Is Liquid IV Actually Good For You?

Liquid IV is an electrolyte drink that is marketed as a way to get hydrated more quickly than with water alone. According to their website, the brand uses "Cellular Transport Technology to deliver hydration to your bloodstream faster and more efficiently than water alone" (via Liquid IV). It also claims to provide two or three times the hydration of plain water. But does this product work as well as it claims and is it actually good for you? Here's what you should know.

Liquid IV claims that it stands above the competition because of its Cellular Transport Technology (CTT). According to their website, most of the water you drink passes through your digestive system before it can be effectively absorbed by the body. CTT combines sodium, glucose, and potassium to create an "osmotic force" that lets water into the bloodstream before it completely passes through the digestive system.

According to Mayo Clinic, there is no exact rate at which your body loses water. This depends on many factors, including your environment, age, and activity level. Some people may not have an issue absorbing enough water, especially if they drink plenty throughout the day.

What's in Liquid IV?

Liquid IV contains several ingredients that add flavor and hydration benefits. According to Liquid IV's website, Liquid IV's Hydration Multiplier contains dipotassium phosphate and potassium citrate, which are two electrolytes that are essential for proper hydration. This product also contains vitamins B3, B5, B6, and B12, which all contribute to energy production and cellular function. Liquid IV also contains vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that helps protect the body's cells from damage, as well as citric acid, which works to stabilize the flavor of the powder.

Additionally, Liquid IV contains mined salt that can help water absorb into the bloodstream more quickly. Other ingredients in Liquid IV include dextrose, stevia leaf extract, and natural flavors. There are several flavors and types of Liquid IV, so ingredients may vary between them.

One stick of Liquid IV contains 45 calories, 500 milligrams of sodium, and 11 grams of sugar. It is recommended that adults do not consume more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, so be sure to watch your sodium intake for the rest of the day if you enjoy a Liquid IV (via CDC). One packet is meant to be mixed with 16 ounces of water, but you can adjust this ratio as you prefer.

Potential benefits and side effects

Like many products, there are positive and negative aspects to Liquid IV. One potential benefit of Liquid IV is that it can help improve hydration, which is what it is marketed to do (via Sports Illustrated). This is because the product contains electrolytes, sugar, and sodium, which can help the body better absorb water. Additionally, the product also contains vitamins and minerals that can help to replenish the body's stores of these nutrients.

However, there are some potential side effects associated with Liquid IV. According to Wellness Warrior, some people may experience unpleasant symptoms from some of the varieties of Liquid IV. These side effects can include nausea, headaches, fatigue, and diarrhea. Liquid IV recommends that consumers don't take more than one serving of this product per day, as consuming too much may cause unpleasant side effects. Because this product is relatively high in sugar and sodium, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor before trying Liquid IV, especially if you are watching your sugar and sodium intake.

Liquid IV is a good option if you really need it

Although Liquid IV's claims about its Cellular Transport Technology are not backed up scientifically, they do claim to follow the World Health Organization's standards for oral rehydration fluids (via Liquid IV). These have been studied extensively to show that glucose, which is found in Liquid IV, can improve the absorption of sodium and water (via National Library of Medicine). Because of these studies, there is a good chance that Liquid IV really can improve hydration.

One major downside of Liquid IV is its sugar content. One serving of this product contains 11 grams of added sugar. According to the American Heart Association, men should not consume more than 36 grams of added sugar per day while women should not consume more than 25 grams per day. Liquid IV is also much more expensive than water. If you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day, you probably don't need to worry about improving your hydration. However, anyone who struggles with their water intake may find this product beneficial.