Intended Audience: Patients seen in the Tulane Hypermobility and Ehlers-Danlos Clinic, who have been diagnosed with Dysautonomia or Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), and patients who have been instructed by their provider to consume oral electrolyte supplementation.  

Article by Catherine Kingry, MD

Many patients seen in the Tulane Hypermobility and Ehlers-Danlos Clinic experience some degree of dysautonomia, which can include having symptoms such as a fast heart rate, low blood pressure, dizziness or lightheadedness (especially when standing), fatigue, and nausea. One of the initial recommendations we make for patients with these symptoms is to increase their salt and fluid intake. Depending on the patient’s symptom severity and medical history, they may require 1-3 liters (33.8 oz-101oz) of additional fluid intake per day and/or a total of 5-10 grams of sodium per day. There are many types of electrolyte drinks on the market, and it may be overwhelming to know which drink is right for you. You may have to try a few different electrolyte drinks in different volumes of fluid to figure out what best improves your dysautonomia symptoms. One size does not fit all! 

We describe some of the more popular and accessible electrolyte drinks on the market, but there are many others available. Some points to consider when choosing an electrolyte drink: 

-Sodium content: If you have lower blood pressures, low sodium levels on lab results, or more severe dysautonomia symptoms, you may need a drink with HIGHER sodium content.  

-Sugar content: Sugar usually helps these drinks taste better. However, if you have diabetes or need to closely monitor your glucose levels, you may need a drink with LOWER or ZERO sugar.  

-Extras: Some electrolyte drinks add extra vitamins and minerals to their products. Depending on your lab results, you may need more of certain vitamins or minerals, or you may need to avoid others.  

-Price: Our hypermobility patients come from all different backgrounds, and cost-effective electrolytes may be a higher priority.  

-Diet: If you eat foods with higher sodium amounts, you may need less sodium in your electrolyte drinks. 

 

  1. Catalyte by Thorne: Research-Grade Electrolytes 

  • Serving instructions: 1 scoop mixed with 12oz of water 
  • Flavor: Catalyte comes in 1 flavor, Lemon Lime. 
  • Sodium: Each scoop has 485mg (0.485g) of sodium.  
  • Sugar: Each scoop has less than 1g of sugar.  
  • Extras: Catalyte has many additional vitamins and minerals. 
  • There is methylated folate, which can be helpful if you have a problem with metabolizing folate or an MTHFR deficiency, polymorphism, or gene mutation.  
  • There is magnesium, which can be helpful with muscular and fascial-related pain. 
  • There is potassium, which can be helpful if you are exercising, working outside, or sweating more. 
  • Cost: $23 for 30 scoops, or $0.77/scoop 
  • If you need to drink 2L of electrolyte fluids each day, you will need about 5.5 scoops each day, which totals to $4.36/day 
  • You can subscribe to Thorne and save 20%, which brings the cost to $18.40 for 30 scoops, or $0.62/scoop. 

 

  1. LMNT Recharge: Most Sodium per Serving 

  • Serving instructions: 1 stick pack mixed in 16oz of water 
  • Flavor: LMNT has multiple flavor options available, as well as an unflavored option. 
  • Sodium: Each stick has 1000mg (1g) of sodium.  
  • Sugar: Each stick has 0g of sugar.  
  • Extras: LMNT overall has very few additional minerals and no added vitamins to its formula.  
  • There is magnesium, which can be helpful with muscular and fascial-related pain. 
  • There is potassium, which can be helpful if you are exercising, working outside, or sweating more.  
  • Cost: $45 for 30 sticks, or $1.50/stick 
  • If you need to drink 2L of electrolyte fluids each day, you will need 2 sticks each day, which totals to $3/day. 
  • You can subscribe to LMNT, which brings the cost to $39 for 30 sticks, or $1.30/stick.  
  • You can also save more and bundle packs or subscribe to bundles.  
  • One bundle costs $135/120 sticks, or $1.13/stick.  
  • A subscription for bundle packs costs $117/120 sticks, or $0.98/stick. 

