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Last modified on September 20th, 2021
Liquid IV has developed almost a cult following in the past few years. You’ve probably seen your favorite influencers talking about how great it is, so we decided to take a deeper look. Below, you’ll find our Liquid IV review. We talk about what it is, whether we recommend it and what you should generally know about dehydration.
Don’t buy Liquid IV Hydration before you see what we have to say below for reference purposes.
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What Is Liquid IV?
Some of the features and benefits of Liquid I.V. include:
- This hydration powder uses Cellular Transport Technology (CTT) to help with the rapid absorption of nutrients and water into your bloodstream
- There are several products available in addition to the Hydration Multiplier, including Energy Multiplier and Sleep Multiplier, and a Hydrogen Multiplier + Immune Support.
- It uses a precise ratio of potassium, glucose, and sodium, setting it apart from traditional sports drinks.
- Based on the World Health Organization guidelines for Oral Rehydration Solution.
- It can provide hydration 2 to 3 times faster than just water. It’s like 2-3 bottles of water.
- Premium, clean ingredients rather than artificial ingredients.
Liquid IV is a unique delivery system for hydration and electrolytes. These powdered packets are backed by science and research. They may increase hydration by two to three times compared to regular water.
The Pros and Cons
The pros of this Hydration Multiplier include:
- Dehydration can be a severe health complication, and this helps with that.
- Tens of thousands of positive reviews
- Will deliver hydration faster than just using water
- 3x the electrolytes of sports drinks
- Includes five essential vitamins
- Low carb compared to most electrolyte drinks.
- Eight flavor options
- Can boost mood and energy levels
- Simple to use- just add to 16 oz of water
The cons of the product include:
- Some people might find it expensive.
- The packets have a high sodium content. You have to be mindful of your daily sodium intake when using it.
- Each packet has 11 grams of sugar
An Overview of This Hydration Product
Using Liquid I.V. means you take one stick of powder, which comes in a single-serve, and add it to 16 ounces of water. You can take it as needed to support hydration. Hydration is critical. Being fully hydrated is what gives you blood volume for your muscles, helps you sweat if you’re working out, and helps you keep your core temperature at the right level.
Being dehydrated can have serious consequences, which we talk more about below.
The unique element of Liquid I.V. that sets it apart from plain water or other rehydration options is the Cellular Transport Technology or CTT.
CTT was formulated based on a particular ratio of sodium, glucose, and potassium from the World Health Organization. The idea is that this formulation will create an osmotic force. That force helps fluids be absorbed from your upper digestive tract. Other drinks meant to provide hydration tend to be more sugary and higher in carbs. That gives them a high osmolality, and they can get stuck in your gut. When there’s osmotic force, as is the case with Liquid I.V., the water is getting delivered to your bloodstream faster.
Liquid I.V. has 370 milligrams of potassium, which is around the same amount as a banana. It also has 500 milligrams of sodium. These are high electrolyte concentrations. This is a reasonably low-carb solution, with 12 grams of carbs, primarily from beet sugar.
With dehydration occurring in 3 out of 4 Americans, it’s not unreasonable to see why so many people love this hydration product. The average American needs 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, which many aren’t coming close to.
When you’re adequately hydrated, it can help improve your exercise performance. Lean muscle requires hydration to function properly. If you’re traveling you may be at risk of dehydration because planes have less humidity than a desert, so that these convenient packs can go anywhere with you.
Premium Ingredients in Liquid IV
Below is a rundown of the ingredient lists in these hydration powders.
- B vitamins, including B3, B5, vitamin B6, and B12, are in this formulation. B vitamins help your body turn food into energy, and they support healthy cell function.
- Citric acid is for flavoring, and in Liquid I.V., it comes from natural sources, including cassava root. The company uses non-GMO, non-artificial citric acid in all products.
- Dipotassium phosphate is a water-soluble electrolyte and a source of potassium that’s part of the CTT formulation.
