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Best Electrolyte Drinks for Diabetes

coconut water diabetes paleoedge

If you have diabetes and you are looking to say hydrated with an electrolyte drink, you know it can be difficult to find one that isn’t too high in sugar and carbohydrates. If you have started an exercise regime, it can also be challenging to keep your blood sugar from getting too low. Exercise removes glucose from the blood without using insulin, and is crucial in getting diabetes under control, but it is a delicate balance for your blood sugar being too high when you are inactive, and too low when you are active. It is important that the electrolyte drink matches your activity level, and you are not drinking an electrolyte drink with 25 carbohydrates while you are sitting inside, or one with zero carbohydrates while you are combining Zumba, Jazzercize and CrossFit.

In regards to these parameters, perhaps you were advised to choose an electrolyte drink that uses artificial sweeteners. While writing The New Menu for Diabetes, I did some research on artificial sweeteners and was shocked that these were recommended for diabetics. The studies clearly showed that these in fact should be avoided, and I wanted to go more in depth in this article regarding why you should avoid Splenda and Acesulfame K.

Why You Should Avoid the Following Electrolyte Drinks

The following is based on my research and opinion.

1. Powerade Zero

After doing some research, I noticed that Powerade Zero was the drink of choice for many diabetics due to it having zero calories. What’s in Powerade Zero?

UK Label: Water, citric acid, mineral salts (sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium phosphate), natural berry flavouring with other natural flavourings, acidity regulator (E332), sweeteners (sucralose, acesulfame K), colour (E133).

US Label: Water, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Salt, Potassium Citrate, Sucralose, Sodium Citrate, Potassium Phosphate, Acesulfame Potassium, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Blue 1, Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12).

Sucralose (Splenda)

Sucralose is an organochlorine. It has been found to wreak havoc on intestinal bacteria (up to 50% destruction) and express two p-450 enzymes. Your beneficial bacteria is responsible for up to 80 percent of your immune system, your ability to lose weight, and emerging research is connecting anxiety and depression to low beneficial bacteria populations.

Acesulfame K

Acesulfame K (K is the symbol for potassium) seems to go under the radar quite often. It’s almost as if it’s hiding behind the other artificial sweeteners and sneaking in the back door into your drink. It’s often blended with other artificial sweeteners to yield a more sugar-like taste, which is why it gets less attention. It also shares a similar bedtime story as aspartame, being discovered by accident when the scientists dip their finger(s) in the chemical solution and lick it off, only to find it to be very sweet. As with sucralose, you have to really rifle through the studies to try and discover where the potential problems may lie.

Methlyene chloride is a solvent used in the beginning step of creating Acesulfame K. What is methlyene chloride? According to the EPA, it is predominately used as a solvent in paint strippers, removers and pharmaceutical drugs, and as propellent for insect sprays and aerosol paint sprays. Exposure from the inhalation of methylene chloride have been linked to headaches, nausea, memory loss, liver and kidney issues, visual and auditory dysfunction, cardiovascular problems and an increased rate of cancer.

According to this FDA 2003 document,  “methylene chloride, a carcinogenic chemical, is a potential impurity in ACK resulting from its use as a solvent in the initial manufacturing step of the sweetener. In the past, FDA has assumed that methylene chloride is present in Acesulfame K at the LOD of 40 ppb (worst-case scenario) and has evaluated its safety by performing a risk assessment for methylene chloride based on this level. No new information has been received to change FDA’s previous risk assessment for methylene chloride.” You know how much of this should be considered safe for human consumption? Zero parts per billion.

According to the 2013 Code of Federal Regulations, Asulfame K also cannot have a fluoride content of more than 30 parts per billion. Fluoride? If you have been following any research regarding fluoride in our water supply, you know that ingesting too much can cause many problems. Compounding chemicals from different sources always need to be considered when looking at actual safety parameters for ingestion.

2. Gatorade

Gatorade is owned by PepsiCo, the makers of Pepsi and who dominate the sports drink market at 69 percent. Gatorade has 21 grams of sugar and dextrose per 12 oz serving, which should obviously be avoided by diabetics. Many of the colors and flavors seem a little extreme with their bright blues and reds. How are these made? The artificial colors and flavors are derived from aromatic hydrocarbons from petrochemicals. In other words, oil. Manufacturers are not required to divulge this information because artificial colors and flavors are considered intellectual property.

