Dehydration is more common than you’d think, and Liquid I.V. and Nuun hope to change that. Drinking enough water throughout the day is something that a lot of people struggle with, especially those in warmer climates and people leading active lifestyles. The standard fluids recommendation for the average adult is about 13 cups per day; Men are recommended to consume about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) and women are recommended to drink about 11.5 cups (3.7 liters). This fluid intake covers food, water and other beverages. Unsurprisingly, many people fall short of this goal, which is why taking a rehydration supplement can be useful. We’re taking a look at two of the most popular rehydration brands in our Liquid I.V. vs Nuun comparison.

According to research, around 75% of Americans are dehydrated. The recommended water intake for most adults is eight to 10 glasses per day, so it’s easy to see why that would be difficult for most people. Symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, dry mouth and eyes, dark-colored urine, infrequent urination and others. If drinking a lot of water is difficult for you, electrolyte powders are an easy and tasty way to make hydration easier and more pleasant. Liquid I.V. and Nuun are two of the most popular supplements for rehydration and come in a variety of flavors and options to meet different needs. In this review, we compare the two brands and dive into what each one offers, who they’re best for, whether one is preferable to the other and other information, helping customers decide which of the two supplements is best suited for their lifestyle.

Liquid I.V. vs Nuun

Liquid I.V.


Price (per serving)

$1.25 per stick

$.70 per tablet

Types of Supplements

Powder sticks

Dissolvable tablet

Flavor Options

5 flavors

27 flavors

Sugar per Serving

11 grams

1-2 grams (15 grams in Endurance)

Calories per Serving

30 calories

15 calories

Caffeinated Option?



What is Liquid I.V.?

liquid iv vs nuun

Price per serving: $1.25

Electrolytes: Glucose, sodium, potassium

Reasons to Buy

Easy and convenient to use (just add to a glass of water)

Several flavors and variants available

Contains lots of vitamins, electrolytes and essential nutrients

Reasons to Avoid


Only available in flavored options

High sugar content

Flavors: Lemon lime, strawberry, Acai berry, passion fruit, watermelon, apple pie, pina colada, guava, lemon ginger (energy), blueberry lavender (sleep), variety pack

How does Liquid I.V. work?

Liquid I.V. takes hydration to the next level, and is modeled after the World Health Organization’s rehydration solution. The ratio of sodium, potassium and glucose is scientifically studied and designed to help people rehydrate and tackle dehydration side effects. The powder stick drink mix uses Cellular Transport Technology (otherwise known as CTT) to speed up the induction of hydration into the bloodstream, delivering rehydration quicker and helping users recover faster. The combination of sodium and sugar helps speed up the rate at which water and solute is absorbed into the bloodstream, mitigating dehydration side effects more quickly than drinking traditional water.

The ingredients of Liquid I.V. are pure cane sugar, sodium citrate, potassium citrate, citric acid, mined salt, dextrose, vitamin C, stevia leaf extract, natural flavors, B vitamins (B3, B5, B6, B12), dipotassium phosphate and silicon dioxide. The primary functional ingredients of these are sugar, sodium and potassium, which serve to help rehydrate the body. Potassium helps maintain the correct balance of nutrients and fluids in the bloodstream.

Who is Liquid I.V. best for?

You don’t need to be an athlete to justify using a rehydration supplement! Electrolyte drinks like Liquid I.V. are an easy way to deal with and improve your hydration levels. This is especially true for active people, those living in hot climates, people who have difficulty getting enough water in their day and pretty much anyone who is regularly dehydrated. It’s worth noting that Liquid I.V. is on the more expensive end, at around $1.25 per serving. Purchasing the powder in bulk packages is a good way to save some money, but might not be feasible for all customers. While Liquid I.V. claims to be up to three times more hydrating than water, there isn’t much evidence to back this up. It does, however, contain no artificial ingredients, is non-GMO and contains three times more electrolytes than traditional sports drinks, making it a great alternative to a sugar-laden beverage such as Gatorade for post-exercise hydration. Each Hydration Multiplier single-serving packet contains 11 grams of carbohydrates from sugar (the packets contain 11 grams of sugar), so those who are sensitive to sugar may not enjoy the somewhat high sugar content of these packets.

Varieties Available

Whether you want to rehydrate before bed, are looking for a pick-me-up in the morning, seeking post-workout recovery or trying to stay properly hydrated during exercise, Liquid I.V. offers different products to meet a variety of needs.

Hydration Multiplier: Liquid I.V.’s first and most common blend is their Hydration Multiplier, which is suitable for everyday use. All other blends contain the electrolytes and ingredients of the original Hydration Multiplier (salt, glucose, potassium) to help boost hydration, plus additional vitamins and ingredients to help serve different purposes. The standard Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier powder packets come in a bunch of different flavors, including yellow cherry, lemon lime, strawberry, passionfruit, guava, watermelon, acai berry and a few others. Liquid I.V. uses natural flavors sourced from vegetables and fruits in their ingredients to enhance the flavor of their packets.