- Silicon dioxide is a naturally-derived compound found in plants and water. Silicon dioxide is included in these hydration sticks to help maintain consistency so that your water is smooth.
- Stevia leaf extract gives the drinks a sweet flavor with no calories.
- Naturally-derived flavors in the hydration sticks come from roots, vegetables, and fruits.
- Pure cane sugar is an essential ingredient in CTT. Pure cane sugar, when combined at the correct ratio with salt, helps your body absorb water into your bloodstream. The sugar in these sticks is non-GMO and it’s for function, not taste.
- Dextrose is a type of glucose, which is natural sugar in our bodies. Dextrose is the most absorbable sugar compound. The inclusion as a critical ingredient in these hydration sticks is to help improve the absorbability into the bloodstream.
- Mined salt is included because sodium is critical for CTT. Again, when sodium is combined with sugar at a precise ratio, it speeds up water absorption into your bloodstream.
- Potassium citrate is an electrolyte responsible for carrying nutrients to your bloodstream, and it helps maintain the body’s proper fluid balance. Potassium prevents muscle cramps and is integral for bone health.
- Vitamin C is in the hydration multiplier products, and it helps improve immune function and repair tissue.
Liquid IV Products
There are a few different products available from the Liquid I.V. company. These include:
The Hydration Multiplier is the signature product. The electrolyte drink mix uses Cellular Transport Technology so that you get water and hydration into your bloodstream fast and efficiently.
There are different flavor options available, including lemon-lime, acai berry, and passion fruit.
This nighttime Liquid IV product uses the same CTT technology as the Hydration Multiplier, but it is meant to help transport the Sleep Blend into the bloodstream faster.
The Sleep Blend includes valerian root, an herb often used in traditional medicine to reduce anxiety. The Sleep Blend also provides B vitamins, melatonin which helps regulate sleep and wake cycles, and L-theanine which helps promote a sense of tranquility and calms the mind.
The Energy Blend included in Energy Multiplier fuels you in a healthy way. Ingredients in the Energy Multiplier include ground ginger, vitamin C, and guayusa. Guayusa is a naturally caffeinated tea from an Amazonian holly tree. Guayusa gives an all-day boost of energy.
The Energy Multiplier also has premium matcha for a clean, crash-less boost of your energy level.
The Immune Support formulation is the Hydration Multiplier plus a few other ingredients for optimal immune health. These ingredients include vitamin C, zinc & electrolytes, and a patented addition called Wellmune.
The proprietary blend of Wellmune includes beta-glucan, clinically proven to help your immune system function the way it’s meant to.
What Do Liquid IV’s Customer Reviews Say?
One reason we decided to do our deep-dive into this product is that it’s so popular. There are tens of thousands of reviews on Amazon, and of those, 82% are five-star. That’s pretty amazing. Only 3% are one-star.
This is a product users genuinely seem to love, and it’s Amazon’s top seller in the category of sports nutrition hydration products.
Some of the things customers noted about Liquid IV include:
- Users say they notice differences in how they feel when they use this product, and many say it’s given them a new lease on life.
- Many users have health conditions, such as having had gastric bypass, and they must stay hydrated. They find that this product helps them with that.
- Many users enjoy not just the health effects but the taste and the variety of flavors.
- Some people notice they have more energy.
- We found reviewers who said the product helps get rid of dark circles under their eyes and improves the overall appearance of their skin.
- Many users indicate they turn to Liquid I.V. after having too much alcohol, and it helps with the symptoms of a hangover.
- Some reviews say they’ve lost weight when drinking this product, perhaps because it helps reduce cravings.
Not every review is positive, of course. One of the big complaints we saw consistently was about the sugar content in the product. While it does have sugar, that’s part of the ratio of electrolytes, and we will say there’s much less sugar in this than you’ll find in almost all other hydration drinks.
We also found some people think it’s expensive.
It’s also essential to make sure you drink plenty of water with this to avoid getting too much sodium.