These food dyes have been found to inhibit mitochondrial respiration; the ability of the powerhouse of your cells to convert nutrients to energy. Red 3 causes cancer in animals, with evidence that other dyes also are carcinogenic. Three dyes (Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6) have been found to be contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens. At least four dyes (Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6) cause hypersensitivity reactions, and numerous studies found Yellow 5 positive for genotoxicity. Depending on the flavor, Gatorade uses Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40 and Blue 1.

3. Pedialyte

PediaLyte is a drink marketed to kids, for hydrating during times of diarrhea and vomiting, and may even be recommended if you have diabetes. As you can see from the label, there isn’t anything that makes PediaLyte stand out. It uses the same common cheap formula of dextrose, salt, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners and food color dyes. They even have a bubble gum flavor. It also missing magnesium and calcium. But their marketing is what makes PediaLyte the first thing people think of when they are sick.

The main headline at the top of each PediaLytes drink is “Pedialyte helps prevent dehydration and quickly replaces fluids, zinc, and electrolytes lost during diarrhea and vomiting.” They have taken it a step further and added prebiotics which help probiotics colonize, yet they use sucralose. From a sucralose study, the total numbers of bifidobacteria, lactobacilli and other probiotics were significantly decreased. These strains of bacteria are what help keep you well and prevent diarrhea.

Three dyes (Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6) have been found to be contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens, and numerous studies of Yellow 5 have been positive for genotoxicity. And Pedialyte is being marketed to children? Or anyone when they are sick?

Ingredients: Dextrose, Citric Acid, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Potassium Citrate, Salt, Sodium Citrate, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Zinc Gluconate, and Red 40, Blue Dye 1 or Yellow Dye 6 depending on the flavor. The AdvancedCare product also uses acesulfame K.

4. Electrolyte Drinks Using Sodium Benzoate

I originally had NUUN Active Hydration listed here due to the ingredients sodium benzoate and acesulfame potassium. It was brought to my attention that NUUN has now removed these two ingredients from their formula. If you didn’t see your drink listed here, check for sodium benzoate.

The concern is that when you combine sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid you create benzene, especially in the presence of heat and light (common with storing citrus flavored soda in a warm garage). Citric acid may act as a catalyst for this process in the presence of ascorbic acid. NUUN Hydration contains vitamin C in the active ingredients, making this a prime candidate for this reaction.

Benzene damages the cells mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell where you are generating energy in the first place! It has been found to cause cancer – leukemia and other cancers of the blood – by disabling a cell’s DNA. Benzene is also found in cigarettes, pesticides, car exhaust, paints and certain laundry detergents. Runners and bikers exposed to car exhaust should be especially mindful of this since vitamin C is an important antioxidant to protect against oxidative stress and promote tissue repair. As a diabetic, you may be taking vitamin C along with Metformin.

5. Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is also owned by Coca-Cola. You may have noticed that the bottle contains “2.5 servings” which means you need to multiply everything by 2.5, a deceiving way to lower the amounts on the label from first glance. There are 32 grams of sugar in most of the products, crystalline fructose and sugar. Crystalline fructose is even higher in fructose than high fructose corn syrup, and often tainted with heavy metals. Compare 32 grams of sugar in a bottle of Vitaminwater to 35 grams of sugar in one can of Coke.

You may have even read the about the lawsuit against Vitaminwater for calling itself a healthy beverage, and Coca-Cola has since acknowledged that it is indeed not. Too much refined sugar will make you cramp while you’re competing, upset your stomach, lower your immunity, deplete minerals and actually dehydrate you. As for the vitamins, they are cheap forms with questionable origin, and worthless to the body.

Best Electrolyte Drinks for Diabetes Guidelines  

What is the criteria for the best electrolyte drinks for diabetes? I’m looking for a drink that contains all of the electrolytes, is sweetened with stevia or Lo Han Guo, does not contain any artificial sweeteners or colors, and is low in carbohydrates. A bonus is given if it contains chromium and vitamin C, both which are very beneficial for diabetics.

Stevia has been found to regulate blood sugar and prevent hypertension, decrease blood glucose and improve carbohydrate metabolism. Lo Han Guo has been found to improve insulin response, reduce blood sugar, lower lipid peroxidation and reduce protein spilling (better kidney function). When chromium is available in sufficient amounts, lower amounts of insulin are required to move glucose into the cells. One randomized, double-blind study found that after 12 weeks, vitamin C with metformin increased ascorbic acid levels, reduced fasting blood sugar, post-meal blood glucose and improved HbA1C compared to the placebo group.