Hydration Multiplier + Immunity: This blend adds vitamin C, zinc and proprietary herbal blend to help the immune system stay healthy. These packets are available in tangerine flavor. Each stick has 45 calories, with 11 grams of carbs and 11 grams of sugar.

Sleep Multiplier: This powder contains the blend of CTT ingredients found in the Hydration Multiplier and adds L-theanine, melatonin and valerian root extract to help customers fall asleep quickly and easily while boosting their hydration levels. This is a great beverage to take after a long day spent exercising, in the sun or being active, and can help reduce the symptoms of dehydration the day after. These packets come in blueberry lavender flavor and contain 30 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrates and 3.5 grams of added sugars.

Energy Multiplier: For those who want a little boost of energy with their rehydration, the Liquid I.V. Energy Multiplier is a great option. With 100 mg of natural caffeine alongside the electrolytes and nutrients that help hydrate the body, this is a great coffee alternative. The caffeine in these packets comes from matcha green tea and guayusa, providing a clean energy boost without any crash. These packets come in a bright lemon ginger flavor. Each powder stick has 40 calories, 9 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of added sugar.

What is Nuun?

nuun vs liquid iv

Price per serving: $0.70

Electrolytes: Magnesium, chloride, potassium, sodium, dextrose

Reasons to Buy


Simple, storable packaging

Lots of flavor options and varieties

Reasons to Avoid

Dissolving tablets takes a few minutes

Some varieties have high levels of sodium

Certain formulas are a little expensive

Flavors: Lemon lime, tri-berry, citrus fruit, orange, banana, lemon tea, fruit punch, grape, tropical, kona cola, strawberry, strawberry lemonade, blackberry lemon (recover), cherry limeade (caffeinated), fresh lime (caffeinated), mango orange (caffeinated), wild berry (caffeinated), blueberry tangerine (immunity), orange citrus (immunity), blueberry pomegranate (vitamins), grapefruit orange (vitamins), strawberry melon (vitamins), tangerine lime (vitamins), blackberry citrus (caffeinated), ginger lemonade (caffeinated), blackberry vanilla (rest), lemon chamomile (rest), berry blast (energy), ginger lime zing (energy), tropical punch (energy), watermelon burst (energy), super berry, mandarin orange, fresh berry, citrus mango

How does Nuun work?

Like other electrolyte-packed rehydration products, Nuun tablets use a blend of key ingredients (namely sodium, magnesium and potassium) to help the body rehydrate quicker and more efficiently. These tablets are packed into little tubes, to be taken out and dropped into a glass or bottle of water whenever necessary. Each tablet of the original Nuun Sport contains 15 calories, a single gram of sugar as dextrose and a blend of calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and chloride. The blend of electrolytes aids in the absorption of water into the bloodstream, helping rehydrate your body faster than drinking standard water.

Who is Nuun best for?

While sports drinks and electrolyte supplement beverages are commonly marketed at athletes and people leading active lifestyles, that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t benefit from taking them, too. When we lose fluids through sweat, our bodies need to quickly replenish those fluids and deliver oxygen to working muscles to help them perform, whether that’s during a hike, backpacking trip, bike ride, run, gym session or time spent outdoors in the sun. This study measured the effects of taking Nuun versus regular water to hydrate while at rest, and found that the participants that ingested Nuun had more favorable fluid balances in their body as well as lower urine output compared to those who drank only water. This indicates that even individuals who aren’t exercising intensely can benefit from a rehydration supplement, especially if they don’t consume enough water regularly or live in hot climates where they sweat often.

If you’re looking for a good way to prevent muscle cramps, Nuun can help. Adding a tablet of Nuun Rest to your evening routine can help delay onset muscle cramping, according to Nuun. The added magnesium, low carbohydrate levels and improved hydration can help reduce some of the cramping symptoms that occur during and after strenuous exercise.

Varieties Available

Nuun comes in a variety of options for different needs. All blends contain the base of electrolytes and sugar found in Nuun Sport, which are sodium, magnesium and potassium, to help with hydration in addition to the other benefits the different electrolyte tablets offer. Nuun is free of artificial flavors and sweeteners, using all-natural flavors derived from oils, essences and pieces of fruit and some vegetables, which makes all of Nuun’s flavors light and refreshing.

Nuun Sport: Nuun Sport is their original tablet and is suitable for everyday use, giving customers a fizzy and unique way to hydrate. The original Nuun Sport tablets contain 15 calories, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar and are sweetened with dextrose and stevia leaf extract.

Nuun Prime: For more serious athletes or people who want to incorporate more rehydration into their pre- and post-workout supplementation, Nuun has some exercise-focused powders. Nuun Prime is a caffeine-free pre-workout hydration mix that comes in a canister as opposed to a tablet or powder stick. Nuun Prime contains cane sugar, inulin, BCAAs and ginseng powder (in addition to the electrolytes and nutrients found in Nuun Sport) to give users an extra boost before their workout. Each serving contains 35 calories, 6 grams of carbs and 4 grams of sugar.

