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I am the person who is constantly thirsty and no matter how much water I drink. And I drink a LOT of water. As a runner, you have to! We all know drinking water is one of the most important factors in staying healthy, and for years I thought that drinking loads of water was one of the most important healthy lifestyle habits to establish. But recently I’ve learned that proper hydration isn’t just about drinking 8 glasses of water daily, but actually about balancing fluid and electrolyte intake.
You can watch the below video for more details or just keep reading!
To understand this why this is necessary for proper hydration, we have to first understand sodium’s role in our body. Sodium is an electrolyte, a type of mineral that carries electrical charges (like nerve impulses) in your body. Sodium also regulates your fluid balance, which is the core of hydration. So if sodium is what regulates your fluid balance, how much do we need?
The answer is more than you think, especially as someone who’s sweating often. Too little sodium (or “over-watering”) can actually result in the issues we typically blame dehydration for: headaches, muscle cramps, fatigue, insomnia, etc. And when your sodium levels fall below a certain point, it’s called hyponatremia, and it can be extremely serious. A perfect ratio is ideal.
Since I don’t eat a high sodium diet or a lot of processed foods, LMNT is what helps me the most with #2.
In today’s post, I’m going to share a review of LMNT Electrolytes, the best electrolyte drink mix ever (and I’ve tried dozens over the years training for 50+ races). It’s the also the most tasty electrolyte drink mix I’ve tried, so let’s jump into it.
Like I mentioned above, I’ve tried dozens of electrolyte drinks and supplements over the years – Nuun, Gatorade, Skratch, Liquid IV. However, they either hurt my stomach, tasted terrible, or they never actually quenched my thirst. (Or all three!) But a few years ago, a friend sent me some of her LMNT to try since she was so obsessed. Since I was trying to balance breastfeeding and running, she knew it would help me.
Robb Wolfe co-founded LMNT because he and his Jiu-jitsu coaches noticed his body needed more salt. The products on the market at the time were crazy high in sugar and woefully lacking in actual electrolytes, so he started LMNT. The brand is based out of Naples, Florida.
LMNT electrolyte drink mix has the optimal ratio of electrolytes (1000 mg of sodium, 200 mg of potassium, and 60 mg of magnesium) to support hydration. It has zero sugar, no artificial ingredients or fillers, and no preservatives. Many (most, actually) electrolyte drink mixes out there are full of sugar; sugar can help you absorb sodium and fluids, but it’s not essential for hydration. So, LMNT doesn’t include it. It doesn’t taste like chemicals or medicine, which I’ve found other similar, salty options do (like Liquid IV).
LMNT is super salty (which I love) but you can add more or less water to your preference if it’s too salty for you. My nanny will use half a packet each time she drinks LMNT, and save the other half for next time. You could also just add more water to your water bottle to help dilute it. I also like that it’s a powder so I don’t have to wait for a tablet to dissolve, like I did with Nuun.
I drink LMNT before, during, and after my high-intensity activity or workout and throughout the day, especially if they’re high-intensity activities. If it’s the dead of winter and I’m not sweating quite as much during a workout, I might save LMNT for afterwards, instead of drinking it before and during as well.
I’ve tried dozens of electrolyte brands over the years and this is my favorite, HANDS DOWN and a must-have for hot, humid runs or long training runs. I used to be a Nuun fanatic, but now I’m hooked on LMNT so I wanted to share some details for you runners or always-thirsty peeps out there. (Note: this is NOT sponsored – it’s just THAT good so I’m dedicating a whole post to it.)
Everyone’s electrolyte needs will vary so the answer depends on the person, and there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. However, LMNT shouldn’t be your sole source of electrolytes each day — clinical data shows that around 5-7g of sodium, 1-3g of potassium, and 250-500mg of magnesium throughout the day is ideal, and it’s great if those are from various sources (ideally from predominantly whole foods). 1-2 packets a day is a good recommendation depending on your activity level, since 1 packet contains 1000 mg of sodium, 200 mg of potassium, and 60 mg of magnesium. (Source) I have more than 1-2 packets since I have low sodium and also sweat a lot.
Right now, the FDA recommends that we limit our sodium intake to 2,300 mg (2.3 grams) per day (for people 14 years and older) to help reduce high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease and deaths. However, LMNT uses evidence from the Intersalt Studies to recommend that individuals can safely consume 5 to 7 grams of sodium daily (source). And this study actually found that people who consumed lower than 2.5g per day of sodium had higher blood pressure than those who consumed larger amounts. Obviously, talk to your doctor. LMNT has a helpful blog post about why they recommend so much sodium.
There are a lots of LMNT flavors:
My favorite flavor of LMNT is watermelon or raspberry. Citrus is pretty good too. I do not like the spicy ones. You can also try a few different variety packs. They also have seasonal flavors, like grapefruit in the summer and chocolate caramel and chocolate mint in the winter. Grapefruit launches officially on May 25 and typically sells out VERY quickly… but if you read this before then, you can actually get it early by buying an Insider Bundle (which is four boxes of any flavor…it will let you add grapefruit!)
Note that the chocolate ones are meant to be mixed with HOT water and consumed like a hot cocoa powder inspired drink. I didn’t realize that for about 6 months and was so confused by the chunky texture and thought it was so nasty. Once I tried it hot, it was a game changer and I loved having it after my cold winter runs.
I did not like the raw unflavored but if you have a different recovery drink you like (perhaps a protein shake or something that has carbs and calories) and want to up the electrolytes in it without impacting the flavor, that may be a good option for you.
Each flavor has one or two different ingredients (the natural watermelon flavor has Malic Acid and the orange flavor uses Citric Acid, for example). Here’s the general breakdown for the Citrus Salt packet. Again, each packet has the perfect balance of sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
You can find a full list of ingredients for each flavor online here.
The most basic way to purchase LMNT is buy ordering boxes one-off. A box of LMNT comes with 30 packets, and it costs $45 per box, which breaks down to $1.50 per packet.
This is a great way to try LMNT the first time to make sure you like it (although, I know you will).
The other option is to set up your LMNT as a subscription and save money. When you subscribe, each box is $39, making each packet $1.30. Since I use 3-5 packets a day, this is by FAR the most economical option for me.
After ordering LMNT a few times, I reached out to them to see if they’d be willing to offer a promo to my readers. They were SUPER generous and gave me a shopping link that gets you a FREE sample pack with ANY order. And to top it off, if you end up buying 3 boxes, you’ll also get a 4th for free!
That’s the only con I can think of!
I am the person who is constantly thirsty and no matter how much water I drank, I was still thirsty. LMNT has truly helped quench my thirst and stay hydrated. NOTHING else has worked that well for me, in 20+ years as a distance runner. So yes, it’s super effective at quenching thirst and balancing my hydration.
I’ve also found that I’m using the restroom less often because all that water I was chugging isn’t just going right through me! The electrolytes in LMNT are helping to keep my hydration levels in balance and actually retaining the right amount of water. My bloodwork with InsideTracker has always shown that I have low sodium and I’ll be really curious to re-test since I’ve added in LMNT.
I really wish that I’d learned about LMNT when I was breastfeeding a lot because I could NOT quench my thirst, EVER. (This article discusses electrolyte needs for pregnant and breastfeeding women in more detail.)
If you have questions, let me know. Or if you’re a fellow LMNT junkie, I’d love to hear your favorite flavor and how you incorporate it.
Get a free LMNT Sample Pack with any order you place through this link.