It’s been a while since I updated my Electrolyte Drink Mega-Review. As you may know, electrolyte drinks are first-line treatment for POTS and some other forms of dysautonomia. So I collated the sodium content, sugar content and approx. cost per litre in a handy table, accompanied by some written reviews.
Something I’d like to address before going ahead with my newly-listed products is sugar content. I know sugar is a touchy issue with a lot of people, and let’s just say if you try the whole “sugar is a toxin and the reason you’re sick” nonsense here, expect to have your comment deleted. However, I understand electrolyte drinks can be very sugary and for one reason or another, people are looking for low- or no-sugar variations (myself included).
It’s worth noting that the sugar content of some electrolyte drinks actually helps with rehydration. A particular ratio of sugar:sodium:water can aid the gut in absorbing the solution more fully, and thus more rapidly alleviating dehydration. This may or may not be of use in a dysautonomia situation, but I thought it was worth mentioning as many question why sugar is in the solution at all.
Ok, on with the newly added drinks. I haven’t actually tested these (mostly because they seem like low-sodium, high-sugar wastes of time) but if I see a new product in the shops or have one suggested to me I’ll add it to the table for comparison’s sake.
Aldi EssentialHealth Effervescents with Vitamins B+C, Calcium, Magnesium & Zinc (orange flavour) are a new product to Aldi. They are effervescent tablets (duh) in a little tube. I bought them for the sake of reviewing, but passed them on when I realised the sodium content was a low-average 14.84mmol/L; with 18.7g glucose/L. It’s about on par with a mediocre sugary sports drink. (I know I said sugar serves a purpose, but at a far different ratio to this, with higher sodium and less sugar.) At $4.49 each (or $2.50/L), I wasn’t too cut up about it.
AquaForce Rapid Electrolyte Replacement Solution is a product often recommended by ME/CFS practitioners. Imagine my surprise when I found the sodium content to be 14mmol/L (eh) and the glucose 50g/L. Shit, that’s a lot of sugar. AquaForce costs $4.20/L (sachet), $2.71/L (tub), but I’d suggest not wasting your money on it. If you’re into powders in a huge tub, try Hydralyte Sports instead.
Finally, elete Electrolyte Add-In was strongly recommended to me by someone on a POTS support page. It’s a solution in a little dropper bottle you add to water to make it an electrolyte drink. Novel, but if my calculations are correct it makes a solution of only 5.53mmol/L sodium (no added sugar). Given the WHO Oral Rehydration Solution contains 75mmol/L sodium, I’d say this is a hard pass. It’s cheap at $0.66/L, but why bother? Just add a few grains of salt to your water instead.
These will all be added to my Mega-Review post so you can check out the full comparison there.
Just a note that as always, I’m doing these calculations by myself with a very foggy head. Many companies (particularly the more expensive ones) are completely opaque about the actual sodium/sugar content of their product, so I have to do a bit of detective work and calculate the ratios myself. So if you find an error, please let me know! And if you’re a company that deliberately conceals the make-up of their product to rip off sick people, I hope you step on a million tiny Legos.