The Best Electrolyte Drinks for Diabetes to Look for in Stores or Online

1. Coconut Water: A study from 2012 and a study from 2015 found that coconut water has anti-glycation properties, kidney protection, prevented hyperglycemia and oxidative stress. It is an excellent source potassium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, sodium, b-vitamins, enzymes and vitamin C.

The best way to enjoy coconut water is to buy a young coconut, take a hammer to the top, and enjoy it fresh and raw. If you want to buy coconut water in the store, you need to be more selective since many companies are going out of their way to deliver cheap coconut water that lasts for two years on a shelf, often from concentrate and with added sugar and flavors. That should make you suspicious.

What you want to look for is coconut water in the refrigerated section, that uses young coconuts, is not pasteurized and does not contain any added ingredients like natural flavors, fruit juice or sugar. The companies I have found that follow these guidelines include: Harmless Harvest, Unoco, Liquitera, Vital Juice and Juice Press. Many of these use a process called HPP, which sterilizes the juice with pressure instead of heat. This keeps the vitamins and enzymes in tact.

2. Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water

Gerolsteiner label

I did some traveling this summer (2015) and tested out numerous mineral waters and took pictures of each of the labels. While some mineral waters were very low in minerals, there were a few that were impressively high in all the electrolytes, including bicarbonate which is often missing and important for pH balancing. What stood out to me about Gerolsteiner from Germany is that it collects minerals from the dolomites, making it very high in calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate. And it tastes amazing, especially if you crave carbonated drinks. Add the juice of two lemons and powdered stevia to taste for a drink that tastes very close to a lemon lime soda.

That combination is perfect for those with headaches, nausea, fatigue and digestive issues. So if your doctor has recommended that you drink an electrolyte drink that isn’t necessarily to be used for exercise and sweating and needs to be low in sodium, this is the best choice straight from nature. If you are an athlete, keep it in the fridge and enjoy it later in the evening to supply more calcium and magnesium for sore muscles. If you want more energy and hydration while sitting at your desk, this is the best option. In the US, you can find it in liter bottles in Trader Joes or Whole Foods for $1.49 to $2.00, but if you can’t then online is the way to go.

The Best Electrolyte Powders and Liquids for Diabetes Online 


1. Endure Performance Electrolyte Drops or LyteShow


Both Endure and Lyteshow use concentrated ionic minerals from the Great Salt Lake. They come in convenient liquid drops that you can add to any bottle of water, making them extremely convenient. Endure has slightly more magnesium, while Lyteshow includes zinc.

According to Lyteshow’s website, it has been clinically tested using firefighters, showing enhanced hydration with less water than regular water. The researchers found that “this can minimize carrying excessive weight, possibly reducing fatigue during extended exercise.” Both of these provide a great middle ground for those wanting to get enough sodium during exercise while having a better balance of magnesium, chloride and potassium without sugar or carbohydrates.
Endure                                    Lyteshow 








If you want to add a flavor, try the homemade PaleoEdge electrolyte drink:
32 oz. water
1 orange, lemon and 1/2 cucumber sliced
1/4 tsp. Endure or Lyteshow

2. Vega Electrolyte Hydrator

Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator is recommended if you want portable single packets to take with you, a broader mineral profile and you want a zero calorie electrolyte drink. This one is pretty sweet, so you will want to dilute it quite a bit.

Ingredients: Potassium, natural lemon and lime flavors, magnesium, citric acid, malic acid, stevia extract, calcium, chloride, phosphorus, sodium, vitamin C, silicon dioxide, zinc, copper, selenium and chromium.

Calories: 0

Carbohydrates: 0

Sugars: 0

3. Hammer Endurolytes Fizz

Heavy sweat loss equals a higher need for sodium and other minerals. So if you do long bike rides, runs or triathlons in warmer conditions and have experienced more than normal sweat loss, you want something a little more heavy duty. Hammer Endurolytes Fizz is a superior option for those that want to add something to their water and have a separate carbohydrate source in mind.

Contains 200mg sodium, 100mg potassium, 60mg chloride, 50mg magnesium, 3mg manganese gluconate, 13mg B6, 100mg L-Tyrosine, and less than 1mg carbohydrates.

4. Electrolyte Energy Formula

Pure Encapsulations Electrolyte/Energy Formula is recommended only for exercise lasting 1-2 hours if you are needing to prevent low blood sugar. The carbohydrate level is low, but it is important to monitor glucose after the first trial dose to see how you respond. Choose the other options if you are wanting an electrolyte drink while you are inactive or taking part in a light to moderate exercise regime.


  • vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) 100 mg.
  • calcium (as calcium citrate) 50 mg.
  • magnesium (as magnesium citrate) 50 mg.
  • chloride (as sodium chloride) 75 mg.
  • sodium (as sodium chloride) 50 mg.
  • potassium (as potassium phosphate) 50 mg.
  • alpha ketoglutarate 200 mg.
  • malice acid 200 mg.
  • l-tyrosine (free-form) 500 mg

calories: 30

carbohydrate: 7 g

sugars: (glucose): 3.5 g

5. Ultima Replenisher New Formula Cherry Pomegranate

Ultima Replenisher is recommended as a balanced moderate electrolyte drink. It can be used as a hydrating drink on a hot day, or with light to moderate exercise. My only criticism is the use of potassium aspartate, which could potentially be an issue for those with excitatory sensitivities.

Ingredients: Citric acid, malic acid, natural pomegranate flavor, beet juice color, beta carotene, rebaudioside A and cherry powder.

Calories: 0

Carbohydrates: 0

Sugars: 0

Suggested Reading

The Best and Worst Multivitamins and Why to Design Your Own
The Best and Worst Multivitamins for Seniors

73 Responses to Best Electrolyte Drinks for Diabetes

  • Was your article intened to promote you products which are not avail in stores?

    What is recommend that is available in store.

    • Hi Irene,

      You can find both Ultima and Vega in local health food stores or health food chains like Whole Foods. If these stores are not available near you, online will be your best bet.

      • I don’t know if you will see this but I want to thank you, thank you you have helped me more than any one . Not only am I diabetic but I have protein c deficiency so I can’t have vit. K .it neutralizes the coumidin. Thank you again Ms Dale Walkinshaw

  • Hi Alex,

    I’m looking for the best electrolyte drink for my 76 year old Mom who has multiple health issues: Seizures, Diabetes, Cardiac (CABG, CHF), and this year she’s been in the hospital 3 times for Urinary Tract Infections & Hyponatremia.

    My greatest challenge is helping my Mom navigate her multiple health concerns that often require contradictory solutions. Currently, I’m struggling with how to sufficiently hydrate my Mom to manage her seizures that are primarily caused by dehydration (particularly low electrolytes), and alternatively, making sure I don’t over-hydrate my Mom resulting in CHF or Hyponatremia. It’s been a really difficult dance!

    For the past year, I’ve been using Emergen-C powder for electrolytes. Overall, Emergenc-C seemed to do fine. The 6 grams of sugar seemed to have no affect on my Mom’s sugar levels, as her diabetes has been under control for the past couple years via improved diet, exercise and hydration.

    I have always been told Vitamin C was good for diabetics, but I wasn’t sure if 1000 mg of Vitamin C that Emergen-C has might be too much, possibly resulting in unwanted negative side effects?

    After reading your article, I was ready to order Ultimate Replenisher, but when checking the nutritional info, though I loved the zero sugar, I became hesitant seeing it had lower amounts of all the electrolytes and minerals (potassium, sodium, chromium, magnesium, etc.).

    So now I don’t know what to do? After reading multiple articles of yours today, you are clearly far more educated on these matters and would love to get your insights.

    Any help you can lend, would be greatly appreciated!!!

    Thank you!


    • Hi Mike,

      That is definitely a challenging dance! Without seeing her blood work and the medications she is on, it is very difficult for me to answer as accurately as I would like. I can offer a few suggestions. Emergen-C is lacking sodium and chloride (sodium is lost the most in sweat) and while some people like this fact if their diet is high in sodium, hypoatremia occurs from low sodium levels (many different causes including too much water, diuretic medications etc). While I can’t say that the lack of sodium is the cause, it looks like including sodium in her electrolyte drink would help prevent diluted levels. I don’t believe the amount of vitamin C is causing any issues you mentioned, and you are correct that it has been found to be beneficial for those taking metformin.

      The Vega Electrolyte Hydrator is very close to the Emergen C profile, but with sodium and other trace minerals while having zero sugar. I would recommend trying this and see if it makes a difference.

      On another note, her Vitamin D level (optimal is 50-70ng/ml) if not already addressed, should also be looked at. Vitamin D plays an important role not only in bone health, but fluid metabolism, cardiovascular and metabolic health as well. You may also want to consider D-mannose/cranberry extract to prevent urinary tract infections.

      Hope this helps, and review with your doctor first.

