Staying hydrated is crucial when you’re spending a lot of time outdoors, particularly during hot weather. But, there are only so many gallons of water one can drink, before being disgusted by the flavorless and odorless liquid.
At A Glance: Our Top 3 Water Enhancers
That’s where water enhancers come in. Instead of sipping on something that has no flavor, you can just add a couple of drops to make the water taste like anything you want. And the best part is that most enhancers are free of sugar and calories, so they’re a far cry from unhealthy juices full of processed sugars.
From water enhancers that are full of electrolytes to those that can actually replace a cup of coffee – here are the best water enhancers for hikers!
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Best Powder Water Enhancer
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Best Water Enhancer With Minerals
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Best Flavor Enhancer
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MiO is a serious brand in the market of water enhancers. They have a lot of different options, so there’s something for everyone within their range, whether you’re looking to add flavors or substitute an energy drink. They have four different ranges of water enhancers – original, energy, sport, and vitamins – with dozens of different flavors across all of the ranges.
The Original range is a simple flavor enhancer without extra benefits. The drinks in the Vitamins range all have added vitamin B3, B6, and B12, plus they are all naturally sweetened.
The Energy range is for coffee drinkers since all the water enhancers in this range have added caffeine and B vitamins. The drinks deliver 60mg of caffeine per serving, which is double the caffeine content of Crystal Light enhancers – these are intended only for people who specifically want a water enhancer with caffeine.
Finally, there is the Sport range, which features drinks that have electrolytes and vitamin B. These are great for long hikes and tiring workouts since they give you a nice boost of energy.
MiO water enhancers are all packaged in 1.62 fl oz bottles and one bottle is enough for 18 servings. You can get them in a variety of different options, including single bottles of specific flavors, dual packs, multi-packs, and variety packs. They are pricier than the average, but they also deliver more servings per bottle than most other competitors.
Propel Powder Packets are a great option for all of you who aren’t that big on squeezing the product out of plastic bottles. Powder packets are easier to carry and you don’t have to think about using the correct amount of product – you just need to make sure that you’re pouring the powder in a 16.9-ounce bottle of water. If you’re used to chugging down huge glasses of water, this is a really good option for you.
One thing to note is that some of these powder packets contain sugar (raspberry lemonade and berry), so if you want water enhancers that are 100% sugar-free, this is not the best option for you. Also, most flavors contain maltodextrin, which can cause a high spike in your blood sugar levels. Those two ingredients make these packets unsuitable for diabetics.
If you’re fine with a little bit of sugar, don’t write the Propel powder packets off just yet. They contain vitamins and electrolytes, so they’re a pretty good drink for long and tiring outdoor adventures. Whether you’re trying to regain your strength mid-hike or just need a pick-me-up after a workout, these are a good (and calorie-free) option to consider.
A downside is that you have to shake the bottle until the powder fully dissolves, which could be a bit annoying. Also, each serving is individually packaged, so you’ll have to deal with trash.
These water enhancers are sold in packs of five boxes, with each box containing 10 packets. That’s 50 16.9-ounce drinks for $10-15 (depending on flavor), which is a lot more than you can get from the liquid water enhancers.
Concentrace Trace water enhancer is a great option if you want to make your water healthier, without necessarily changing the flavor. This water enhancer contains trace amounts of magnesium, chloride, sodium, potassium, sulfate, lithium, and boron. It’s a great way to ensure you’re getting enough minerals in your system, and the best water for anyone who has any type of mineral deficiency.
There are no added sugars or flavors in this water enhancer. It is kosher, gluten-free, halal, and entirely vegan, so it can be used by anyone, regardless of their dietary restrictions. The 8-ounce bottle is enough to remineralize 192 gallons of water since you only need 2-3 drops for an 8-ounce glass of water.
It’s about $20 per bottle, but that comes down to less than $2.5 per ounce. Although it’s pricey for an enhancer, it’s good value for money thanks to the quantity.
This water enhancer is great for adventurers who go on long hikes and are often forced to drink water from suspicious sources. If you’re using a water purifier like the Sawyer or Grayl Geopress, adding a couple of Mineral Drops to it will make it much healthier.
Naturally, if you are looking to enhance the flavor of your water, this won’t do much for you. The Concentrace Trace has a strong taste, but only if you drink it straight out of the bottle. Once diluted with water, the mineral drops are tasteless, odorless, and colorless.