 

  1. Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier 

  • Serving instructions: 1 stick pack mixed in 16oz of water 
  • Flavor: Liquid IV has multiple flavor options available. 
  • Sodium: Each stick has 500mg (0.5g) of sodium.  
  • Sugar: Each stick has 11g of sugar.  
  • Extras: Liquid IV has some additional vitamins and minerals added.  
  • There is potassium, which can be helpful if you are exercising, working outside, or sweating more.  
  • Cost: $24.47 for 16 sticks, or $1.53/stick 
  • If you need to drink 2L of electrolyte fluids each day, you will need 2 sticks each day, which totals to $3.06/day 
  • You can subscribe to Liquid IV, which brings the cost to $40 for 32 sticks, or $1.30/stick.  
  • You can also bundle up to six orders, which brings the cost to $117.46 for 96 sticks, or $1.22/stick.  
  • Vitamin B12 is non-methylated, which may present problems for patients with MTHFR polymorphisms.

 

  1. Drip Drop Electrolyte Drink Mix 

  • Serving instructions: 1 stick pack mixed in 16oz of water. There are also smaller packs to mix into 8oz of water.  
  • Flavor: Drip Drop has 14 different flavor options and options for both hot and cold drinks.  
  • Sodium: Each stick has 670mg (0.67g) of sodium (for 16oz pack).  
  • Sugar: Each stick has 14g of sugar (for 16oz pack).  
  • Extras: Drip Drop has a few additional vitamins and minerals added.  
  • There is magnesium, which can be helpful with muscular and fascial-related pain. 
  • There is potassium, which can be helpful if you are exercising, working outside, or sweating more.  
  • Cost: $159.99 for 80 sticks, or $2/stick (for 16oz pack). 
  • If you need to drink 2L of electrolyte fluids each day, you will need 2 sticks each day, which totals to $4/day   

 

  1. Pedialyte Sport Powder Packs 

  • Serving instructions: 1 stick pack mixed in 16oz of water.  
  • Flavor: Pedialyte Sport comes in two flavors, lemon lime and fruit punch.  
  • Sodium: Each stick has 650mg (0.65g) of sodium.  
  • Sugar: Each stick has 7g of sugar.  
  • Extras: Pedialyte Sport has a few additional minerals added but no added vitamins.  
  • There is magnesium, which can be helpful with muscular and fascial-related pain. 
  • There is potassium, which can be helpful if you are exercising, working outside, or sweating more.  
  • If you need to drink 2L of electrolyte fluids each day, you will need 2 sticks each day, which totals to $3.13/day. 

 

  1. Gatorade Zero Sugar Lowest Cost, Least Sodium per Serving, Zero Sugar

  • Serving instructions: 1 stick pack mixed in 16.9oz of water.  
  • Flavor: Gatorade powder comes in multiple flavors.  
  • Sodium: Each stick has 230mg (0.23g) of sodium.  
  • Sugar: Each stick has 0g of sugar.  
  • Extras: Gatorade powder has potassium, which can be helpful if you are exercising, working outside, or sweating more.  

 

What if I don’t like any of these options? 

That’s okay! There are many different options for electrolyte supplementation available in stores and online. When looking for electrolyte supplements, look at the sodium content, sugar content, and additional ingredients on the nutrition labels to help you choose.  

  • If your dysautonomia symptoms are more bothersome or severe, look for something with more sodium per serving.  
  • If you have diabetes or a medical condition requiring frequent glucose monitoring, look closely at sugar content.  
  • If you have a known issue with folate metabolism, a MTHFR polymorphism or mutation, avoid added folate and look for methylated folate. (Your provider will inform you if this is something that is important for you.) 

What’s the difference between these supplements and regular table salt? Can I just add table salt to water? 

For the purposes of addressing dysautonomia, there is no difference. You can, in fact, just mix table salt with water. For taste and convenience purposes, the electrolyte drinks options usually are better liked by patients, which helps patients to stay consistent with drinking 1-3L of fluid every single day.  

If you would rather make your own, LMNT has a recipe for their unflavored base available on their website (scroll down and see FAQ’s), and LMNT also has an article dedicated to homemade electrolyte drink recipes 

 

There are affiliate links in this article. The Fascia Institute and Treatment Center does collect a share of the sales or compensation from the links on this page for clinical and research support.