    • As a young woman with diabetes for 30 years, UTIs were a part of life until 2 years ago! D-MANNOSE and grapefruit seed oil is amazing! The Web MD says that the D-MANNOSE might elevate bloodsugar, but as a rather sedate person with medium-low insulin needs, there is no flux. I take the D-MANNOSE orally as directed until 3 days after the UTI disappears, and apply the oil topicallyy daily for the same amount of time. I dilute it with either coconut or olive oils, or put it in plain bath salts before bathing. I hope you and your mother are doing well.

  • hi, i have just been diagonised as diabetic type 2 with a count of 8.6. i am concerned that when i run with a sauna/sweat suit on it could dehydrate me too much as well as lower my blood sugar levels too low. i run in the mornings and normally have a spirulina shake prior to my run. do you think i should take “pure encapsulations drink” during the run (in one of those on the go drinking vessels) or take post exercise. i like running in the sauna suit as it really makes me perspire a lot. hoping for some advice….Gratefully

    • Hi Cliff,

      Yes you would be a good candidate for the Pure Encapsulations Electrolyte Energy Formula. You have to really monitor yourself with those sweat suits because you are losing a lot of minerals, and yes you don’t want your blood sugar to get too low. I would recommend taking it with you and drinking as needed. Make sure you have some protein, fat, fiber and a small about of carbs post-workout for recovery and blood sugar stabilization.

    • Cliff,

      Why are you running in a ‘sweat suit’? Medically, or physically, what is the purpose and what do you believe you are gaining/benefiting?

      When you run in a sweat suit, all you are doing is that, sweating. Containing the sweat won’t allow your body to properly cool off. You’re basically wrapping yourself in plastic wrap and not allowing the body’s natural cooling system to function as it should. If you believe you are losing weight, you are, but only water weight, which you will gain back once you re-hydrate. Running in this type of a suit is more detrimental you to your health, especially being diabetic, than any positive gains you may achieve. You are taxing your body harder on the exercise and recovery.


  • I’m surprised there was no mention of coconut water or dill pickle juice for ending cramping.
    My view is natural is best and that puts coconut water as number one, not a commercially prepared anything.

    • Agreed! I originally had this written for people looking for something they could just add to water. Not everyone likes the taste of coconut water, but I have been in the midst of organizing the best coconut water companies because there are many that make it from concentrate and add sugar. You prompted me to finish it. Pickle juice is also excellent, especially when made using fermentation instead of vinegar for a probiotic boost.

  • My son was just diagnosed with type 11 diabetes today. His electrolytes count was 16+. What should it be and what should he drink to lower it or raise it?

    • Hi Lisa,

      Did you get the individual electrolytes (sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, calcium) recorded? These ranges will be helpful to determine what’s best. Generally coconut water from the companies listed and Ultima are the best fit for the needs of those with Type 2 diabetes.

  • Hi,

    I have chronic Lyme and dysautonomia and am extremely prone to diarrhea from magnesium. My Dr wants me stay on a low simple sugar diet. I will be starting antibiotics and will likely have Herxmeier reaction, including diarrhea. I’m looking for a low or glucose free electronic drink with little to no magnesium but other good stuff. I have used Pedialyte in the past but that is all glucose. Thanks.

    • Hi Patti,

      The electrolyte drink with the lowest magnesium I know of is Ultima (8 grams, 2% DV). Electrolyte drinks that just have sodium and potassium usually use sugar or artificial sweeteners. The other option would be to make the PaleoEdge electrolyte drink and use 1/4 tsp. sea salt in the place of Endure/Lyteshow.
      32 oz. water
      1 orange, lemon and 1/2 cucumber sliced
      1/4 tsp. sea salt

  • I’m looking at the coconut water as the best for my elderly step mom who has been diagnosed with something called CDiff. She also has diabetes so finding the right recipe for helping her with the diarrhea and adding electrolytes to her system without elevating her sugar levels is difficult. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Hi Patricia,

      For C-Diff, coconut water is an excellent choice as long as you buy the ones without added sugar.

      Gerolsteiner water is also an excellent choice, along with Ultima or Vega.

  • I workout a lot and I don’t like sugar drinks would coconut water be the best for me

  • I have mussle twitches after I workout which water is best for that.

    • Hi Mike,

      Muscle twitches or cramps are tied to magnesium and/or potassium. Coconut water would be a great choice, or the Endure for more magnesium if coconut water is still too sweet. I would also consider magnesium citramate or glycinate supplementation as well.

