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Liquid IV Review: A Great Choice for Your Hydration Needs

By SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

Medically Reviewed by Natalie Olsen, MS, RDN, LD, ACSM-EP

Last Updated on November 20, 2022

Dietitian Rating:

4.6

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Support for Claims:4.5
  • Ingredient Safety:5.0
  • Customer Service:4.5
  • Value for the Price:4.5

Liquid IV may be an excellent and tasty choice for you to get hydrated through its blend of electrolytes, especially if you’re an active individual. Although water is adequate too.

Written by
SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD spent several years working in various dietetic roles and settings, including research, public health, dialysis, and acute care. She became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in 2013, while completing her Master of Science degree at The University of Southern Mississippi.
Medically Reviewed by
Natalie Olsen, MS, RDN, LD, ACSM-EP
Registered Dietitian, Certified Exercise Physiologist
Natalie is a registered dietitian, functional medicine practitioner and certified exercise physiologist with over 15 years experience in the health and wellness industry and holds a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine through a collaborative program provided by the University of Western States and the Institute of Functional Medicine.

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Liquid IV Review: A Great Choice for Your Hydration Needs
Photo by WellnessVerge

Pros

  • May provide hydration benefits
  • Dissolves and mixes easily
  • Offers specialized blends for sleep, immunity, digestion, and energy

Cons

  • More expensive than similar products
  • Sugar content may be high for some

Research shows that, across the world, roughly 20% to 70% of adults aren’t drinking enough water for optimal wellness.

If you’ve noticed that your urine is dark yellow — or you’ve been dealing with dry mouth or muscle cramps — you may be part of that dehydrated group. (1)

However, it can be difficult to drink enough water — especially if you’re busy, if you work outdoors, or if your job is very physical.

Liquid IV claims that — by adding their product to your water — it becomes more hydrating than water alone. This can be really helpful if you lose a lot of sweat or are working out for longer durations or at higher intensities.

In this Liquid IV review, we’ll see what the scientific research says about the Liquid IV electrolyte drink mix, and we’ll review its safety and how it compares to similar products.

The Basics of Liquid IV

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier is a powdered product that is designed to help keep you hydrated.

To take Liquid IV, dissolve one packet into 16 ounces of cold water.

It contains electrolytes — which are minerals that help control the balance of fluid in the body.

Examples of electrolytes are sodium, chloride, potassium, and magnesium. It is important to have the right amount of electrolytes in your body for optimal health and physical performance. (2)

You can get electrolytes through certain fluids and foods, but products like Liquid IV are another source.

When mixed with water and consumed, Liquid IV claims its Hydration Multiplier can hydrate you twice as fast as water alone — thanks to its Cellular Transport Technology (CTT).

The product also contains more electrolytes and has a lower sugar content than traditional sports drinks.

The original Liquid IV is available in 10 flavors:

  • Pina Colada
  • Concord Grape
  • Golden Cherry
  • Acai Berry
  • Guava
  • Lemon Lime
  • Passion Fruit
  • Strawberry
  • Tropical Punch
  • Watermelon

Liquid IV also offers some other varieties of the product with different ingredients for specialized purposes:

  • Hydration Multiplier+ Immune Support — available in Tangerine
  • Energy Multiplier — available in Yuzu Pineapple and Lemon Ginger
  • Probiotic Kombucha — available in Tart Green Apple
  • Sleep Multiplier — available in Blueberry Lavender

Most reviews are positive, and reviewers appear to really enjoy the product.

According to customer reviews, the powder dissolves easily and mixes well into water, but some of the flavors can be a bit too sweet. Many reviewers enjoy the Lemon Lime flavor.

Does Liquid IV Hydrate Faster Than Water?

The one and only claim made by Liquid IV is that the electrolyte drink can hydrate up to twice as fast as water — thanks to the combination of sugar and nutrients it contains.

Let’s dive in and see if this claim holds up to scientific research.

Liquid IV uses Cellular Transport Technology (CTT) and contains a combination of glucose (sugar), sodium, potassium, and water in specific ratios that can be absorbed and utilized by your body more quickly than plain water can.

This is due to the differences in the way these components are absorbed.

Water alone is absorbed into the body via a passive process called osmosis — which occurs gradually all throughout the digestive tract.

However, when in the presence of sodium, glucose, and potassium, water is absorbed earlier in the digestion process, and more quickly — along with the other components — through a process known as active transport. (3)

Reaching adequate hydration levels will vary based on the temperature, sweat rates, and an individual’s activity levels.