Nuun Endurance: As a mid-workout hydration drink, Nuun Endurance offers an easy way to give your body the fuel it needs to keep going. With 60 calories, 16 grams of carbohydrates and 15 grams of sugar, this blend is designed for maintaining energy levels and proper hydration during long bouts of exercise, such as races or long distance training.

Nuun Recover: This is their post-workout blend, with BCAAs, L-Glutamine and electrolytes to help you recover quicker. This hydration powder contains 50 calories, 5 grams of carbs and 4 grams of sugar, plus 6 grams of protein for additional post-workout benefits.

Nuun Vitamin: Nuun Vitamin tablets include additional A, C, D, E, and B vitamins on top of the electrolytes and nutrients found in Nuun Sport. Each tablet has 10 calories, 4 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of sugar.

Nuun Immunity: Nuun Immunity adds on to Nuun Vitamin, with the same vitamins and minerals as the Vitamin tablets plus added zinc, selenium and a proprietary herbal blend. Each Immunity tablet has 15 calories, 4 grams of carbs and 2 grams of sugar.

Nuun Immunity3: For those who want even more in their packets, Nuun Immunity3 contains the vitamins and electrolytes of the Immunity packets and adds prebiotics to help support gut health on top of providing customers with a ton of nutrients and vitamins. Immunity3 packets have 30 calories, 7 grams of carbs and 6 grams of sugar.

Nuun Energy: For a natural boost, Nuun Energy tablets contain 80 mg of caffeine from green tea extract plus 20 mg of ginseng for a burst of alert focus. In addition to caffeine, these tablets also contain vitamins B12 and B6. Each tablet contains 15 calories, 4 grams of carbs and 2 grams of sugar.

Nuun Rest: On the opposite end of the spectrum, Nuun Rest is a great natural sleep aid that improves hydration while aiding in quality rest. These tablets contain magnesium and tart cherry powder extract to promote muscle relaxation and recovery after active days. Each Rest tablet has 15 calories, 3 grams of carbs and a single gram of sugar.

Liquid I.V. and Nuun Comparison

Is Liquid I.V. or Nuun Better for Daily Use? 

At the end of the day, the real difference between Liquid I.V. and Nuun are ultimately your own personal preferences. Both employ a similar blend of electrolytes and sugar to promote a quicker absorption of fluids into the bloodstream for hydration, and both offer a quick and convenient way to do so. Their primary differences lie in their different varieties and some of the ingredients found in the various options. Those sensitive to melatonin would be best to opt for Nuun’s Rest option, which contains no melatonin, whereas the Liquid I.V. Sleep Multiplier does contain it. Customers who prefer an effervescent electrolyte drink mix will likely enjoy Nuun, which is slightly fizzy, whereas Liquid IV is not. Another difference between the two is the potency of their flavors. Liquid I.V. is reportedly much more flavorful and sweet, while Nuun contains less sugar and is notably more subtle in its flavors. Both brands are suitable for daily use, but we recommend giving both a try if you aren’t sure which of the two you’d prefer.

Each rehydration system has its flaws. Liquid I.V. uses single-use packaging and users have reported a strong electrolyte aftertaste that some don’t enjoy. It’s also quite pricey. Nuun also uses plastic packaging, but uses one tube per 10 tablets rather than a single package per serving. While Liquid I.V. dissolves almost instantly, Nuun can take around five minutes to fully dissolve, something that some customers find annoying. Nuun is also considerably less sweet than Liquid I.V. 

Is Liquid I.V. or Nuun Better for Exercise?

It’s difficult to determine which is the better option for exercise, especially since different people have different preferences. After reading several reviews, we recommend Nuun for exercise based on the fact that several customers reported that it was “less thick” and “easier on their stomach” for mid-workout consumption. The high sugar content of Liquid I.V. was unappealing to some, especially for those who were consuming the product in the middle of a run or bike ride. Nuun also has more flavor varieties and options for different types of exercise (Endurance is for endurance activity, Prime is designed for pre-workout, Sport is a daily option, Energy is great for a morning or afternoon boost and Recovery is ideal for post-workout), whereas Liquid I.V. is designed for more generic rehydration needs. The magnesium found in Nuun may help with muscle cramps, too, as magnesium can help relax muscles, according to Nuun.

Liquid I.V. vs Nuun Cost Comparison

Between Liquid I.V. and Nuun, Nuun is the more affordable option. When purchased in a 16-pack through their website, each serving of Liquid I.V. comes out to be $1.53. If purchased as part of a subscription (receiving two 16-packs monthly), the cost per serving comes down to $1.25, saving customers a bit of cash, but requiring them to consume a serving every day at the rate they’re sent to their house.

Nuun, if purchased as a single tube, costs $0.75 per serving. Tubes are sold individually or in packs and each tube contains 10 servings. Nuun also has a subscription service, with the option to have the tablets delivered every one, two or three months. Subscribing saves customers 15% on their purchases, bringing the cost per serving down to $0.70.

At half the price, Nuun is clearly the more affordable option. However, the difference in cost is a near-negligible $0.75, so if you prefer the taste, flavors, texture or other aspects of Liquid I.V. over Nuun, we suggest you opt for that.

Frequently Asked Questions