  • Hey Mr Swanson this a thank you message for all your help as we as a people need more of this kind of dialogs thanks again

  • Hey this is mike i wanted to ask you what do you think about vitamin water they claim they have 100% mag, potass, nia, cal, & more Im a bit skeptic though, in other words i dont trust they. Have a blessed day

  • I ment i dont trust them sorry about the typo.

  • thanks for the update because I ok to do my research on everything even on the things people say you them everybody thanks.

  • Please tell me what I can drink instead of powerade zero.Read you post and realized I was having lower intestinal cramps.
    I drink mostly distilled water, but was looking for something flavored as alternative with electrolytes.
    I am in my early sixties healthy and do a lot of lifting and walking at my job. My doctor says I should try to get more electrolytes , because
    of leg cramping . Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated
    Thank you

    • Hi Jeff,

      The best flavored alternatives would be Ultima or Vega Electrolyte Hydrator. I should add that leg cramping is often a magnesium deficiency, and you may require magnesium supplementation on top of electrolyte hydration.

    • Hi Jeff, I’m so glad you asked that question! Ultima Replenisher ( is your answer. It has all 6 electrolytes plus support minerals, no sugar, zero calories and carbs and best of all it is all natural with nothing artificial added. Real fruit flavors, plant-based colors, sweetened with Stevia Leaf extract and really delicious. It’s Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free and comes in 5 flavors (grape, orange, cherry pomegranate, lemonade & grape) and is very gentle on the stomach. Thanks! — Loretta

  • Every year I ride in an endurance (150 miles) bicycle ride to gather donations for Multiple Sclerosis. What are your recommendations for Type2s? Training I classically ride several hours a day.
    I want to avoid sugar, but I think need some kind of glucose replenishment for those long rides. Add Stevia to coconut juice?

    Thank you,
    Ted Calloway

    • Hi Ted,

      Wow that’s really great! The conditions of the ride (heat, hills, etc.) helps determine your needs along with having Type 2. Coconut water tends to cause stomach cramping for long distance cardio, so I wouldn’t recommend it for cycling. For that type of distance, I added a new one to this list called Hammer Endurolytes Fizz (#5). This gives you a more comprehensive electrolyte profile for sweat loss and energy. Blood sugar may be better regulated by your meal and snack plan focused on protein, fat and carbohydrates at regular intervals in combination with your electrolyte drink versus one with glucose, sucrose or maltodextrin. Run this option by your doctor since I don’t know your medical history or any other medications you may be taking.

  • Hi Alex,
    i am a Type 2 Diabetic & i over last 1 year i have been able to bring down my HBA1C levels from 9.6 to between 5.5-6.0 .
    without medication & purely with carb management and exercise. However now while training in summers i feel totally drained &
    feel the need for an electolyte for re-hydration. I do not want to use stuff with artifcial sweeteners & stevia is not readily available in
    India. So i am plannig to make my own but with something natural to sweeten it.
    Here in India a new type of natural sweetener called Levulose is getting marketed. it is supposed to be some equivalent form of fructose. And it’s metabolism is said to be insulin independent . I have found very few studies or articles on this sweetener.
    Do you have any informaion on any potential harmful effects of using Levulose.

    • Hi Gurjeet,

      Great job on lowering your HbA1C naturally! I would wait for more research on the safety of isolated Levulose for diabetics.

  • Excellent article, and I appreciate the fact that you personally respond to questions. I am a Type 2 diadetic, overweight (due to psych meds, mostly), and sedentary (due to the extreme fatigue associated with my meds and the diabetes). I am not a happy camper. I am a 55 yo female, and I have had chronic constipation for over 30 years. Recently suffered a severe bout of gastritis and colitis, with diarrhea that landed me in the ER for rapid rehydration. My symptoms have passed, and my GI doctor is discouraging electrolyte drinks. Says they aren’t necessary. I’m not sure about that.

    I drink a lot of water – always thirsty lately – maybe 1-1/2 quarts a day. My urine I’d disturbingly clear, and I read that too much water can actually cause dehydration. Lastly, I do not have the resources to buy online products. Oh yes – I have also been told that I am low in Vitamin D.

    Okay. That’s enough background, I think. Sorry, but I know it’s complicated. Here are the questions: Do you think I am a candidate for routine electrolyte rehyxration?