For those who are engaged in moderate- to high-intensity exercise that lasts an hour or longer, adding electrolytes — like the ones in Liquid IV — is recommended. (4, 5)

Liquid IV packets
Photo by WellnessVerge

One randomized controlled trial noted that drinking oral rehydration solutions similar to Liquid IV rather than just plain water during intense exercise helped reduce the risk of cramping. (6)

Another randomized trial that involved recreationally active, healthy male subjects found that oral rehydration solutions (ORS) similar to Liquid IV improved fluid balance more than water.

In this study, participants had less urine output after drinking ORS than after drinking water — implying that their bodies were “holding on” to more hydration after they drank the ORS. (7)

Overall, it does appear that Liquid IV is more hydrating than water alone in some cases.

However, if you are exercising for less than one hour, drinking plain water is adequate.

In this case, there is little evidence showing differences between consuming a carbohydrate-electrolyte drink or plain water on physical performance or physiology. (8)

Summary

Hydration needs will vary based on the individual. Liquid IV is absorbed into the body more quickly than plain water, and studies have shown that similar oral rehydration solutions offer benefits for hydration and muscle cramps for certain people.

Other Liquid IV Varieties

Liquid IV also offers several varieties with extra ingredients and potential health benefits. Here’s a quick rundown of each.

Energy Multiplier

Liquid IV’s Energy Multiplier provides hydration, as well as added ingredients that may help boost energy. These include coffee fruit extract — which comes from the fruit of the coffee plant — and L-theanine.

Each serving provides 100 mg of caffeine.

Studies show that caffeine and L-theanine can each improve attention and focus, and the effect may be stronger when combined. (9)

However, Liquid IV doesn’t disclose how much L-theanine is in this product, so it’s hard to say to what extent there would be an effect.

Regardless, you would likely feel the effects of the caffeine in Liquid IV Energy Multiplier, as it’s equivalent to about one cup of coffee.

Sleep Multiplier

Liquid IV’s Sleep Multiplier contains a combination of ingredients that may help you fall asleep faster — including melatonin, L-theanine, and Valerian root.

Melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleepiness, and several randomized-controlled trials have noted that melatonin supplementation can improve sleep quality. (10)

L-theanine may help promote relaxation and decrease stress levels — which can translate into better sleep. (11)

Finally, Valerian root may also help improve sleep — but the results from randomized controlled trials are less consistent than those for melatonin. (12)

However, Liquid IV doesn’t disclose the exact dosages of melatonin, L-theanine, or Valerian root present in this product.

Hydration Multiplier+ Immune Support

Liquid IV’s Hydration Multiplier+ Immune Support is claimed to help “maintain and strengthen the immune system.”

It contains added vitamin C, zinc, and Wellmune beta-glucan — a type of fiber that may offer immune benefits.

Several studies have shown the benefits of vitamin C and zinc for immune support.

In doses ranging from 250–2000 mg per day, randomized controlled trials have shown that vitamin C could help protect against the common cold and shorten the amount of time symptoms lasted. (13)

Likewise, doses of 13–23 mg of zinc several times daily were shown to reduce the duration of cold symptoms. (13)

Hydration Multiplier+ Immune Support provides 504 mg of vitamin C — which may be enough to provide some positive benefits for immune health.

However, it only contains 10.4 mg of zinc, which is much less than the amount used in studies — so it may not offer immune support benefits from zinc.

In one randomized controlled trial, Wellmune beta-glucan reduced missed workout days due to cold and flu in marathon runners.

In this study, the people taking Wellmune missed a maximum of two workout days due to illness, while the control group missed a maximum of 10 workout days. (14)

However, Liquid IV doesn’t disclose how much Wellmune is in the product, so it’s not clear if there is enough to provide a significant benefit.

Hydration Multiplier+ Probiotic Kombucha

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier+ Probiotic Kombucha contains 1 billion colony-forming units (CFU) of the bacterial strain Bacillus coagulans — along with kombucha (fermented tea) powder.

Both of these are sources of probiotics — or living bacteria that can populate the gut and potentially help improve digestive health.

In one randomized controlled trial, 1 billion CFU of B. coagulans taken daily for eight weeks was shown to help with occasional constipation. (15)

This Liquid IV product contains 1 billion CFU — so it may provide similar benefits if taken consistently.

However, there’s no strong evidence in humans that kombucha powder can improve digestive health. Additionally, Liquid IV doesn’t disclose how much kombucha powder is in this product.

