Electrolyte Tablets

CamelBak’s Elixir, another sugar-free tablet, costs about $10 for a tube of 12 tablets. This is more money than the competition, but Elixir is more concentrated and goes a bit further. Each CamleBak tablet works for up to 24 ounces of water. I often use them in a 16-ounce bike water bottle, and the taste is noticeably stronger than nuun or ZYM.

Elixir, like the other companies’ options, is easy to drink. It comes in orange, lemon-lime, and berry flavors. All are good-tasting and refreshing.

CamelBak Elixir.jpg

CamelBak Elixir

It’s hard to go wrong with any of these offerings. In use, they are all fairly similar. ZYM and CamelBak are stronger-tasting. As noted, ZYM Catapult’s caffeine gives a noticeable boost. (CamelBak also offers tablets with caffeine.)

Overall, I am a devotee to the category of effervescent electrolyte tablets. The small tabs make getting sodium, potassium, magnesium and other performance enhancers into your system as easy as plunking a tablet in water. A final bonus: The sugar-free tablets do not gunk up a water bottle or hydration reservoir like sugary supplements can. Compared to the traditional alternative of mixing sports powder in water, ZYM, CamelBak, and nuun all offer a superior solution.

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.