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The Best Electrolytes for Breastfeeding & How it Impacted My Supply

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When I was breastfeeding my first son, I was SO thirsty and struggling with supply issues. So, one of my friends sent me a pack of LMNT Electrolytes to try. At the time, I had been putting Nuun tablets in my water whenever I remembered. I’d use Nuun for all of my marathon training and even used it during the Boston Marathon.

The Best Electrolytes for Breastfeeding

As a runner, I knew electrolytes were important. However, I never felt like Nuun was making a huge difference, and I definitely didn’t notice an improvement in my supply or my thirst. But that first LMNT packet made such a difference. I immediately felt like my thirst was finally quenched (cliche to say but true). I ended up breastfeeding for two years, so it’s safe to say supply improved!

So, I fell in love and put LMNT on subscription soon after. So, I stopped feeling thirsty all day (which was honestly shocking because I was the person who was thirsty no matter how much water I drank). I even noticed an uptick in my supply. Also, I wish I’d discovered LMNT sooner because I know my years of marathon training would have looked and felt different!

Now I’m breastfeeding my second baby and to my surprise, I have an oversupply. I know that an oversupply is not only because I’m regularly taking LMNT. But proper hydration does contribute to adequate supply, so I have to believe it’s helping. It certainly isn’t hurting and I don’t feel chronically thirsty like I did at this stage with my first.

Use this link to get a free LMNT Sample Pack with any order, and get a free box when you order 3.

I went down the rabbit hole about taking LMNT during my first breastfeeding journey and if it was safe, so I wanted to share what I learned. Hopefully it helps answer any questions you may have too! 

Let’s jump in!

You can watch the below video for more details or just keep reading!

Electrolytes for Breastfeeding

The short answer: LMNT.

The longer answer is below.

First, are electrolytes important for breastfeeding?

First, let’s focus on your baby’s needs. Yes, babies need electrolytes. They get electrolytes  through breast milk (or formula – if you’re using formula, make sure it has electrolytes in it!). Your sodium intake directly connects to the amount of electrolytes the baby gets.  

In fact, in the very early stages of breastfeeding when your milk comes in as colostrum, the sodium concentration is elevated and this helps the baby’s immune system. There’s actually research that suggests that a child’s health could be negatively impacted with inadequate breast milk electrolytes.

Sodium is also correlated with cognitive function as your baby grows. It can even help with better motor function, memory, and IQ! Read this study on sodium and premature babies. So interesting. Your salt status is also connected to milk production volume. This study shows that farmers have been adding sodium to dairy cow’s diets to increase milk production for a while! While there’s not enough research to concretely say this is true on the human front, I feel confident that taking LMNT increased my  supply (with my first, and definitely now with my second).

Unfortunately, because many people believe that restricting sodium helps expecting mothers avoid preeclampsia, lots of moms limit salt both during and after pregnancy.

However this 2018 study found that there’s “no convincing evidence” that salt intake influences hypertension or preeclampsia risk. Additionally, women with preeclampsia are also more likely to have low blood sodium levels compared to others. Low sodium can result in hormonal changes that actually raise blood pressure. So, increasing sodium intake can actually help LOWER blood pressure.

All this to say, since there’s actually evidence that low-sodium diets can negatively affect your health and since we know sodium is important for baby’s growth and development, I did not decrease my salt intake when pregnant or breastfeeding. I actually increased it. I was getting regular bloodwork. Also, I knew my sodium was low – even with LMNT. So, there were no concerns with me continuing with it. However, every pregnancy is different. So, talk to your doctor about your specific situation – your health, your thirst, your bloodwork, everything.

How much sodium do breastfeeding moms need?

The answer is more than you think, especially if you’re a breastfeeding mom. While the FDA recommends 2,300 mg a day (which is about 2.3 grams) for people 14 years and older, to help reduce high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease and deaths, there’s new science that shows that 4-6 grams of sodium a day is actually optimal (granted, this is dependent on diet and lifestyle). 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, talking to your doctor is important since everyone’s health is different, so take this all with a grain of salt (heh) but read LMNTs take on why they recommend so much sodium here.

Since nursing moms are also providing sodium to their babies, more sodium is likely best. Nursing moms may actually find that they need a little more than that to help replace what’s given to their baby.

How much sodium is in LMNT?

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 are full of sugar; and while sugar can help you absorb sodium and fluids, it’s not essential for hydration. So, LMNT doesn’t include sugar. It doesn’t taste like chemicals or medicine, which I’ve found other similar, salty options too (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. I like a full packet in my 24 oz water bottle, but my nanny uses only half a packet each time she drinks LMNT, and saves the other half for next time. You could also just add more water to your water bottle to help dilute it. 

It’s a small thing, but I appreciate that it’s a powder so I don’t have to wait for a tablet to dissolve, like I did with Nuun.