Side Effects and Safety

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier is safe for most people — including women who are pregnant or nursing.

In fact, staying well-hydrated during pregnancy and breastfeeding is extremely important to prevent complications, so it can be a useful tool for women who struggle to stay hydrated.

Other varieties of Liquid IV — particularly the Sleep Multiplier — contain ingredients that may interact with certain medications, like melatonin and Valerian root. Valerian root should also be avoided if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. (16, 17)

If you have any heart or kidney problems, you should consult your healthcare provider before taking electrolyte supplements, as you may need to limit your consumption of electrolytes like sodium and potassium. (18, 19)

Additionally, Liquid IV contains 11 grams of sugar per serving from pure cane sugar. This is something to be mindful of if you are limiting your sugar or carb intake.

If you have diabetes, be sure to speak with your doctor before taking Liquid IV.

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier is gluten-free, non-GMO, soy-free, dairy-free, and has no major drug interactions.

Although it’s used as a supplement, the FDA actually categorizes Liquid IV as a food rather than a dietary supplement. For this reason, the product hasn’t been independently tested for ingredient quality and purity.

However, Liquid IV is made only with ingredients that have been recognized as safe for food by the FDA.

Liquid IV mixed with water
Photo by WellnessVerge

Liquid IV Nutrition Facts & Dosage

One serving of Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier contains:

  • Calories: 45
  • Total Fat: 0 grams
  • Sodium: 500 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 11 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 0 grams
  • Total Sugar: 11 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams

Liquid IV also contains 370 mg of potassium (8% of the Daily Value), along with some B vitamins and vitamin C. All of its ingredients are non-GMO and gluten-free.

To take Liquid IV, dissolve one packet into 16 ounces of cold water.

Liquid IV doesn’t provide any direction about taking multiple packets per day.

Still, because one serving contains a significant amount of sodium, it’s probably best to stick to one per day unless you’re highly active and sweating a lot.

Cost and Where to Buy

Liquid IV costs $24.99 for 16 servings on the Liquid IV website. This equals $1.56 per serving.

You can purchase in bulk and subscribe to save more money per serving on Liquid IV. A monthly subscription for 64 servings costs $80.99, or $1.26 per serving. Buying in bulk will save you about $19.

Shipping is free on all orders. Liquid IV offers a 60-day money-back guarantee on products purchased through their website, and they will cover return shipping as well.

You can also purchase Liquid IV electrolyte powder at a variety of other online and brick-and-mortar stores — including Amazon, Walmart, Target, Costco, and other retailers.

Buy on Amazon

Buy on LiquidIV.com

Buy on Costco

How Liquid IV Compares to Alternatives

There are several different supplements and beverages available to help assist with hydration. These all contain various electrolytes — such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium — and some contain sugar as well. Here are four popular alternatives to Liquid IV.

Nuun

Nuun is a similar product to Liquid IV — offering dissolvable tablets that contain electrolytes. These tablets dissolve easily in water.

One key difference between Nuun and Liquid IV is that Nuun does not contain pure cane sugar. Both contain stevia leaf extract.

It costs $6.99 for 10 servings, but you can get 10% off with a subscription order. Shipping is $4.99, or free with a subscription or a $45 purchase. Nuun offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Nuun may be a better fit for you if you’re looking for a product free of cane sugar.

Gatorade

Gatorade is a popular sports drink that’s available in several different flavors and varieties. You can purchase it at nearly all grocery stores, convenience stores, and big box stores.

Gatorade Thirst Quencher contains significantly more sugar — at 48 grams per bottle — and fewer electrolytes compared to Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier. It also contains food dyes and other artificial ingredients.

The price varies depending on size, variety, and where you purchase it. Currently, you can’t order it directly from the Gatorade website.

Gatorade may be a more convenient option since it’s ready to drink with no mixing required, although regular Gatorade contains more sugar, fewer electrolytes, and includes artificial ingredients.

Pedialyte Electrolyte Water

Pedialyte started by offering oral rehydration solutions for kids, but now they offer several different hydration products for adults as well.

Their electrolyte water can be purchased by the liter. It is sweetened with the artificial sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium.

The price varies depending on where you purchase it, but Pedialyte is available at most stores. You can’t purchase it directly on the Pedialyte website.

Pedialyte is a convenient and sugar-free alternative to Liquid IV that requires no mixing.

Drop Drop

Drip Drop offers packets of electrolytes that can be easily mixed into a bottle of water, much like Liquid IV. However, they offer two sizes — 8-ounce and 16-ounce.