Overall, the vast majority of Liquid I.V. reviews from customers are glowing, and this does seem to be a life-saving product for many.
Dehydration can be a potentially serious condition when you lose more fluids than your body takes in. Dehydration can cause your body not to have enough water to function correctly.
Even minor dehydration can lead to constipation, lethargy, and headaches. Your body is around 75% water. Water is in your cells, blood vessels, and between your cells. We have complex water management systems that keep us balanced.
We lose water when we sweat, urinate, defecate and breathe. You can replenish the water you naturally lose by drinking fluids.
Causes of dehydration include vomiting, extreme sweating, and diarrhea.
Symptoms of Dehydration
The symptoms of dehydration usually start with decreased urine output, darker urine, and increased thirst.
Checking your urine levels is one of your best indicators of how hydrated you are. Light urine or clear urine means you’re well-hydrated typically. If you have dark urine, it’s a sign of dehydration.
Moderate progressive symptoms of dehydration include:
- Muscle weakness
- Dry mouth
Severe dehydration is rare but can include serious symptoms like sunken eyes, a lack of sweating, and an increased heart rate.
In babies, symptoms of dehydration include not having tears when crying, sunken cheeks or eyes, and no wet diapers for three hours or more.
Even just losing as little as 1.5% of the total amount of your body’s water can give you symptoms of dehydration.
- Digesting and eliminating waste
- Lubricating your joints
- Producing saliva
- Balancing of your body chemicals, including hormones and neurotransmitters
- The delivery of oxygen throughout your body
- Regulating your body temperature
- Providing cushion to your bones
Causes and Risk Factors
Not getting enough fluids or being low on all-around hydration, losing too many fluids or a combination are the foundational contributors to dehydration. There are specific health conditions and other factors that can lead to dehydration as well.
- Diarrhea is the most common reason people experience dehydration and also death as a result. Your large intestine is responsible for absorbing water from your food. When you have diarrhea, this can’t happen. Your body eliminates too much water, thus dehydration.
- Sweating occurs as your body works to cool itself. You release water, especially when you’re getting a lot of physical activity or the weather is hot and humid. A fever can induce sweating as well, which can lead to dehydration when you’re sick.
- If you’re vomiting because of an illness, you can lose fluids, and you need to replace them.
- People with diabetes and high blood sugar are more at risk of dehydration because high blood sugar can cause increased urination. Increased urination then contributes to fluid loss.
- Along with diabetes, other reasons for frequent urination that can increase the likelihood of dehydration include medications like antihistamines, diuretics, and blood pressure medicines.
- Using alcohol can be dehydrating, which is one reason people experience hangovers.
- If you’re at a higher altitude, it ups the chances of dehydration.
- Athletes, especially those who participate in endurance sports, are at greater risk of being dehydrated than the general population.
- If you have a chronic disease like cystic fibrosis, kidney disease, or an adrenal gland disorder, you have to make sure you make extra efforts to stay hydrated.
- Older adults are prone to dehydration for a few reasons. First, as we age, our brains can change so that we’re not as thirsty. Also, older people may drink less water because they don’t want to go to the bathroom so often throughout the day.
Dehydration and Mental Health
I think the topic of dehydration and mental health is vital to talk about, and it’s something we don’t necessarily discuss enough.
There are significant links between being dehydrated, your general mental health, and your cognitive wellness.
Many of us deal with fatigue, brain fog, and problems with memory. Research shows dehydration could play a role in this. For example, in one study, healthy men and women went through a series of exercises to induce dehydration. Following those, they took cognitive tests, and then the results were compared to results from before they were dehydrated.
The women’s results found mild dehydration resulted in headache, decreased concentration, and fatigue.
Men had challenges in completing tasks requiring memory and alertness when they experienced mild dehydration.
The adverse mood changes of dehydration can impact your daily activities and also limit your motivation to exercise.
Studies have shown similar effects on young children, improving memory and attention after hydrating.
