Why Science Loves Coffee with Electrolytes (+ You Should Too)

Why Science Loves Coffee with Electrolytes (+ You Should Too)

Do you take sugar, creamer, or salt with your coffee? It might sound weird at first, but coffee with electrolytes could be a game-changer for your pick-me-up goals.

You’re probably thinking that electrolytes help combat coffee’s dehydrating effects. It’s a good guess, albeit based entirely on a myth. So how do electrolytes actually help?

Stick with us as we explore the science of why coffee doesn’t dehydrate you, the top five benefits of drinking coffee with electrolytes, and which electrolytes make the perfect sugar-free additions.

Fact Check: Does Coffee Dehydrate You?

Let’s tackle the elephant in the room first: the dehydration myth. Contrary to popular belief, studies show that your daily brew isn’t the hydration villain it’s been made out to be.

Dehydration occurs when your body loses more water and electrolytes than you can add back in. These losses happen naturally when you sweat, urinate, have diarrhea, vomit, suffer from specific medical conditions, or take certain medications (especially those for high blood pressure).[*]

Since the human body is up to 65% water, researchers say we should follow the Golden Rule to ensure we drink enough H2O to maintain this volume.[*]

The Shape of Coffee (It’s Like Water)

Diuresis is defined as an increased or excessive production of urine. It’s why diuretics make you pee more. Studies show that caffeine stimulates a mild diuretic effect similar to water.[*]

However, there’s no evidence that this water loss creates an electrolyte imbalance that would lead to dehydration.[*] Further, the higher one’s caffeine tolerance, the less likely they are to experience any change in electrolytes after moderate caffeine intake.[*]

In one meta-analysis of 10 studies, drinking a caffeinated beverage resulted in up to 84% retention of the initial volume ingested. Drinking the same amount of water resulted in 81% retention. Translation: Water was more of a diuretic than a caffeinated beverage.[*]

Another study revealed that coffee consumed in moderation may actually “provide similar hydrating qualities to water.”[*]

What are Electrolytes (+ Why Does Everyone Keep Talking About Them)?

Electrolytes are essential minerals that carry an electric charge and play a crucial role in maintaining various physiological functions in your body. They’re also responsible for sustaining your body’s optimal fluid balance, or ensuring your cells get the right amount of H2O.

The primary electrolytes include:

  • Sodium. It helps regulate blood pressure and supports nerve and muscle function.[*] It’s also the #1 electrolyte lost when we sweat.
  • Potassium. It’s essential for proper muscle contraction, nerve function, the balance of fluids and electrolytes in our cells, and more.[*]
  • Magnesium. This mineral supports muscle and nerve function, blood sugar control, energy production, and neurotransmitter release. It’s also involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body.[*
  • Calcium. It’s crucial for bone health, blood clotting, muscle contraction, heart rhythms, and nerve signal transmission.[*
  • Chloride. It helps regulate body fluid and electrolyte balance.[*]

Maintaining the right balance of electrolytes is essential for proper hydration, muscle and nerve performance, and overall health. On the other hand, electrolyte imbalances can lead to:

  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches 
  • Muscle cramps and twitches
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeats

So What is Coffee with Electrolytes?

Coffee with electrolytes turns your morning coffee ritual into a powerhouse of essential minerals. You can either drink coffee and electrolyte-infused beverages side-by-side. Or go for the efficiency and simplicity of drinking coffee with electrolytes in the same mug. 

Here’s a rundown of the best electrolyte-rich ingredients to add to your coffee: 

  • Sea salt adds sodium, magnesium, and calcium. It enhances flavor and doesn’t significantly alter the taste of your cup of coffee. Start with a small pinch and adjust to your liking.
  • Pink Himalayan salt is rich in minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. It has a slightly stronger flavor than sea salt, so use it sparingly until you find what tastes good.
  • Coconut water contains potassium, magnesium, sodium, and natural sweetness. A small splash in your java can add a subtle, refreshing twist.
  • Electrolyte powders provide a controlled, convenient way to add electrolytes without the added sugar typically found in energy drinks or sports drinks.

5 Benefits of Coffee with Electrolytes

When coffee and electrolytes are on the same team, this beneficial brew may help you:

1. Maintain Optimal Hydration & Electrolyte Balance

We now know that coffee doesn’t dehydrate you. But it still contributes to your overall fluid intake, just like drinking water. And stats tell us that over half of Americans consume three cups of coffee daily.[*]

So now the issue isn’t dehydration; it may be overhydration. This occurs when you slam so much water that you dilute your electrolyte concentrations. Then your electrolytes become just as ineffective as if you were dehydrated.

