What Exactly Is a Hydration Multiplier? We Put Liquid I.V.'s Drink Mixes to the Test

Have you been using your time at home to finally start properly hydrating your body? Didn't think so.

It can be hard enough to completely shake up your routine and adapt to constant confinement without the addition of building new habits on top of that—and so easy to postpone refilling your water bottle once it's been drained.

I'm definitely guilty of not getting enough water during the day, so when I stumbled upon Liquid I.V. and their Hydration Multiplier drink mixes on Instagram, they immediately piqued my interest. I reached out to the company, which was kind enough to send me each of their flavors to try for myself, which led me to discover a lot about them (and their flavors) along the way.

The Product

Liquid I.V.'s Hydration Multiplier drink utilizes something called Cellular Transport Technology, or CTT, consisting of sodium, potassium, glucose and water. The company says this process allows its customers to rapidly absorb hydration by having it delivered to the bloodstream faster than plain water can. They state that typically, fluid passes through fully through the digestive system before it can be absorbed, losing valuable water and nutrients along the way, but that CTT allows this absorption to happen more quickly. In fact, they claim their beverages are able to hydrate the drinker two to three times faster and more efficiently than pure water.

That's critical because 75% of people are dehydrated. Most of us get nowhere near the recommended glasses of water per day. Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier is also vegan and free of dairy, gluten, dairy and GMOs. It contains three times the electrolytes of typical sports drinks, as well as potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, with just 50 calories per serving.

It's also super easy to mix up. Just rip open the packet, pour the powdered contents into a 16 oz. glass of water, stir or shake well, and gulp to your heart's content. It's available in three main flavors—Passion Fruit, Lemon Lime and Açaí Berry—and sells in variety packs starting at $35.04 for 24, as well as in single-flavor bundles of 32 for $40, 64 for $80 and 96 for $120, with each stick costing $1.25 for each.


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The Flavors

Passion Fruit

I've always loved anything Passion Fruit-flavored, so I was eager to start with this version of the Hydration Multiplier. While I struggled a little bit with the "Tear Across" perforated edge of the packet (I kept ripping it above the actual opening) I eventually got it open, poured the incredibly fine white powder into a tall glass of chilled water, and mixed it thoroughly with a spoon. I was happy to see that the powder dissolved readily into the water, leaving it a slightly opaque white, without pooling at the bottom of the glass, like many other powdered drinks tend to do in cold H2O.

The first sip took me by surprise. While I expected the tangy, sweet taste of passion fruit, I didn't anticipate how salty the drink would be. It made sense, given the electrolyte nature of the drink, plus the addition of extra salt for the CTT, and while I think it might put some people off, I actually found it quite pleasant. It was strangely easy to drink done the salty passion fruit mix, and the flavoring actually made me chug it down a lot faster than if I'd been drinking pure water.

It also left me feeling great. I drank it during work, and not after a workout or other strenuous activity, but I did feel like it allowed me to focus better and gave me thoughts a clarity I didn't have before I had hydrated. I didn't have a scientific way of measuring my hydration compared to normal water (and it might have been all placebo effect) but I felt better, and that made me more than happy to try the next flavor down the line.

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Lemon Lime

Next up, I tried the Lemon Lime flavor. This time I learned my lesson about tearing the tip off the packet too high, and mixed up my beverage with ease, this time pouring it into a water bottle and shaking, rather than stirring with a spoon. I was also prepared for the essence of sodium this time around, and immediately enjoyed the not-too-sour mix of lemon and lime flavor with a hint of salt, which was crisp and refreshing. While I didn't enjoy it as much as the Passion Fruit, and I didn't drink it down as quickly, it was still tasty and super sippable. Out of the flavors I tried, it reminded me the most of a traditional sports drink.

Again, I found that I felt healthier shortly after finishing the bottle. I felt well, like I'd just consumed something nourishing and good for me, and my mind felt great, too.

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Açaí Berry

The last of the standard flavors was Açai Berry, which can sometimes be a hit and miss flavor for me. This time, I'd mastered the mixing situation, and I found the flavor to be the subtlest of the three so far, with the saltiness masked by the fruity berry flavor. If you're wary of trying something outside of your comfort zone, this is definitely the flavor I'd recommend, as it's mild, sweet and familiar. And yet again, getting nice and hydrated with Liquid I.V. made me feel excellent, as expected.

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Strawberry Cake

Liquid I.V.'s Strawberry Cake flavor is unique because it's only available for a limited time, and was created in collaboration with DJ, producer and Liquid I.V. investor Steve Aoki. When I opened up the packet, the entire room filled with the scent of strawberry cotton candy, and I knew I was in for something special. When I mixed up my drink, I adored the slightly tart strawberry taste and the way the subtle saltiness somehow make it taste creamy. Plus, this flavor only had 45 calories—five fewer than the others. Just like before, drinking it made me feel on top of my game, and I was a little sad that I only had the single packet to sip. The Strawberry Cake flavor also has slightly different pricing, starting at $24.47 for a 16-pack.

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Bottom Line

While I haven't tested Liquid I.V.'s hydration claims in any scientific way, I can say that every time I'd had it, I've come away feeling well-hydrated, happy and healthy. The flavors are also delicious, making it easier to get more water regardless, without a ton of extra calories to feel guilty about. The packets are also super portable and easy to mix, and though they do price out to be a bit more expensive than other sports drinks per ounce, I do think they're worth trying at least once. After you sip these, you may find it tough to go back.

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Can't get enough of tasty, yet nutritious, drinks? Click HERE to find out what we really thought of Lemon Perfect's cold-pressed lemon water drinks.