I'm going to be totally transparent: I'm a sweaty gal. Yep, you read that right. I walk out of a workout looking like a glazed donut practically every day — and I'm proud of it. After all, my body is doing exactly what it's supposed to do, salt streaks included.
But that does mean I have to be a little extra cautious when it comes to hydration, especially during my tough sprint sessions. I'm a big fan of electrolyte tablets and powders because I actually notice the difference when I use them during a training session.
Video of the Day
I tend to run about 45 to 50 miles each week, plus I do strength-training workouts and play the occasional game of beach volleyball. And when I'm not properly hydrated, I totally feel it. My brain becomes fuzzy and slow, my legs feel heavy, my mood plummets and my dry eczema acts up — all clear signs I'm super thirsty.
So, any extra hydration boost is a must. For a recent track workout (midday, might I add), I decided to put Liquid IV's Energy Multiplier — which offers 100 milligrams of caffeine and is two times faster than water at hydrating you — to the test. Hydration and caffeine all in one? Sign me up!
- 2-mile warm-up run
- 4 x 800-meter intervals with 400-meter recovery jogs between intervals
- 1.5-mile cooldown run
Total: 6.5 miles
I decided to skip my usual scoop of pre-workout, allowing all my energy to come from the Liquid IV. And as someone who is absolutely not sensitive to caffeine (I drink way too much of it), I was pleasantly surprised by the jitter-free, easy-going energy bump. My usual pre-workout supplements feel like a sudden jolt of energy. This was more mellow, but effective nonetheless.
I also didn't feel thirsty at any point between intervals. Even though I'm a speedy runner, half-mile intervals are still pretty long. Yet, I never felt my throat go dry, which tends to happen when I sip caffeine before a run.
My run was completely cramp-free, too. Any runner (or athlete) knows that a side-stitch or quad cramp is the most annoying hindrance during a workout. But thanks to the potassium in this product and my long warm-up run, I got through my whole session with zero pain — aside from a little burning in my lungs.
What Is Liquid IV?
Everything about Liquid IV's Energy Multiplier sounds great so far, but you may be wondering: What is it and how does it work? According to the website, it contains a mix of Coffeeberry Energy Extract, CognatIQ Coffee Fruit Extract and L-Theanine for energy for your body and brain.
Liquid IV uses "cellular transport technology" to deliver just the right combination of sodium, glucose and potassium into your bloodstream, which allows your water be delivered into your bloodstream earlier on in the digestive process.
All you do is take your Liquid IV packet and mix it into your water bottle (or glass of water) and enjoy!
Features and Functionality
I'd like to think perseverance is my true talent, not running. In other words, I can push myself through a lot. And after years of bodybuilding-style training and nutrition, my body actually isn't too sensitive to different supplements and added sugars.
But I'm an athlete, not an expert. So, I decided to turn to exercise physiologist Jim White, CPT, RDN, owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios, to get some insight.
The Pros of Liquid IV
Liquid IV's hydration packets offer plenty of benefits, according to White. They address dehydration quickly, reducing your risk of muscle cramping. They also supply electrolytes, which your body uses for a bunch of different functions, like muscle control, heart rate regulation and overall hydration.
Liquid IV also has fewer calories than most sports drinks, and they're friendly for all kinds of eating patterns, including gluten-free, keto and vegan diets. Plus, the small packets are convenient and easy to toss in your bag — all you have to do is add water.
The Drawbacks of Liquid IV
Although the product has fewer calories than most sports drinks, it does still have added sugar and sodium. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but the sugar can cause a spike in blood sugar and the sodium can raise blood pressure (that's not an issue for me, personally, but definitely good to know).
There's also the caffeine content, which can be problematic for some people. The energy multiplier has about 100 milligrams of caffeine, which is about the same as a cup of coffee. Like I mentioned, I don't have any issues with caffeine, but it can cause headaches, dizziness or restlessness, according to White.
It also has artificial flavors and added sweeteners, like stevia. And while this doesn't affect my stomach while training, these ingredients can cause digestive unrest for others.
The Bottom Line
All in all, Liquid IV's Energy Multiplier can be a great product if you use it properly. Hydration powders and tablets are most suited for endurance athletes or people recovering from excessive dehydration after vomiting or diarrhea (with a doctor's approval), White says. For most people, just some good old-fashioned water will do the trick.
I think I fall under that bracket, too. I'm definitely a fan of my Liquid IV but I'm going to be saving it for my longer, extra-sweaty workouts. Nevertheless, I'm definitely making these little hydration packets a new staple in my gym bag.
Ready to try an energy multiplier before your next endurance workout? Gear up with Liquid IV.
Buy it: Liquid-IV.com; Price: $24.99