Researchers believe our brains can detect dehydration, and as a result, there could be signaling to the areas of the brain controlling mood regulation.
Dehydration and Anxiety
Staying hydrated can help mitigate anxiety symptoms. Your brain requires water to function. If your brain doesn’t have what it needs, it can’t work properly. If you don’t have the right balance of electrolytes and fluids, it can also trigger general anxiety symptoms and panic attacks.
When you’re feeling stress, your adrenal glands secrete too much cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone. If you’re dehydrated, it causes physical stress, leading your body to make more cortisol. That increased cortisol production increases the possibility you’ll experience symptoms of anxiety.
If you have physical anxiety symptoms, such as excess sweating or shortness of breath, dehydration can make those worse.
When you’re dehydrated, lung levels of histamine go up. That causes your breathing to feel more rapid and labored. Then, your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen, and these factors are also likely to increase your anxiety.
In a 2014 study, researchers found drinking more water helped people feel calmer, more content, and less tense. People who drank more water in this study felt more happiness, regardless of how much they would typically consume.
Dehydration and Depression
Depression is a complex mental health disorder because of the complicated relationship between your brain and body.
Dehydration isn’t necessarily a direct cause of depression, but the two are very connected to one another.
Some people find out chronic depression is actually chronic dehydration.
When you’re low on fluids and electrolytes, it impacts your brain’s energy production. Your brain’s functions can be inefficient or shut down altogether, leading to mood disorders, including depression.
When you’re dehydrated, it impairs your brain’s ability to make adequate amounts of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that significantly affects your mood.
Many people have chronic dehydration without realizing it, and it can be mild to severe. Signs of chronic dehydration are similar to acute dehydration.
Headaches, a lack of focus, and fatigue are symptoms. Other symptoms include dark urine, muscle weakness, and dry, flaky skin.
When you have a chronically low level of water intake, or you eliminate more water than you use, you may experience a decline in your quality of life.
There are a vast number of reasons for chronic dehydration. Some of the common causes of dehydration that’s chronic can include:
- Living in a warm climate
- Working or working out outdoors
- Frequent diarrhea, especially because of digestive tract conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, or gluten sensitivity
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding, especially if you have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum
With chronic dehydration, often, water alone isn’t going to bring you back to where you need to be so that electrolytes can help.
What Are Electrolytes?
A big part of discussing Liquid I.V. and its potential benefits is helped by understanding electrolytes since that’s ultimately what this hydration product is.
Electrolytes are essential minerals. They include calcium, potassium, and sodium. These minerals are required for your body’s vital functions.
We most often talk about electrolytes in the context of dehydration.
Some of the things to know about electrolytes include:
- Electrolytes help you stay hydrated, balance your pH levels, and regulate muscle contractions.
- Signs of low electrolyte levels include changes in blood pressure, cramps, low energy, fatigue, nausea, and headache.
- Just generally feeling unwell can also be a sign that your electrolyte levels are low.
- We lose electrolytes primarily through urine and sweat.
- If you sweat heavily, you’re likely to lose a lot of salt, and that’s a time it can be important to consider an electrolyte-replacement drink rather than just having water.
- Drinking alcohol can be dehydrating in multiple ways, affecting electrolyte levels. For example, alcohol is a diuretic, so you may go pee more often than you usually. Then, you’re losing electrolytes in the process. Alcohol can also cause symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting, which can lead to dehydration and low electrolytes.
Can You Have Too Many Electrolytes?
While Liquid I.V. is a great product, and more of us are probably dehydrated than we may realize, you still need to be mindful and make sure you don’t consume too many electrolytes.
Some of the risks of too many electrolytes can include:
- You may have too much sodium, which can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and dizziness.
- Electrolytes can lead to having too much potassium. This condition is called hyperkalemia. Hyperkalemia affects kidney function, causes nausea, and can cause heart arrhythmia.