That’s why hydration is about more than just water.[*] Adding electrolytes to your coffee can help replenish lost minerals faster and more effectively than you can snag them from foods in your diet. 

2. Rev Up Your Mental Performance 

Multiple studies reveal that even mild dehydration impairs your mental performance.[*] But electrolytes can help banish brain fog, improve working memory and brain power, and allow your neurons (brain cells) to communicate more efficiently.[*][*]

What happens when you add java to a well-hydrated mind? The caffeine in coffee is a naturally occurring stimulant and nootropic (cognitive enhancer).[*] It provides a quick way to fire up your noggin, increase alertness, enhance focus, and speed up your information processing.[*][*

3. Feel More Energized

You may know about caffeine’s brain effects, but what about the effects of caffeine on your physical performance? It provides a boost of energy to help you push through physical exhaustion, work out harder, and strengthen your endurance.[*][*

Electrolyte balance is also crucial for your energy levels. They help convert food to fuel. And they keep your muscles functioning like a well-oiled machine to prevent cramps or fatigue from taking you out of the game.[*]

4. Optimize Your Post-Workout Recovery

There are over a thousand bioactive compounds in a cup of coffee, including anti-inflammatory antioxidants and polyphenols.[*] That’s why coffee’s considered both a pre-exercise stimulant and a superb recovery aid.[*

Consuming caffeinated drinks like coffee 24 to 72 hours after working out can improve pain perception by up to 26%.[*] A caffeine habit may even help decrease delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS).[*] Feeling less sore after a strenuous sweat sesh means you may be able to train longer or more often.[*]

Electrolytes also pull double duty for peak performance. Preloading electrolytes banishes fatigue and optimizes energy levels while improving muscle function during physical activity.[*] They’re also crucial for recovery and rehydration.[*][*]

5. Score More Chill Vibes

The caffeine in coffee beans stimulates the release of mood-boosting neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. These “feel-good” chemicals can help reduce stress and anxiety, decrease the risk and symptoms of depression, and improve mental health.[*][*][*]

Low calcium and magnesium levels have been linked to higher stress levels and increased risks of depression.[*] Good news? Increasing calcium and magnesium provides an extra boost in the well-being department.[*][*

IQMIX + IQJOE: Coffee with Electrolytes Your Way

So, you want to experiment with coffee and electrolytes? Our instant coffee and electrolyte packs have you covered.

Each packet of our travel-ready IQJOE adaptogenic instant coffee contains:

  • 200 mg Organic Caffeine from Green Coffee and Brazilian Coffee for long-lasting, crash-proof, jitter-free energy.
  • 750 mg Magtein®️ (Magnesium L-Threonate) to elevate your mood and mental performance.
  • 250 mg 8X-Concentrated Lion's Mane Extract, an adaptogen that lowers stress and enhances productivity.

Our IQMIX hydration packs also contain that beneficial Lion’s Mane. But instead of coffee, each sleeve is loaded with electrolytes to maximize your hydration strategy, including 500 mg of sodium, 380 mg of potassium, and 750 mg of Magtein.® 

IQJOE and IQMIX are both sugar-free, keto, vegan, and non-GMO. You won’t find any gluten, dairy, or soy in them either.

Now let’s talk flavors. Our variety packs make finding your favorites a low-stress adventure. 

The IQJOE Variety Pack includes Original Black, Vanilla Spice, Toasted Hazelnut, and Caffè Mocha flavors. The IQMIX Variety Pack upgrades your plain H2O with juicy Lemon Lime, Blood Orange, Blueberry Pomegranate, and Peach Mango deliciousness.

Feeling the Coffee and Electrolyte Synergy?

Adding electrolytes to your daily coffee ritual can be an uplifting, energizing, nourishing experience. You’re doing a solid for your body’s hydration goals while putting caffeine’s magic to work. Whether you enjoy them in tandem or let them mingle in the same mug, these two healthy ingredients certainly play better together.

🥇 Go for the gold with the IQBAR Ultimate Sampler! Try every IQBAR, IQMIX, and IQJOE flavor to slay your protein, hydration, and energy goals in one special delivery.


Written by Lauren Ciccarelli, a writer and research geek passionate about low-carb nutrition, mental health, and meditation. Her 2,500+ articles empower doers with science-backed tips for leveled-up living.