Our Favorite Drink For Rehydrating Doesn't Come From A Major Brand

Hydrating sports drinks are a big business. The three most popular brands in the U.S. — Gatorade, BodyArmor, and Powerade — had nearly $10 billion in combined sales in 2023. Yes, that's billion with a b. Despite the strong hold these brands seem to have on the market, that doesn't necessarily mean they're the best out there. In fact, those top brands are among the unhealthiest sports drinks you can buy. To find something better, Mashed ranked 18 popular hydration drinks from worst to best and the drink that came out on top wasn't from one of the major brands. The best option based on nutritional profile, sustainable packaging, flavor, and other online reviews was NOOMA Organic Electrolyte Sports Drink.

You're probably not alone if you've never heard of NOOMA, but it's worth your time to get to know this hydration brand. Unlike the brands you may be more familiar with, NOOMA doesn't contain any added sugar, artificial sweeteners, or colors. It does contain 505 milligrams of electrolytes, which the company claims is almost double the amount that you'll find in other brands. We also love that it has a coconut water base, which other reviewers noted gave the drink a creaminess reminiscent of a milkshake or smoothie!

NOOMA is healthy and sustainable

According to a 2021 study in Frontiers in Nutrition, one of the biggest sources of added sugar in Americans' diets is sugar-sweetened drinks, including sports drinks. NOOMA co-founders Brandon and Jarred Smith were athletes who found hydration drinks lacking in nutrition. They launched NOOMA, which stands for "No More Artificials," to cut out artificial ingredients and added sugar, and provide optimal hydration to the masses. 

In addition to the brand's commitment to quality ingredients, it also has an eye on sustainability that is unmatched by most of the major hydrating drink brands. Gatorade, BodyArmor, and Powerade all come in what are known as single-use plastic bottles. While they are technically recyclable, we now know that many single-use plastics end up in the ocean and landfills rather than being recycled, which is a major threat to the environment (and one of the reasons you should stop buying bottled water). NOOMA, on the other hand, uses what it calls "alternative, more eco-friendly packaging solutions" and has never used plastic bottles for any of its products. Better for you and the environment? It's number one in our book!