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

If you're anything like me, remembering to hydate properly can be a chore.

Sure, getting enough water is good for you, and makes you feel great, but if you get bored easily by plain water, it can be hard to stay motivated and keep that water bottle filled up all day.

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 a few 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 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, and 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 various flavors 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 down 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.

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier: Passion Fruit

(via Liquid I.V.)

 

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.

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier: Lemon Lime

(via Liquid I.V.)

 

Açaí Berry

Açai Berry can sometimes be a hit-and-miss flavor for me, so I was curious to see how I'd like this Hydration Multiplier. 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.

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier: Acai Berry

(via Liquid I.V.)

 

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Strawberry

When I opened my first packet of the Strawberry flavor, 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 while also helping me feel extra hydrated.

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier: Strawberry

(via Liquid I.V.)

 

Guava

The vibrant guava flavor in this Hydration Multiplier reminded me a little of Hawaiian P.O.G. with enough tang to ensure the taste was complex rather than overly sweet, all rounded out by the addition of hibiscus. Again, I found that the slight flavor of salt actually elevated the fruity flavors, making it incredibly easy to drink. This might be my favorite Hydration Multiplier flavor of the whole bunch, so you can bet this one got me to drink extra water.

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier: Guava

(via Liquid I.V.)

 

Watermelon

Watermelon tends to be a winning flavor in any form, and the same is here in this Hydration Multiplier. I think I expected this one to be more tart or complex, but instead, it was pretty sweet all the way through. Some may find it too sweet, but it's still deliciously fruity as well as summery and hydrating.

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier: Watermelon

(via Liquid I.V.)

 

Caramel Apple

This flavor may sound weird—and I'll admit that it is—but I love it, too. It kind of tastes like apple pie, with caramely sweetness combining with more tart apple to create a uniquely balanced taste. It won't be for everyone, but those who like it will probably love it.

Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier: Caramel Apple

(via Liquid I.V.)

 

Energy Multiplier

Liquid I.V.'s Energy Multiplier is a little different, packing 100 mg of fast-acting green tea caffeine in every sachet. I can't handle a ton of caffeine, and this stuff had me absolutely buzzing, but I loved the taste. It combines lemon and ginger to make for a vibrant tea that's easy to sip. If you need some energy and hydration to get you through the day, this is a great option.

Liquid IV Energy Multiplier

(via Liquid I.V.)

 

Sleep Multiplier

Last was the Sleep Multiplier, which includes melatonin, L-theanine and valerian root to help you get a great night's sleep. In my experience, this stuff works, and if I have it about half an hour before bedtime, I've pretty sleepy by the time my head hits the pillow. It tastes great, too, with a slightly floral berry flavor that also reminds me of sleepytime. However, melatonin tends to leave me still drowsy in the morning, so I try to use these when I don't have anything urgent to do the following day.

Liquid IV Sleep Multiplier

(via Liquid I.V.)

 

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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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