- If you were to have too much calcium from electrolytes, it’s called hypercalcemia. Symptoms may include bone and joint pain, seizures, and lethargy.
- Too much magnesium can cause dizziness, confusion, heart arrhythmia, weakness, and nausea.
Liquid IV Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a quick rundown of answers to some of the most common questions people have about Liquid IV.
What is Liquid IV?
Liquid I.V. is a best-selling hydration replacement drink powder mix that comes in single-serve packets.
The drink mix contains a balance of electrolytes used by the World Health Organization.
The unique formulation of Liquid I.V. allows for the hydration and nutrients to rapidly enter your bloodstream, which is how it’s different from water or sports drinks.
The product is an Oral Rehydration Solution. An ORS is a solution with a precise combination and ratio of glucose, electrolytes, and water that’s been shown to hydrate you better than just water. More water is retained by your body when you get it via Oral Rehydration Solutions.
How Does Liquid IV Work?
The hydration and electrolyte powder has something called Cellular Transport Technology or CTT, which is trademarked.
The CTT is an optimal ratio of ingredients for the fastest, most effective, and efficient absorption of nutrients and water into your bloodstream.
You can rehydrate yourself quickly so that you feel better and your body can work the way it’s supposed to.
One powder stick can provide two to three times the hydration of plain water.
What Does Liquid IV Do?
This product is a rehydration and electrolyte balancing supplement.
The hydration sticks contain three times the electrolytes of sports drinks while being low in sugar. There are also five essential vitamins in the product, including B vitamins and vitamin C.
Taking Liquid I.V. may help improve exercise and physical performance, optimize your travel experience, improve mood, and reduce dehydration symptoms.
A lot of people find staying adequately hydrated can enhance mental clarity and reduce brain fog as well as reducing signs of aging, helping you feel younger and more vibrant.
How Many Liquid IV Can You Drink In a Day?
To use this product, you place one powder packet into 16 ounces of cold water.
You can drink it any time you feel like you’re experiencing symptoms of dehydration or when you’re sweating a lot.
You can drink it daily.
There’s technically no limit on how many you can have in a day, and it depends on what your body needs, but the product does have sodium and sugar as part of the Oral Rehydration Solution, so you don’t want too much of either.
One packet a day is plenty for most people.
Is Liquid I.V. Good for a Hangover?
Some people use this product to prevent or treat a hangover. There’s no surefire way to do either, but staying hydrated or rehydrating can help with some of the adverse effects of alcohol.
Alcohol is incredibly dehydrating, which is one reason it causes uncomfortable symptoms.
Can It Help You Lose Weight?
A lot of people ask if this product can help you lose weight.
You’re not going to lose weight from taking it directly, but some indirect benefits can help.
First, if you’re staying well-hydrated, it can lower your appetite. You may be less inclined to eat mindlessly if you drink something first.
Second, adequate hydration improves your energy levels and mood, so you may be more willing and able to stay physically active and work out regularly.
Where to Buy Liquid IV?
You can buy Liquid I.V. at most drugstores, big-box retailers like Walmart, and it’s also sometimes available at Costco, but that’s hit or miss, as is usually the case shopping there.
We recommend buying it on Amazon because you can check out the reviews for yourself, take advantage of Prime Shipping, and have a lenient return policy.
Do We Recommend Liquid IV?
As an active person who often feels symptoms of dehydration, I use this electrolyte powder rapid hydration mix, and I recommend it from my own experience. My husband also has some digestive issues that put him at high risk for dehydration, and he frequently feels symptoms, which helps him get past those quickly with 2-3 times the hydration of any other option.
There are primarily great reviews for Liquid IV.
The big downsides that you have to think about are the price, and you may not want something high in sugar or sodium, but for rehydration and effective electrolyte drinks, you do need those ingredients.
Overall, we recommend giving Liquid I.V. a try, especially if dehydration is something you struggle with. It can be a big mood booster, in addition to improving your energy levels and your overall well-being.