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How An Electrolyte Water Like Liquid IV Can Help You Lose Weight and Have More Energy

How to make your own electrolyte water that works like Liquid IV for pennies!

Just about every doctor and nutrition expert on the planet recommends drinking water. It also seems to be the one thing that every non-expert — from the keto meat eater to leafy-green plant eater — agrees on. And it makes sense, considering that our bodies are made up of roughly 60% water. Still, most of us aren’t sipping enough of the right kind of fluids to optimize our bodily functions. And we’re tired, groggy, constipated and dragging around a few too many pounds as a result.

Indeed, when it comes to women in midlife and older, dehydration has reached epidemic proportions. As many as 95% of women over age 40 are dehydrated, asserts Howard Murad, MD, author of The Water Secret. “As we age, stress, poor diet and environmental toxins damage the body’s cell membranes, weakening their ability to hold water,” he explains. “This damage leads to subclinical dehydration and the exhaustion, headaches, brain fog, mysterious cravings and weight gain that follow.”

But as important as drinking water is to our health, proper hydration can be surprisingly elusive—especially as we get older. As our cell membranes become less able to conduct water into our cells, it takes a special kind of water to attain a true state of hydration. That’s where “electrolyte water” comes in.

What is electrolyte water?

Electrolyte water most commonly includes, well, electrolytes — minerals that carry an electrical charge when dissolved in water to help revitalize the cells in the body and optimize their overall function — like sodium, potassium and magnesium. In fact, electrolyte water is becoming so popular that manufacturers are producing versions in hundreds of flavors and variations — and they’re flying off store shelves.

Liquid IV water on a grocery store shelf
The Image Party/Shutterstock

What is liquid IV?

One brand of electrolyte powder that has made an unusually large splash is Liquid IV. The name elicits an image of getting a quick infusion of health-boosting nutrients, much like people get intravenously at the hospital, without any painful needles or pokes. Touted as a “hydration multiplier,” this powdered mineral mix comes in individual packets — also called “sticks” — that can be added to bottles or glasses of water.

Each packet promises to deliver hydration two times faster and more effectively than plain water alone. Tests have also shown these packets hold three times more electrolytes than the traditional sports drinks of our youth like Gatorade. Another of electrolyte mix sticks brand popular among keto enthusiasts is LMNT.

These types of ready-made mineral mixes get a thumbs up from hydration experts. “An electrolyte drink mix made without added sugars would be the first thing I’d recommend to help people hydrate effectively and quickly,” asserts Dana Cohen, MD, author of Quench. Her advice: “Start salting your water, not your food.”

Why we need electrolyte water

Electrolytes play a number of crucial roles inside the human body. These nutrients help nerves transmit electrical impulses and support muscle function, preventing muscle cramps and fatigue. Electrolytes also help the body maintain a healthy pH balance and support the kidneys in their crucial role of filtering fluid and toxins. (Click through to our sister publication to see how keeping your fluid levels up naturally improves kidney function.)

Nutrition expert Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, NY Times bestselling author of over 35 books, including The New Fat Flush Plan, explains, “Minerals are the spark plugs of life and adding electrolytes to water is a perfect hydration solution.”   

“When we talk about dehydration, we’re often not only losing water, but also electrolytes like sodium and potassium, which are critical for bodily and cellular functions,” explains Dr. Cohen. “In order to properly replenish what we lose through sweat, we need not only to replace water but to replace electrolytes” as happens when drinking an electrolyte water like Liquid IV.

And it’s not just people who exercise who benefit from electrolytes. The body uses up minerals for countless other reasons — like to process alcohol or sugar that we’ve consumed, or when we’re sick or undergoing a medical treatment, when pregnant or breastfeeding or even traveling or stressed. (Click through to see how electrolyte water can reverse dry eye and improve your vision in 7 days.)

Electrolyte water versus plain water

“Drinking too much plain water can flush out vital nutrients and electrolytes from our cells and tissues, actually harming our health and limiting our body’s ability to perform,” explains Dr. Cohen. Researchers have found that our cells have a hard time absorbing plain water to undo chronic, low-level dehydration like the kind we may experience every day and not realize.

In fact, when we lack sodium, potassium and magnesium — as many of us do — we’re dehydrated on a cellular level. And by the time we experience noticeable symptoms like thirst or weaknesses, we’ve already been dehydrated for a while. James DiNicolantonio, Pharm.D., author of The Obesity Fix, agrees with Dr. Cohen, saying, “True hydration is replenishing water, plus lost minerals.”

