Tuesday, June 25

Adventures in Hydration: Ignite Naturals IN Refresh Electrolyte Drink (review)

This month I was delighted to have the opportunity to try out Ignite Naturals IN Refresh Electrolyte Drink mix. I sampled the Dragonfruit lemon lime mix.

I learned about Ignite Naturals on Twitter. Their approach to active hydration is different than most other sport drinks. Some sport drinks are sugary or salty to the taste and contain food coloring and other unnatural ingredients (e.g., Gatorade*, which includes long explanations for use of food coloring, sodium, and isomaltulose in the FAQ for the product). Other sport drinks created with tablets are more balanced when it comes to sugar and sodium and contain natural flavors and colors, but the ingredient list reads like a chemistry textbook (e.g., Nuun*).

IN Refresh ingredients are simple, non-GMO, whole foods.
from IgniteNaturals.com
So I started my trial with a small glass of Dragonfruit lemon lime.

Whoa! Flavor!

The directions indicate one level scoop (about a teaspoon) for 6-8 oz. of water. That, my friends, produces a rich, bright, tasty beverage. 
Scoop & mix from Ignite Naturals and my resulting beverage.
The flavor is sweet, but it doesn't taste like a sweetener or sugar. It's more fruity than anything, which I really enjoyed. My tastebuds were dancing freestyle.

I tried the drink mix in water several more times, experimenting with more water (up to 16 oz.) to experience the diluted flavor (which I associate more with drinks like Nuun). My personal preference is to mix one scoop into a 12 oz. glass of water. That hit the perfect level of saturation for me. Not too sweet, not too dilute.

In other experiments, I mixed the drink powder with other liquids. (Bold, I know!) Since the ingredients include freeze dried organic coconut water, it seemed like an obvious choice was coconut water.
Let the chemistry begin!
I mixed one scoop of the mix with 8 oz. of coconut water. The result? Spectacular. Coconut water is not my favorite on its own, but I usually don't regret mixing it with other things. It tasted like the IN Refresh Electrolyte mix was made for coconut water, really. The thicker feel of coconut water combined with the fruity taste of Dragonfruit lemon lime made me smile on even the hottest afternoon.

I also tried mixing the powder with coconut milk (nah), in a banana coconut-milkshake (okay), and orange juice (meh--the OJ overpowered it).

But what about the actual hydration component of this drink?

I don't let myself get dehydrated on purpose, so I just incorporated this mix into my daily routine of water, water, protein shake, water, and more water. :) I almost ALWAYS need to drink water while I am running. I am one of those people who sweats just thinking about sweating, so I need to replenish my fluids pretty quickly. (I'm also a "salty sweater," meaning after a really sweaty workout I get little salt crystals on my forehead and temples. Sexy, I know.) So my IN Refresh mix came along for a few runs too. It felt a little too high-maintenance for a run because of having to make sure the mix was, well, mixed. (Some powder does separate in the solution.) I would say that it helped me recover from my workouts best of all. I didn't feel like I needed to chug it in order to rehydrate and I felt better sooner, even in humid, hot weather.

So let's break it down...


  • Made from 100% plant-based, natural, non-GMO food
  • Ingredients list is readable (not chem class all over again)
  • Sweet, not sugary/sweetener, taste
  • Fruity, tastebud dance-provoking taste
  • Serious electrolyte recharge for post-workout
  • Makes coconut water a worthwhile beverage
  • 1% of Ignite Naturals sales go to onepercentfortheplanet.org
  • Some of the powder separates and sits at the bottom of the glass after mixing. (I just kept my spoon in my glass, but it was a little weird to see a little bit of mix at the bottom of my glass. Also makes this drink higher maintenance for running or other activities for which you might bring along a beverage.)
  • "Pepper" in the glass. I let several friends try the mix and they all brought up the little black specks floating in the mix and sticking to the sides of the glass. I'm sure they're from the food ingredients, but it's worth mentioning since several friends told me about it.
  • The canister for the powder is too large. It arrived with 30 servings, less than half full. Proper packaging is important for shipping, marketing, etc., but the canister seemed like it could've contained 90 servings, not 30, so psychologically it was a "glass-half-empty" feeling. (Also, smaller canisters would mean less packaging, which could result in savings for the company.)

Overall reaction: I'd encourage you to try Ignite Naturals if you're looking for an all-natural solution to your hydration needs. IN Refresh comes in four flavors: Dragonfruit lemon lime, Tangerine passion fruit, Blueberry, and Prickly pear.

*Don't get me wrong--I drink Gatorade at races and I love Nuun. I am just pointing out the differences between these popular drinks and the Ignite Naturals drink mix I'm reviewing. 

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