Jelly Belly is a naturally flavored water enhancer that does not contain any sugar or calories. It’s available in seven fruity flavors, all of which are packaged in 1.62-ounce bottles. The serving size is 2ml per 8-ounce glass, so one bottle should give you approximately 24 servings.
One thing to note is that this product is sold in packs of four bottles, and you can’t really mix and match flavors. There’s one variety pack available, and it includes green apple, cherry, berry, and tutti-frutti flavors. The drinks taste sweet because they contain sucralose, which is an artificial sweetener.
The Jelly Belly water enhancer is made from natural fruit juice, so it has very few chemical ingredients. Also, since the drinks are made with natural juices, they will have trace amounts of sugar. But the amount is negligible, and it’s not enough to drastically increase your blood sugar levels. Because of that, this product is safe even for diabetics.
The only downside of the Jelly Belly drinks is that they don’t really do anything to make your water healthier. They only improve the color and taste, without adding any extra vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, or caffeine.
So, if you’re just looking to enhance the taste, it’s a good option. But if you also want to make your water healthier, you’ll need to look for a different water enhancer.
If you’re a coffee drinker, the Crystal Light Tropical Paradise water enhancer is easily the best option for you. Why? Because there is 30mg of caffeine in each serving, which is just the right pick-me-up you need after long hours on the trail.
That’s not a lot of caffeine, at least when compared to an average espresso shot that has more than 200 mg of caffeine. The amount of caffeine in a serving of this water enhancer is the same as in a Red Bull can. And unlike Red Bull, this water enhancer is sugar-free, so you’re actually getting the effects of caffeine, as opposed to just a sugar rush.
There are also no calories in the Crystal Light drink, so it’s still healthier than most juices and fizzy drinks on the market. You can choose from four different flavors – acai berries, strawberry, cherry, and tropical paradise.
One bottle is 1.62 ounces, which is enough for 18 servings. Also, that means that the entire bottle has about 540 mg of caffeine, which about as much as a double espresso. Naturally, if you’re not a coffee drinker or you’re allergic to caffeine, it’s best to go with a different option – perhaps something with electrolytes, as opposed to one of the most addictive substances on this planet.
The Sweetleaf Water Drops are a good option if you’re just looking to add some flavor to your water. They’re sweetened with Stevia, and all the flavors are entirely free from sugar and calories.
There are six different flavors to choose from, and a pack of all six will set you back about $30. That comes down to $5 per bottle, which is kind of expensive considering the prices of other water enhancers.
Especially when you also consider that these drinks don’t have added electrolytes, vitamins, or caffeine. On the other hand, one bottle is enough for 48 servings, and that’s about twice as much as you get from a MiO water enhancer that is half the price. So, considering you’re getting more servings per bottle, the value for money is not that bad.
Additionally, as far as I could tell from the ingredient lists, none of these contain any sugar or maltodextrin, so they should be perfectly safe for diabetics. They do contain 1 gram of carbohydrates per serving, so I’m not entirely sure whether this can be used if you’re on a Keto diet.
The main reason why Sweetleaf water enhancers are so popular even without any extra ingredients is the taste. These taste really good – they’re not too sweet, and you can actually taste the flavor that is advertised on the bottle.
So, if you’re looking to trick yourself – or someone else – into drinking more water, these could be very helpful.
Stur water enhancer is a good option if you want a variety of flavors with some extra benefits. They have two distinct versions of the enhancer – the skinny variety with added fiber, and the classic/summer variety with antioxidant vitamin C. Fiber will help with your digestion, and vitamin C is just generally good for you.
There are eight flavors total to choose from, and the water enhancers are sold in packs of four or five. It’s about $20 for a pack of five bottles, which is pretty good as it comes down to less than $2.5 per fluid ounce. One bottle is enough for 20 8-ounce drinks, so a pack of five should last you for quite some time.
The Stur drinks don’t contain calories or sugar, and they’re made from actual fruit extracts. The chemical content in these drinks is minimal, which actually makes this one of the healthiest options for enhancing water flavor. There’s some Stevia in these drinks, which gives them the sweet flavor but without refined sugar.
Another thing to note about the drinks is that they’re kosher and keto-friendly, so they’re a great choice regardless of your dietary restrictions. Plus, the packaging is compact and easy to use, making the drinks perfect for use on the go.