Drip Drop costs $18.99 for 16 servings, but you can subscribe to a larger order — at least a 32-count box — to save money. Shipping is free, and Drip Drop offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Drip Drop contains the artificial sweetener sucralose in addition to fructose and sugar.

If you want an electrolyte packet that can be mixed into just 8 ounces of water, Drip Drop would be a good fit.

Quick Comparison Table

Liquid IV Nuun Drip Drop Gatorade Thirst Quencher Pedialyte Electrolyte Water
Regular Price

$24.99 for 16 servings ($1.56 per serving)

$6.99 for 10 servings ($0.69 per serving)

$18.99 for 16 servings ($1.18 per serving)

$13.49 for 12 servings on Amazon ($1.12 per serving)

$21.16 for 12 servings on Amazon ($1.83 per serving)

Lowest Available Price

$80.99 for 64 servings, with bulk order ($1.26 per serving)

$5.94 for 10 servings, with subscription ($0.59 per serving)

$26.99 for 32 servings, with subscription ($0.84 per serving)

$12.82 with Amazon Subscribe & Save ($1.07 per serving)

$20.10 with Amazon Subscribe & Save ($1.73 per serving)

Shipping Free Free over $45 or with subscription, $4.99 otherwise Free Free with Amazon Prime or $25 order on Amazon; varies otherwise Free with Amazon Prime or $25 order on Amazon; varies otherwise
Returns 60-day money-back guarantee 60-day money-back guarantee 60-day money-back guarantee Varies Varies
Key Ingredients Sodium, Sugar, Potassium, B vitamins, Vitamin C Calcium, Magnesium, Chloride, Sodium, Potassium Sodium, Sugar, Fructose, Potassium, Dextrose, Magnesium, Zinc Sugar, Dextrose, Sodium, Potassium Sodium, Potassium, Zinc, Chloride
Form Powder packet Dissolvable tablets Powder packet Beverage Beverage
Additional Information

Sweetened with dextrose, cane sugar, and stevia leaf extract. Different forms available that offer unique benefits.

Sweetened with stevia leaf extract.

Sweetened with fructose, sugar, and the artificial sweetener sucralose. Available for 8-ounce or 16-ounce servings.

Contains high amounts of added sugar — as sugar and dextrose. Also contains food dyes and artificial ingredients.

Sweetened with artificial sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium.
Purchase Buy on Liquid I.V. Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier just sugar water?

No. It contains some sugar — which can be helpful for fueling or refueling after exercise. But it also contains a balance of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium to help promote more rapid hydration.

Is it OK to take Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier everyday?

For most people, it’s fine to take Liquid IV daily. If you have any concerns, you should speak with your healthcare provider.

Is Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier good for weight loss?

Liquid IV is not a weight loss product, although you can take it while you’re losing weight to assist with fluid balance — especially if you are exercising more intensely.

Does Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier work for hangovers?

Although dehydration was thought in the past to be a major cause of hangovers after drinking alcohol, researchers have found that it may not play a huge role. Therefore, Liquid IV may not be particularly helpful for hangovers. (20)

Still, many people online report that taking Liquid IV after a night of drinking seems to help. It may be worth trying, even though there’s currently no research to support this use.

What does Liquid IV taste like?

The taste is rather pleasant and lemonade-like. Since Liquid IV comes in a variety of flavors, the taste notes somewhat resemble the respective advertised flavor. Overall, it's very easy to consume and doesn't require an acquired taste of any kind.

The Bottom Line

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier does appear to improve hydration levels faster than water — according to some scientific research.

However, plain water is just as hydrating for those who are not exercising for more than an hour or who are not sweating a lot.

There’s also some research to support the ingredients in their specialized blends for immune support, energy, sleep, and digestion.

Liquid IV is slightly more expensive than similar alternatives. Regardless, the product is effective for hydration, and if you prefer it over others, you can save money by subscribing.

I think this product — and similar alternatives — are excellent for hydration purposes. Many different people may benefit, including:

  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • People who struggle with water intake.
  • Athletes or highly active people.
  • People with higher sweat rates where more electrolytes may be lost.
  • People who work outside or in physical jobs.
  • Elderly people — who often have a declining sense of thirst, along with a higher risk of dehydration. (21)

Getting plenty of water is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and improves overall health. Liquid IV can be helpful for keeping you more hydrated — if that is something you struggle with.

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At WellnessVerge, we only use primary references for our articles, including peer reviewed medical journals or well-respected academic institutions.

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