Electrolytes are chemicals that conduct electricity when mixed with water. They regulate nerve and muscle function, hydrate the body, balance blood acidity and pressure, and help rebuild damaged tissue. The muscles and neurons are sometimes referred to as the "electric tissues" of the body. Common electrolytes are sodium, potassium, and calcium which are needed by muscles to contract. When these substances become imbalanced, it can lead to either muscle weakness or excessive contraction.
Clearly, maintaining electrolyte levels on the tennis court is vital. Drinking just water goes some way to help, but in hot and/or humid days, or when we are really exerting ourselves, our bodies need us to consume electrolytes before, during and after play. In fact, as tennis fans will note, most professional players drink both electrolytes and water during a match. In our experience, because of the volume needed, just drinking electrolytes can lead to stomach upsets - especially those with high sodium levels.
Knowing the importance of hydration we have gathered the Best 8 Electrolyte Powders and Tablets for tennis players.
Gatorade Thirst Quencher Powder
Price:Typically $8.99 (per 50.9 oz tin which makes 6 gallons) - Equivalent of $0.16/16oz
Manufactured by: Gatorade
Flavor: Lemon-Lime (Other flavors available)
Serving Size: 1 2/3 Tbsp (23g)
Nutrition: 90 Calories, 21g Sugar, 0g Fat, 150mg Sodium, 45g Potassium
Taste: Testers found it quite sweet, and some disliked the artificial after-taste. The Gatorade Thirst Quencher Powder is a ubiquitous drink used by college teams and academies across the USA. It has high sugar, medium sodium content that some testers found over-sweet. The volume of powder was higher than some other choices although it dissolved quite quickly.
Pedialyte Variety Pack
Price:$8.98 (8-Pack) - Equivalent of $2.24/16oz
Manufactured by: Abbott
Flavor: Strawberry, Fruit Punch, Grape, and Apple
Serving Size: 1 Packet (9g)
Nutrition: 25 Calories, 6g Sugar, 0g Fat, 240mg Sodium, 180g Potassium
Taste: Testers found some flavors had an odd flavor and were quite salty. This Pedialyte variety pack has four different flavors and is the most expensive of the group per oz made. Pedialyte also produces pre-made drinks designed for dehydrated kids and babies. The powder dissolved rapidly.
Propel Electrolyte Water Beverage
Price:$1.97 (10 packets) - Equivalent of $0.16/16oz
Manufactured by: Gatorade
Flavor: Berry (Other flavors available)
Serving Size: 1 Packet (2.4g)
Nutrition: 0 Calories, 0g Sugar, 0g Fat, 210mg Sodium, 65g Potassium
Taste: Testers found this had a subtle, slightly sweet taste more like a cordial. The Propel electrolyte water beverage mix had universal appeal with no calories or sugar. The mix dissolved quickly.
Vitalyte Electrolyte Replacement Mix
Price:$1.49 (Single pack) $19.99 (35oz pouch) - Equivalent of $1.44/16oz Manufactured by: Vitalyte Sports Nutrition
Flavor: Fruit Punch (Lemon also available)
Serving Size: 1 to 1 1/3 Tbsp (13g)
Nutrition: 40 Calories, 11g Sugar, 0g Fat, 70mg Sodium, 95g Potassium
Taste: Testers stated this had a subtle taste and some described it as a little sour. The Vitalyte electrolyte replacement drink mix is typically sold through sports stores. It has a modest calorie, sugar and sodium levels. The powders dissolved easily.
Price:$5.49 (10 tablets) - Equivalent of $0.48/16oz
Manufactured by: Nuun & Co
Flavor: Strawberry Lemonade (Other flavors available)
Serving Size:1 Tablet (5.5g)
Nutrition: 15 Calories, 1g Sugar, 0g Fat, 300mg Sodium, 150g Potassium Taste: Testers found the drink to had an artificial taste that was not well received. The Nuun tablets have become widely stocked in grocery and sports stores alike. The calorie and sugar levels are low, but the sodium level is one of the highest in this group. The tablet took a little while to dissolve. Nuun also provides tablets with caffeine.
G2 Thirst Quencher Powder
Price:$3.69 (8-Pack) - Equivalent of $0.32/16oz
Manufactured by: Gatorade
Flavor: Glacier Freeze
Serving Size: 1 pack (15g)
Nutrition: 50 Calories, 12g Sugar, 0g Fat, 250mg Sodium, 80g Potassium
Taste: Testers thought the G2 was sweet but not overly so. The G2 Thirst Quencher Powder made by Gatorade has a pleasant, easy to drink flavor and is easily available. The calories and sugar are lower than the original Gatorade although the sodium level is higher.
GU Drink Tabs
Price:$6.50 (12-Pack) - Equivalent of $0.64/16oz
Manufactured by: GU Energy
Flavor: Tri-Berry (Other flavors available)
Serving Size:1 Tablet (4.5g)
Nutrition: 10 Calories, 1g Sugar, 0g Fat, 320mg Sodium, 55g Potassium
Taste: Testers were not universally positive. They thought the drink had a fake bubblegum taste. The GU Drink Tabs are sold through sports stores and high-end grocery stores. They are low calorie and sugar and high sodium. The tablets tooks a little while to dissolve.
ZYM Electrolyte Tablets
Price:$8.95 (10-Pack) - Equivalent of $0.80/16oz
Manufactured by: ZYM, Inc.
Serving Size: 1 Tablet (4.5g)
Nutrition: 8 Calories, 0g Sugar, 0g Fat, 300mg Sodium, 100g Potassium
Taste: Testers liked the gentle yet refreshing citrus flavor. These Zym electrolyte tablets are more difficult to source. They are very low calorie, and sugar and high sodium. The effervescent tablets have vitamins added and dissolved faster than others featured here.
All the electrolyte powders and tablets here can help you on the tennis court. Our three favorites are G2 Thirst Quencher (Best appeal), Propel Electrolyte Water Beverage (Best value) and Zym Electrolyte Tablets (Best taste). If you have discovered other electrolyte powders or tablets we have missed, then feel free to add comments. And, if you have any allergies, then before consuming any of these products, please make sure you read all the ingredients.