Related: Dehydration Can Be a Sneaky Cause of High Blood Pressure — Here’s How To Replenish Fluids Fast

Does Liquid I.V. make you gain weight?

No — in fact, electrolyte waters like Liquid I.V. help you lose weight. because they dial down hunger and cravings. Research shows that when our body is lacking water or minerals, we feel an extra urge to overeat. “We seek out food, like a bag of salty chips, to obtain the salt our body demands,” explains Dr. DiNicolantonio.

Dr. Cohen asserts, “Most of the time, when we feel hungry, we’re actually dehydrated.” But that hunger leads us to reach for food, rather than ultra-hydrating liquids, so we lose the ability to sense what true thirst feels like in the body. And this malfunction seems to only worsen over time. Dr. Cohen explains, “After a lifetime of learning to ignore our thirst, the mechanism goes numb.”

How electrolyte waters help you lose weight

When we replace minerals, however, and achieve true hydration, it leads to effortless slimming. The proof: When people in a University of California-Irvine study added electrolytes to their diet, they shed 56 pounds in 6 weeks.

Actress Donna Mills, 82, legendary star of the television show “Knots Landing,” is a fan of electrolyte powers. She told us, “More and more, I’ve become aware of the importance of drinking water for overall health. I try to drink at least two large bottles of water a day. Playing tennis helps — after every couple of games, I go to the side and drink. Exercise reminds me to drink. I like to put lemon wedges or electrolyte powder in the water.” (Click through to learn more benefits of lemon water.)

How to make an electrolyte water even better than Liquid IV

To achieve the deep hydration only possible with mineral-infused water, you can try Liquid IV packets for yourself buy on Amazon ($24.66 for 16 servings) or you can create your own electrolyte mix to add to water at home. For a time-tested recipe, we turned to health and weight-loss guru Jorge Cruise, bestselling author of more than 20 books. For more than 20 years Cruise has been helping women control their cravings and achieve proper hydration. His secret weapon is his homemade recipe for Zero Hunger Water. Follow this recipe to make this DIY electrolyte mix in bulk.


1/4 tsp. salt (like Redmond Real Salt (buy on Amazon, $10.84)

1/8 tsp. potassium chloride powder (like Nutricost, buy on Amazon, $23.94)

1/16 tsp. magnesium glycinate powder (like Doctor’s Best), buy on Amazon, $17.07

1/4 tsp. glycine powder (like Nutricost, buy on Amazon, $21.95), optional


Combine all the ingredients in an empty water bottle and mix well. Add 16 oz. of filtered water and shake. Sip throughout the day to quell cravings, refilling as needed. Each bottle contains roughly 500 mg. of sodium, 500 mg. of glycine, 200 mg. of potassium and 60 mg. of magnesium. For optional flavor, add 1 packet of TRUE orange, grapefruit or lime crystalized flavoring and sweeten with stevia or monk fruit to taste. You can also add this mix to other beverages such as iced tea or mocktails.

Cruise recommends drinking around 32 ounces of electrolyte water every two hours. As always, women with high blood pressure should consult their doctor before changing their sodium intake. (For more information on Cruise’s complete plan, please see our story on how to balance electrolytes to lose weight.)

While three electrolytes — sodium, potassium, and magnesium — in this recipe are familiar to most of us, one thing on the list may sound new: the amino acid glycine. “Glycine improves the absorption of sodium, so it strengthens the hydration abilities of electrolyte water to turn off false hunger,” says Dr. DiNicolantonio. That’s why Cruise has added glycine to his slimming Zero Hunger Water recipe. Cruise finds, “Glycine makes electrolyte water three times more powerful in giving people radical hunger control.”

Real-world proof of the slimming power of electrolyte water

Cruise is amazed by the slimming results he’s seen in his clients who use this electrolyte water recipe. “I think of it as the over-50 fat cure,” says Cruise, who routinely witnesses clients lose up to 2 pounds a day following his hydration advice. In fact, Sandy Rosser, 60, of Fayetteville, N.C, lost 95 pounds with Cruise’s electrolyte water. She shares, “Calorie counting never addressed the root of my problem, which was mineral deficiency!”

Cruise sums it up, saying, “If you’re always craving carbs, sweets or salty snacks, it’s actually ‘false hunger’ triggered by an electrolyte imbalance.”

For more information, listen to Jorge Cruise’s “Zero Hunger Guy” podcast and sign up for his free Zero Hunger Water Club and receive support at

To discover how women are losing weight adding skinny syrups to water, check out our sister publication’s story Adding the New Flavored ‘Skinny Syrups’ to Water Is Helping Women Lose 200+ lbs — Discover How It Can Work For You

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

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