Other important electrolytes for breastfeeding

Potassium

Potassium is important  because it balances the effects of sodium and helps women maintain healthy blood pressure during pregnancy. Shooting for 3.5–5 grams of potassium per day is a good goal. Pregnant and nursing moms should aim for the higher end of that range. LMNT contains 200 mg of potassium, which won’t get you to that mark alone. So, be sure to prioritize potassium rich foods in your diet, like bananas, avocado, spinach, and kale. 

Magnesium

Magnesium is an important electrolyte at all stages of life, but especially pregnancy and postpartum. Also, magnesium is involved in bone formation and density which makes it important for a baby’s development. 400–600 mg of magnesium daily is a good target, and LMNT contains 60 mg, so it’s important to eat magnesium-rich foods to help keep your magnesium level optimal. I also take this Natural Calm magnesium supplement at night.

How many packs of LMNT should you drink per day?

Everyone’s electrolyte needs will vary so the answer depends on the person, and there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer (especially as a breastfeeding mom). 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). That equates to 1-2 packets a day depending on your activity level and if you’re exclusively breastfeeding 1 one packet contains 1000 mg of sodium, 200 mg of potassium, and 60 mg of magnesium. (Source) I have 2, sometimes 3, packets a day since I have low sodium, have resumed working out and I’m exclusively breastfeeding.  

LMNT Electrolyte Drink Mix Flavors

There are a lots of LMNT flavors:

  • Citrus salt
  • Grapefruit
  • Orange salt
  • Watermelon salt
  • Raw unflavored
  • Raspberry Salt
  • Lemon Habanero
  • Mango Chili
  • Chocolate Salt

My favorite flavor of LMNT is watermelon or raspberry. Citrus and grapefruit are pretty good too. I do not like the spicy ones unless I’m using them in my favorite virgin margarita. You can also try a few different ones in a variety pack, which you get for free with my referral link. They also have seasonal flavors, like chocolate caramel and chocolate mint in the winter. 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.

Ingredients

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.

  • Salt (Sodium Chloride)
  • Citric Acid
  • Magnesium Malate
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Natural Flavors
  • Stevia Leaf Extract 

I typically hate the taste of stevia but it doesn’t bother me in these! You can find a full list of ingredients for each flavor online here.

 TeriLyn Adams sharing the Best Electrolytes for breastfeeding

Pricing / Packages

One time purchase

The most basic way to purchase LMNT is ordering boxes individually. 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.

Subscribe and save

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.

Free sample pack

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! I believe you can use my link with every order – not only the first – to get a free box or sample pack! 

LMNT Electrolytes Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Tastes amazing
  • Super salty (but can be diluted with more water)
  • NO SUGAR! (Great for low carb diets if that’s your jam but that’s NOT my jam.)
  • A perfect ratio! Most popular electrolyte drinks contain sugar and unhealthy ingredients, along with low amounts of electrolytes. LMNT has more electrolytes in the ratio that our body needs: 1,000 mg sodium, 200 mg potassium, and 60 mg magnesium.
  • Keto friendly for folks following a keto diet
  • Paleo friendly for those following a paleo diet
  • Simple ingredients
  • Comes in a powder form instead of a tablet that has to dissolve
  • Free shipping
  • No-questions-asked return policy
  • Can be ordered on Amazon – if you’re running low and want to place a quick order, you can do it with Prime shipping.
Cons
  • Pricey. There’s no denying that LMNT is pricey, but it’s worth it. Nuun is about $30 for 30 tablets, which is slightly more affordable than LMNT. But LMNT simply works better!

That’s the only con I can think of!

Get a free LMNT Sample Pack with any order you place through this link.

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    9 responses to “The Best Electrolytes for Breastfeeding & How it Impacted My Supply”

    1. Thanks for this review Teri! I’m definitely going to order some through your link to take advantage of the free sample pack! I’ve been seeing these everywhere. I start Yoga Teacher Training in a week & want something to keep me hydrated through the long training days! Excited to try!

      • So exciting! I hope your training goes well Madi! And let me know what you think about LMNT when you try it!!

    2. Teri – fellow NC resident and trail runner here. I love LMNT and have been using for a while! I just upped to 2 a day and can immediately feel a difference. Thanks for sharing your review!

    3. I love love watermelon!! I walk daily and I sweat!! I will be soaking wet. Working out in a gym with a trainor I’m the only person not having leg cramps!!

    4. If I were to add a 1/2 tsp of salt to my water, and eat a banana and a handful of almonds, wouldn’t I be receiving the same benefits (sodium, potassium, magnesium) of the LMNT packets but for much cheaper?

      • Maybe? Do the math on your sodium needs, the nutrients, and try it and see what you like better. To each their own — I hate bananas. 🙂

    5. I Take Ultima electrolytes. I’m in my 70’s . I’m not that active, They taste great. No sugar, No carbs . They’re delicious and much cheaper.

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