    • Hi Laura,

      Your GI doctor is likely discouraging commercial electrolyte drinks that are high in sugar due to your gastritis and colitis. Also, if you drink too much water, you begin to flush out your minerals. This is especially true with diabetes. I would recommend using the coconut water, and finding the Trace Minerals Research Concentrace drops to add to water. This will increase your magnesium, which helps blood sugar and prevents constipation. Chronic constipation is linked to magnesium deficiency, and I would discuss magnesium supplementation with your doctor. Aim for 16 oz. a day of organic coconut water and 8-16 oz. of water with the Trace Minerals Concentrace drops (follow instuctions on label) based on the weather. I also recommend eating hydrating watery vegetables and low glycemic fruit (apples, pears, berries) in addition for minerals and hydration.

  • My browser is acting up. Here are the other two questions: If I am a candidate, how often should I drink it? And can you offer a recipe to make myself – I already have organic coconut water.


  • Thank you so much, Alex!

  • Alex,
    I am a 56 year old type 2 diabetic male. I’ve been working outside in hundred degree heat. What do you think of zero water?

  • Wow, thank you for the tips. Have you tried any of these yourself for longer training times? I play beach volleyball in extreme heat in Florida and was just told I am Type 2 diabetic. I am trying to figure out what to use for dehydration and if I can even play tournaments anymore. thank you for any help.

    • Hi Tom,

      Yes, I have used the Endurolytes Fizz for long training times with great success. You have to be more mindful of protein, fat, fiber and carbohydrate combinations at regular intervals for your blood sugar and fuel if you want to continue competing at a high level.

  • Alex, I came across your article because I am looking for a low sugar source of electrolytes in water, as I am diabetic. I was surprised to see that another soul dealing with dysautonomia had contacted you, as it’ s very rare. One of the nastiest things about it is it can be vastly different from one person to the next. For instance, Delaney wrote about his low bp. I always had low normal bp until the dysautonomia cranked up, and now I have high bp. My biggest day-to-day neurologic problems are that I overheat VERY easily, and I pour sweat. I have gone from someone who had to work out hard (and loved it!) with weights to break a sweat, to breaking into a sweat just getting dressed. Though I can’t stand hot weather, cold weather doesn’t, of itself, give relief. I have poured sweat as much outside in 12°F weather as I have in 75°F weather. It has to do with how much I move. Lying still with an air temp below 65° is my only guarantee of relief.

    I am looking at your recipe for a drink with chia seeds and sugar cane and feeling hopeful it might at least cut the intensity of my sweating. Can you recommend a source for buying sugar cane? Online I see cane root stock, cane seeds, and cane swizzle sticks. Otherwise, what about using raw, unrefined sugar?

    Thanks so much for your work and attention

    • Hi Deborah,

      I am very sorry to hear that you are struggling. The recommendation I made to the person regarding dysautomnomia was an electrolyte drink that had the lowest magnesium due to digestive issues, which was Ultima. The chia seed/sugar cane recipe was used by runners in the book Born to Run. Since you are diabetic, I would not recommend using sugar cane. A homemade electrolyte drink that could work for you would be a serving of Endure or Lyteshow electrolyte drops and a flavored liquid stevia from NuNaturals in water. You could add chia seeds to this, just be aware that it will change the texture of the water.

      Let me know if this helps or if you have more questions.

  • I have type 2 diabetes, and my blood sugars has recently spiked, due to lifestyle stress I guess. My doctor has increased my meds subsequently. Today is the first day that I took the extra meds. I find that I drink lots of water, but have to run to the toilet all t he time. The sugar in my urine is also quite high. Please can you advise on a drink to keep me hydrated without having to run to the toilet so frequently.

    • Hi Shirley,

      You want to avoid drinking large amounts of water becuase it will flush out your minerals. It is better to try the Gerolsteiner mineral water or use the Ultima in water and drink moderately. Mineral rich water will allow you to require less fluids.

  • As the mother of a 15 year old, very active, soccer-mad, T1 diabetic, I want to say thank you for being so generous with your research results. I was looking for something to help him with electrolyte imbalance after soccer and came across your wonderful article. Thank you so much.

    • Hi Anne Marie,

      Thank you, that’s very kind of you to take the time to let me know. I’m happy to answer any other questions you may have.

  • Wonderful article! We are linking to this particularly great
    post on our website. Keep up the good writing.

  • Hi,
    I need your expert advice for my 65 yr old mother who has a complex medical history..presently she has diabetes, blood pressure, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, gloucoma and stomach ulcer.
    She has recently had an asthma attack and her electrolyte levels have gone quite low. Can you pls advice me on what electrolyte drinks are best for her. Also can you guide me on what articles/resources online should I look into to be able to better manage/improve upon her multiple issues.
    Your kind help will be greatly appreciated.


