I Tried Liquid I.V. Hydration for Two Weeks & Noticed 4 Changes to My Body
There were several pros and a few cons.
"Hydration" has become a bit of a buzzword. There's been a lot of talk about the importance of drinking enough water and keeping your body properly hydrated, and I'm not ashamed to say I subscribe to the hype. I genuinely love to drink water, but I know others don't enjoy the tastelessness or having to force themselves to drink H2O all day. And even for me, sometimes water does get boring, even when I add a bit of lemon or lime for a citrusy taste. That's where Liquid I.V. Hydration comes in.
If you're unsure what Liquid I.V. Hydration is, let me give you a quick rundown. According to the product's website, it's an electrolyte powder mix that uses a form of science called Cellular Transport Technology (CTT) to get water and other nutrients into your body quicker than when you drink regular water. Each powder pack—described as an Oral Hydration Solution (OHS)—contains electrolytes (sodium, potassium), glucose, and water, as well as essential vitamins: B3, B5, B6, B12, and vitamin C. Per the packaging, one 0.56-ounce packet contains 22 percent of the average person's daily sodium intake.
I've been crushing these little electrolyte "hydration multipliers" for some time now, grabbing one sporadically if I felt like I needed to recover after a few cocktails or if I spent too much time in the sun. I treated it similarly to how I used Gatorade in the past but found that Liquid I.V. was an option with fewer calories. Over the last two weeks, I've upped my intake to one packet of Liquid I.V. every day to see how it would make me feel—and I did notice four specific changes to my body. Read on to find out what happened.
I recovered from workouts faster.
As I get closer to 30, my post-workout recovery isn't what it once was. I've always been active, and I love to run, walk, and play tennis, but I also slowed down a bit after I fractured my tibial plateau back in 2021.
At my doctor's suggestion—due to my knee flare-ups and tension headaches—I decided to sign up for yoga. As someone who couldn't even touch their toes, this was a big step for me, but I digress.
This two-week experiment was well-timed with my new hobby, as I've been doing hot power yoga between four and five times a week. And let me tell you, when you do hot yoga, you sweat. You sweat a lot. I would drink water throughout my 60-minute classes, but when I got home I would feel parched and exhausted, maybe because my body finally had time to realize how sweaty it was.
However, if I popped a little Liquid I.V. into my water bottle in the aftermath, my thirst was quenched faster and I felt reinvigorated, as opposed to drained, after my workouts. It also set me up nicely if I took an evening class and then signed up for one the following morning. Before introducing a consistent Liquid I.V. packet, I would feel that much more dehydrated during the second class. After Liquid I.V., I wasn't desperately reaching for my water bottle while in downward dog.
I was even more inclined to drink water.
I covered my love of water earlier, but throughout this experiment, it was nice to switch it up a bit. If I did a morning workout class, I would start my day with a Liquid I.V. in my water bottle, and if I was taking a rest day, I'd mix one in around lunch. Each time it was nice to have a little flavor beyond the basics.
While this change is on a smaller scale, I can't deny that I really did feel more hydrated, and adding a flavored drink I enjoyed—which is only 45 calories—was a fun perk that encouraged me to drink more water.
Side note: I haven't yet mentioned that there are several different flavors of Liquid I.V. available—including piña colada, acai berry, and golden cherry, to name a few—but my personal favorites are strawberry and lemon-lime.
My neck pain decreased.
I spend the majority of my days at my desk writing, meaning that my body is stuck in a specific position unless I get up and walk around. (I do thank my Apple Watch for its little nudges to stand up once every hour.) But like so many with desk jobs, I experience tension headaches and neck pain, which I try to combat by correcting my posture when I feel myself slouching. Still, I often find myself stretching my neck and back in an effort to relieve some of the stress I carry there.
While this is usually a daily occurrence, about one week into my Liquid I.V. experiment, I realized that I hadn't been reaching for my neck heating pad over the past few days.
I'm inclined to believe that Liquid I.V. may have played a role in this even though Cleveland Clinic notes that both tension headaches and migraines have "no known cause," and dehydration headaches are typically concentrated in the head (unlike mine, which radiate to the neck and shoulders).
However, while I'm not a doctor, I will say that these little packets gave me more energy, which is a known benefit of staying hydrated, according to the National Council on Aging. This happens because while dehydrated, your body has to work harder to move fluids and oxygen through your body, making you feel tired and sluggish.
Over the past few weeks, while drinking Liquid I.V., I have felt more focused and alert, meaning I'm also more inclined to sit up straight in my chair—as opposed to being hunched over and slumped on days when I felt more tired. With these improvements, I experienced fewer aches and pains in my neck, head, and shoulders.
The caffeinated varieties messed with my anxiety.
As someone dealing with chronic anxiety, I am well aware that caffeine can have some detrimental effects on me. Caffeine doesn't cause anxiety, according to GoodRx Health, however, it can worsen symptoms, including the odds of having a panic attack.
I certainly feel this if I have two cups of coffee when all of a sudden my heart is pumping a bit faster—and not in a good way. During my Liquid I.V. experiment, I found that the caffeinated sticks had a similar effect.
If you aren't aware, Liquid I.V. also has an Energy Multiplier variety, which contains matcha, guayusa (a caffeine-containing tea), and ginger, aimed at providing "sustained energy throughout the day."
While I found that my energy levels were stable after a regular Hydration Multiplier and a cup of coffee, if I had an Energy Multiplier and a cup of joe, that was not the case. I was fidgety and my mind would wander and worry more so than it already does on a normal day.
Liquid I.V. does give fair warning about caffeine levels in the Energy Multipliers, noting that one packet has 100 milligrams of caffeine, which is the average amount found in an eight-ounce cup of drip coffee (which is typically somewhere between 80 to 120 milligrams). So, lesson learned there.
There were some additional cons, but I'm going to continue dabbling.
If there's one real drawback to Liquid I.V., it's the sugar levels. While glucose is definitely necessary for our bodies, I wasn't jazzed about adding 11 grams of extra sugar—the amount in the strawberry and lemon-lime varieties I was drinking—to my everyday diet.
Additionally, as Medical News Today points out, there's a lack of scientific evidence about the company's ratios and additives, like CTT and Energy Extract.
This experiment was eye-opening, but I think I'll be relying on Liquid I.V. on an as-needed basis as opposed to every day. I find that I'm fine drinking water some days—and Liquid I.V. products aren't cheap! For a 14-count pack of the Energy Multiplier and Hydration Multiplier + Immune Support (the latter I have yet to try), you'll pay about $25. For the same price, you can get a 16-count pack of the general Hydration Multiplier.
Regardless of your stance on sugar and costs, definitely talk to your doctor before introducing Liquid I.V. to your daily routine or diet.
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