My only issue with this is that you can’t be that precise when using it – you’re supposed to add one squeeze into an 8-ounce glass of water, and that should be about 2ml of product. But my squeeze is probably different from your squeeze, and you might have to do some practice before you start getting the right amount of enhancer out of a single squeeze.
Icee Zero Calorie is one of the best options if you just want to make your water taste better. This is one of the most delicious water enhancers, but that’s also because it’s one of the least natural flavor enhancers. In any case, if you want to make your water taste like juice but without all the calories, this is a great option.
The downside is that there are only two flavors – cherry and blue raspberry. They’re sold in packs of four, with a variety pack option that includes two red and two blue bottles.
One thing to note is that Icee is the original brand behind slushies. That should give you an idea of what to expect from the flavor – it’s strong and sweet, which is exactly what a slushie needs to taste delicious. When used with water, the Icee flavor enhancer does a better job than most other water enhancers out there. But again, that’s because of all the artificial and chemical ingredients.
In terms of healthy dieting, this is probably the worst thing you can buy. It contains no added vitamins, minerals, or electrolytes, and it has very few natural ingredients. But in terms of pure flavor, it blows away the competition.
What do you want to add to your water? Is it just flavor and color so that you’re more appealed to drinking it, or do you want to turn your water into a healthy drink with lots of vitamins and electrolytes?
Different water enhancers have different benefits and supplements. Some features added electrolytes, others will have a high content of vitamin C or B, and the best ones – at least for me – have caffeine. Perfect for all those who need a little pick-me-up but know that the fifth cup of coffee is overkill.
I’ve included a wide variety of different water enhancers, so there should be something to suit everyone’s needs. Whether you’re looking to just add flavor or 60 mg of caffeine per serving, there’s at least a couple of different options you will like.
Do you want a water enhancer in the form of powder packets or a bottle with liquid?
Liquid bottles are easier to use on the go. Just pop the lid, squeeze some product into your water bottle, and put the enhancer back in your bag. It’s a bit tricky to squeeze just the right amount of product, but that’s something you’ll perfect over time.
Powder packets are usually meant to be used with larger quantities of water. So, whereas one serving of a liquid enhancer is enough for an 8-ounce bottle, a packet of a powder enhancer should be good for a 17-ounce bottle. But then again, just ad two squeezes of a liquid enhancer to the same bottle and you’re good to go.
The main downside of powder packets is the waste. Every serving is packaged individually, and after each packet, you’re left with the plastic packaging.
It’s not a big deal if there’s a trash can near you, but it can be annoying if you’re spending several days outdoors, and you don’t know what the waste disposal situation will be like.
No matter how good a water enhancer might seem, you should always read the ingredients list before purchasing. You’ll see that some of those that are advertised as having zero sugar actually contain sugar, and pretty high up on the list.
That’s another thing – the higher an ingredient is on the list, the higher the content in the product. So, try to pick up something that has chemical ingredients at the very bottom, or which is entirely made from natural ingredients.
This is especially important for all of you that have dietary restrictions, whether you’re trying to stay healthy, lose weight or are suffering from an illness that’s restricting what you can ingest. Diabetics should be particularly careful with water enhancers since some of them contain not only sugar but also maltodextrin.
So, before you buy anything, read the list of ingredients, and make sure there’s nothing on there you’re not supposed to be ingesting.
Not sure which water enhancer to get? Go with one of our top three picks, depending on what exactly you’re looking to enhance about your drinks!
If you just want to make your water taste better, go with the Jelly Belly Drink Mix. These water enhancers are made with natural ingredients and they taste really good. They do contain negligible amounts of sugar, but only because they’re made with natural fruit juice. You can choose from seven different flavors, all of which are safe for diabetics!
MiO water enhancers are the best option if you want to add supplements to your diet and enhance the flavor of your drinks.
They have the widest product range out of all the brands that make water enhancers. Not only can you choose between dozens of different flavors, but you can also choose whether you want to add vitamins, electrolytes, or caffeine to your water.
If you want to make your water healthier without changing the taste, go with Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops. This is by far the best option when it comes to supplementing mineral intake since it’s the only water enhancer that contains trace amounts of minerals.
It doesn’t taste good, but you won’t notice that if you dilute it with enough water. And one bottle is enough to mineralize 192 gallons of water, so it should last you quite a while.
Head over to Amazon to see the exact prices and all the different flavor options of the water enhancers featured in this review. And go check out our related posts, for more ideas on how to improve the quality of the water you’re drinking!