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Naturally Sweetened Electrolytes - How SHIFTED Chose Its Hydration Formula Sweetener

Naturally Sweetened Electrolytes - How SHIFTED Chose Its Hydration Formula Sweetener

Electrolyte drinks are popping up everywhere.    But most electrolyte drink formulas aren't all that great.   Most are missing essential electrolytes, flavored with artificial sweeteners, taste too salty and don't give you the real hydration edge that you need.

So at SHIFTED we set out to make a better naturally sweetened electrolyte drink mix that's based on the latest science.

Note: our original formula used artificial sweeteners.  Our new updated formula, available in stick packs, does not.

When we started on our journey towards developing a naturally sweetened electrolyte beverage, our goals were pretty simple:

  1. Use natural sweeteners and flavors - too many electrolyte supplements have artificial sweeteners.  We aimed to use low-calorie natural sweeteners. We also use all natural flavors.
  2. Great taste - Despite using natural sweeteners, we were not willing to compromise on flavor.  We believe flavor is king.  Many companies use artificial sweeteners like sucralose as a shortcut to great flavor.   We were committed to getting an excellent flavor profile with natural sweeteners like monk fruit and stevia.
  3. Create a perfect electrolyte balance - too many electrolyte drinks are missing critical electrolytes or have way too many of one electrolyte and not enough of others.  We wanted to include 6 essential electrolytes for well-balanced electrolyte replenishment.
  4. Low-Calorie and Zero added sugar - a lot of electrolyte drinks have way too many calories from sugar (especially the original sports drinks from Gatorade and Powerade) and are no good for people watching their calories.  SHIFTED Hydration is sugar free.
  5. Optimize Hydration - In addition to balanced electrolytes, we wanted our electrolyte powder to include additional hydration supporting ingredients like coconut water, pomegranate juice and taurine.

The Problem With Traditional Sports Drinks

Everyone is familiar with Gatorade and Powerade.   Despite being the only game in town for many decades, these two sports drinks that were supposed replenish electrolytes, were fatally flawed in three major ways:

  • Traditional sports drinks were missing most electrolytes
  • Traditional sports drinks had way too much sugar contributing to the obesity epidemic
  • Traditional sports drinks were underdosed and unbalanced in the electrolytes they did include

The Problem with Most Electrolyte Drinks

After a while, many companies started trying to fill the gap and fix the problem with Gatorade and Powerade by making electrolyte drinks.  While these drinks definitely brought about improvements by increasing one or two electrolytes and drastically reducing the amount of added sugar (some even becoming sugar free) most still retained some problems:

  • Most electrolyte drinks still did not have a good electrolyte balance, overdoing one or two electrolytes at the expense of others
  • Most electrolyte drinks still were missing some critical electrolytes
  • Most electrolyte drinks like PRIME started using artificial sweeteners

The Problem with Most Electrolyte Supplement Mixes

To address the problems in popular electrolyte drinks, many supplement companies started putting out electrolyte supplement products to help with  hydration during fitness activities.   These electrolyte supplements usually got about 70% of the way towards being perfect hydration support supplements but they still had some problems themselves.

  • Most electrolyte supplements are still missing some essential electrolytes
  • Most electrolyte supplements are overdosed on some electrolytes (usually sodium or potassium)
  • Most electrolyte supplements are sweetened with artificial sweeteners like sucralose

Towards the Perfect Balance of Electrolytes and Hydration Supporting Ingredients

At SHIFTED, we decided to look at the science and build a better hydration product.  We like to base all of our supplement formulas on state of the art scientific research.  And here's what we found.

  1. There are six essential electrolytes for optimal hydration:  Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous and Chloride.

  2. There are additional hydration supporting minerals like Zinc and Vitamin C that play a role in maintaining water balance.

  3. There are naturally hydrating fruits like Pomegranate and Coconut with trace minerals and that can help optimize and enhance our body's ability to use water effectively.

  4. There is an optimal ratio for ideal electrolyte balance.

The Optimal Ratio for Electrolyte Balance

After studying the scientific literature, we settled on the following optimal balance for electrolyte replenishment in a single serving:

  • Chloride (as part of Sodium Chloride) - 432mg
  • Sodium - 280mg
  • Potassium - 200mg
  • Calcium - 80mg
  • Magnesium - 60mg
  • Vitamin C - 40mg
  • Phosphorus - 30mg
  • Zinc - 4mg

By replenishing electrolyte levels in this ratio, as needed, you allow for optimal fluid balance and water management for critical bodily functions during physical activity.

Why Natural Sweeteners?

Most electrolyte supplements use artificial sweeteners.  Because they are cheap and easy.

Why did SHIFTED decide to make naturally sweetened electrolytes?

The answer is simple:  we're health nuts and we like to go the extra mile.  We always ask what we can do to make better supplements. And while there is no good evidence that artificial sweeteners cause health problems, our team likes the principle of using natural ingredients whenever possible.

Which Natural Sweeteners are Best?

We've done a lot of testing.  And I mean A LOT OF TESTING.   And after considering all of the options, we settled on the following three natural sweeteners as being the best:

  1. Monk Fruit
  2. Stevia Rebaudioside B (Reb B)*
  3. Allulose (the sweet part of raisins)

Different combinations of these three natural sweeteners for different purposes achieves the best results.  Most of the time it works to use a blend of Monk Fruit and Stevia Rebaudioside B (Reb B) to get a flavor profile that's very much like sugar or sucralose.   Sometimes, for more bitter ingredient profiles, we may have to add some allulose (such as in our forthcoming pre-workout).   

*Unlike original forms of Stevia, Reb B tastes a lot like sugar and has very little aftertaste.

Why Low-Calorie Natural Sweeteners? 

Technically, sugar is a natural sweetener.  But sugar is also a very high-calorie sweetener.  So we opted to sweeten our electrolytes with very low-calorie natural sweeteners Monk Fruit and Stevia Reb B.

Why?  Because sugar is a major contributor to obesity and we're a health and fitness company dedicating to helping live healthier lives.

While it's harder to make electrolytes taste great while still being low-calorie and natural, we decided to tackle the hard problem.

Naturally sweetened SHIFTED Hydration was formulated to be a very low calorie, electrolyte drink mix that supports a healthy lifestyle.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

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