Shot Electrolyte Hydration (low calorie):

[product_grid id="14449"] Light. Crisp. Refreshing. That’s how we’d describe the Clif Shot Electrolyte Mix. They’ve taken cues from other drink mixes and reduced the carbs while upping the electrolytes. Now the mix contains 4% carbs at the recommended concentration and all 5 essential electrolytes.
  • Recommended concentration: 1 serving per 16 ounces
  • Calories per serving: 80
  • Sodium: 250mg
  • Potassium: 50mg

Gu Brew Hydration (low calorie):

[product_grid id="153139"] GU Brew hydration is all about getting those essential electrolytes into your body during your workout. They’ve reduced the amount of carbohydrates and calories in each serving so that your bottles can focus on hydrating, but still provide energy. GU Brew uses two types of sugar, simple sugar in the form of fructose and complex sugar as maltodextrin. They are in a 50:50 ratio for the optimum rate of absorption and delivery of energy. The taste is light, and free of sugary sweeteners or unnecessary additives.
  • Recommended concentration: 1 serving per 21 ounces
  • Calories per serving: 70
  • Sodium: 250mg
  • Potassium: 30mg

Fluid Performance Hydration Mix (higher calorie):

[product_grid id="9419"] Fluid performance singles use all-natural ingredients to alleviate cramping and buffer lactic acid build up. Fluid’s blend has more electrolytes and less sugar than most other drink mixes. Combine that with extra additives and it means it’s easier for your stomach to absorb and won’t leave your gut churning.  Fluid falls in the camp of hydration that believes part of your energy (carbs) should come from your drink mix. In a 24 ounce bottle of Fluid there is 24 grams of carbs, 200 calories and 400mg of electrolytes.
  • Recommended concentration: 1 serving per 20-24 ounces
  • Calories per serving: 200
  • Sodium: 400mg
  • Potassium: 130mg

VFuel Endurance Drink Mix (higher calorie):

[product_grid id="344839"] VFuel Endurance Drink Mix contains 200 calories of endurance fuel with electrolytes! By combining non-GMO dextrose and VFuel’s proprietary blend of supplements, VFuel Endurance Drink Mix is a great fuel for your endurance pursuits! VFuel Endurance Drink Mix was designed to be easy on your stomach, give you smooth energy, and has electrolytes to keep you properly hydrated.
  • Recommended concentration: 1 serving per 20-26 ounces
  • Calories per serving: 200
  • Sodium: 235mg
  • Potassium: 85mg

Tailwind Nutrition (higher calorie):

[product_grid id="358644"] Positioned as a mix that can replace solid food during endurance exercise, Tailwind is brand new to The Feed. Right off the bat you're going to notice that Tailwind has a lot of calories and sodium! We find this to be especially nice on hot days, although it's unclear whether sodium intake has any impact on reducing cramps. Bottom line on Tailwind is that we think it tastes great...that's why we've added it to The Feed for you to try out! All of the "Buzz" flavors contain 70mg of caffeine.
  • Recommended concentration: 1 serving per "large water bottle" (we assume this to mean 21+ ounces)
  • Calories per serving: 200
  • Sodium: 606mg (sodium citrate) + 376mg (sea salt)
  • Potassium: 176mg

Infinit Go Far Hydration Mix (high calorie):

[product_grid id="44026"] This mix is specifically designed to meet the demands of working out for a long time. Infinit designed this mix to have a healthy dose of calories in the form of carbohydrates and includes 4g of protein per serving. The idea is that Go Far more adequately replaces solid food during your longest endurance workouts, thereby relieving gut distress.
  • Recommended concentration: not listed, however we recommend using 1 serving per large water bottle (24 ounces or larger).
  • Calories per serving: 280
  • Sodium: 379mg
  • Potassium: 110mg
Questions? Shoot us an email: hello@thefeed.com or click here to shop all hydration at The Feed.