  • Hi,
    I am a 37 yo female that has recently had an ICD implanted for atrial fibrillation. I also am a type 1 diabetic. I also have chronically low potassium and magnesium levels. I also have hypothyroidism, hereditary chronic pancreatitis, bipolar disorder, and diabetic neuropathy. I am on the following meds……Amiodarone 200mg daily, Propanolol 40mg tid, Effer K 20mg daily, Magnesium (OTC) 450 mg daily, Gabapentin 900mg tid, Klonopin 0.5mg bid, Levamir 20 units daily, and Humulin R- sliding scale.I’ve been hospitalized several times recently because of my ICD going off and shocking me and still have issues with low potassium and magnesium levels. I’ve read your article, but I’m not sure which product would be beneficial for me. I hope I’ve presented you with enough info! Thank you for your time!

    • Hi Starla,

      I’m sorry to hear you are struggling. I will try my best to summarize all of my thoughts. First, check your vitamin D levels. A high incidence of vitamin D deficiency has been found in Type 1, which would also be connected to mineral levels. Make sure you are not consuming any aspartame, which disrupts potassium levels. Since taurine maintains potassium levels in the heart, it is worth asking your doctor about magnesium taurate.

      I think the Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator may be the best fit due to having 400mg of potassium, 100mg of magnesium and 200mg of calcium. It is pretty sweet, so you want to dilute it quite a bit. Run it by your doctor first.

  • I have been looking for an electrolyte beverage with the same sodium and potassium balance as pedalyte without the sugar. I always feel the best after pedialyte. I dehydrate easy when I reduce simple carbs in my diet. Would you pretty,pretty, please be so kind to help?

    • Hi Michelle,

      Pedialyte has 240mg of sodium and 180mg of potassium. It is likely the sodium that is making you feel better. The Endurolytes Fizz have 200mg of sodium and 100mg of potassium, and Vega has 100mg of sodium and 400mg of potassium. Endurolytes would be a close match or you could add a pinch of sea salt (148mg) to Vega.

  • My son will be having weight loss surgery and Gatorade G2 or Powerade 0 was recommended for the pre surgery diet. Which drink would you recommend as a healthier alternative?

    • Hi Rachel,

      Most of these listed will work for your son. If he prefers something sweet, the Vega Electrolyte Hydrator or Ultima would be the best choice.

    • Those two I checked at whole food is not kosher certified. Which good choice is kosher certified?

    • Those two I checked at whole food are not kosher certified. Which good choice is kosher certified?

      • Hi Rachel,

        I checked with Trace Minerals Research about Endure, and while their other product (Concentrace) is kosher certified, Endure is not. It is coming from the same source and there isn’t anything that wouldn’t make it kosher, but apparently the certification would make the Endure product too expensive. I’m not aware of any other electrolyte drinks that have the kosher certification, and I’m assuming it is a cost issue.

  • I’m confused,the subject was about BodyArmor, I clicked on to the “subject” and the drink much less the word was mentioned. I have borderline diabetes and I thought this was a good drink for my exercises. Never got the answer I was looking for??? So I’m guessing it’s bad for me?

    • Hi Brenda,

      BodyArmor uses cane sugar, so this is not recommended for diabetes. You would be better off using an electrolyte drink that uses stevia as a sweetener or doesn’t use a sweetener at all. All of the recommendations in this article follow these guidelines.

  • What about V-8? A twelve ounce can indicates that it has a high concentration of potassium and of course the sodium is rather high. Is there a reason why this is a good or bad choice for mineral replenishment? I have not seen any mention of it in your articles. Thanks.

    • Hi Kevin,

      V8 is actually made from concentrate, is heated (destroys vitamins and enzymes) and since it is not organic, there may be a concentrated dose of pesticides and herbicides. For diabetes, this may also not be the best choice due to the lack of fiber.

  • I’m type 2 and very dehydrated this summer. I have 2 questions: 1. It seems when I get badly dehydrated, I get weak when trying to do activities and my eyes see everything in a fluorescent lighting. Is this a sign of dehydration? 2. What about rehydrating with IV fluids? There is a clinic near me which offers this service now.

    • Hi Shelli,

      Yes, that is likely a sign of dehydration. Rehydrating with IV fluids can be very helpful. Make sure you are drinking enough electrolytes throughout the day with a drink from this list to prevent dehydration.

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