When you’re out on the trail for hours at a time, it’s imperative to stay hydrated to keep you energized and fueled on the go. If you find it difficult to drink enough water on your backpacking trips or want to get more out of each sip, the best water enhancers might be just what you’re looking for.
If you’re not sure what water enhancers are or have heard about them but would like to know more, keep reading.
We’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about water enhancers to decide if they’re right for you, plus the top 5 water enhancers every backpacker needs to know about.
Let’s get started!
A Detailed Review of the Best Water Enhancers
Check out the top 5 water enhancers to make a tasty drink concoction for your next backpacking adventure!
MIO Water Enhancer Berry Variety Pack
- Great flavor options
- Variety pack
- Each bottle lasts for 20 servings or more
- No sugar or caffeine
- Fantastic natural option
- Flavors might not be to everyone’s preference
- Contains propylene glycol
MIO water enhancers are definitely among the most popular options available, with a plethora of flavors available ranging from blueberry lemonade to strawberry watermelon to berry pomegranate. One of the most popular flavors is sweet tea. The thing we really love about MIO water enhancers is that they are free of damaging components like sugar or caffeine, making them a tasty, natural choice to boost your water intake.
If you have a health condition that prevents you from consuming too much sugar, or if you simply want to keep your intake of empty calories down, the MIO Water Enhancer could be just what you’re looking for. Each flavor comes in pretty small bottles, but the good news is you’ll only need a tiny amount for each serving.
You can expect to use each bottle for 20 servings or more before you need to run out and buy a new one. You can also purchase the MIO water enhancer flavors of your choice in a variety pack to last you for many trails ahead.
Stur Natural Water Enhancer Classic Variety Pack
- Tasty, refreshing flavors
- No blue or yellow dyes
- No sucralose
- Sweetened with Stevia
- Includes Vitamin C
- Flavors aren’t as strong as some other products
- Stevia aftertaste might not be to everyone’s preference
Our next selection is the Stur Natural Water Enhancer. We like these because they are devoid of calories and sugar, posing a tasty, natural option free of artificial ingredients that could pose issues. We love that the Stur Natural Water Enhancers don’t contain any blue or yellow dyes, sucralose, etc., so even individuals with sensitivities could find this option to be an ideal choice.
The sweetness in this water enhancer is from Stevia, which won’t cause any unpleasant blood sugar spikes. We also like that each flavor of Stur’s Natural Water Enhancers includes Vitamin C for an extra immune-enhancing boost. You can purchase the Stur Natural Water Enhancer Variety Pack in a wide range of flavors too, including orange mango, pomegranate cranberry, and Blue and Blackberry.
Pyure Organic Liquid Stevia Sweetener Simply Sweet
- No sugar, calories, or gluten
- Zero glycemic impact
- Non-GMO and certified organic
- Ideal for a range of dietary needs and sensitivities
- Not as many flavor options
- The bottle tends to squirt out too much liquid sweetener at once
We picked the Pyure Organic Liquid Stevia Sweetener for its incredible, all-natural nutritional content and pleasing flavor. We love that these liquid drops are free of calories, sugar, and gluten, making them a great choice whether you’re trying to stay healthy on the road or have pre-existing allergic sensitivities.
The Pyure drops are naturally sweetened with Stevia, so you can satisfy that sweet tooth without sabotaging your health goals. These 1.8 fluid ounce bottles are highly portable and easy to throw into your pocket or your pack as you so desire. It is not only valuable as a water enhancer, but the Pyure Organic Liquids Stevia Sweetener is also perfect to sweeten any hot or cold drink of your choosing.
The Stevia sweetener has zero glycemic impact and is compatible with just about any dietary plan, including diabetic, keto, and paleo needs. The water enhancer is also non-GMO and USDA Certified Organic.
H2WOW WATER ENHANCER Drops Variety Pack
- All-natural sweetener
- No artificial ingredients
- Variety pack option with 4 refreshing flavors
- Enhanced with botanical essential oils and fruit extracts
- Serving sizes are a bit small
- Flavor is subtler than some
Our next choice is the H2WOW Water Enhancer Drops. While these water enhancer drops do contain a caloric profile, they only sport a negligible 3 calories per serving or so. The H2WOW Water Enhancer Drops use all-natural sweeteners rather than artificial ingredients, relying on Stevia and agave instead. We really like this variety pack because it comes in 4 different, refreshing flavors.
With choices like Watermelon Honeydew and Cucumber Lemongrass, the H2WOW Water Enhancers are a fantastic choice to help you stay hydrated, cooled, and refreshed on any short or lengthy backpacking trip. We were really impressed to note that the enhancer drops include components from botanical essential oils and actual fruit extracts, for an extra boost of nutrition and taste.
DASANI Drops Strawberry Kiwi Water Flavor Enhancer Drink
- Servings go a long way
- Nice, strong taste that really boosts water flavor
- Good selection of flavor options
- Not an all-natural choice
- Contains Yellow 5 and sucralose
Our final pick are the classic Dasani Drops. If you are looking for the best water flavoring with a stronger taste that really augments the overall flavor of your beverage, the Dasani Drops might be just what you’re looking for. The drops are concentrated, so a small serving will go a lot further than you might expect. The only real downside for us is that the Dasani Drops are not an all-natural option.
If all-natural isn’t a concern for you, then you should be just fine. The Dasani Drops contain sucralose rather than agave or Stevia, and the artificial dye Yellow 5. Neither of these artificial ingredients should be consumed in large quantities, but there is only about 2% of either component in the drops so you won’t be consuming much anyway.
If you following the serving sizes as directed in the bottle, you can expect 1 bottle to last you about a month and maybe longer with less frequent use. Besides the refreshing Strawberry Kiwi flavor, you can also purchase Dasani Drops in other tasty choices like pineapple coconut.
A Buyer's Guide to Water Enhancer
Here’s exactly what you need to know about the right water enhancer.
What Are Water Enhancers?
Water enhancers are flavoring agents, designed to help you stay hydrated and drink more water by spicing things up with your favorite flavor. All you have to do is incorporate a few drops of the water enhancer into your bottle of water while out on the trail, and you’ll have a tasty drink to keep you fueled and energized. Water enhancers come in a wide range of flavors, including everything from blueberry and raspberry to green tea and coconut.
Water enhancers contain minute amounts of sugar, so you won’t need to worry about filling up on empty calories that serve your body no purpose while out on the road. Depending on the water enhancer you choose, some brands incorporate nutritious components like vitamins and electrolytes into the product to give your water an additional boost.
Let’s take a closer look at the typical ingredients usually found in water enhancers.
The first typical ingredient you usually find is citric acid. Citric acid is a naturally occurring component found in citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. The presence of citric acid makes the water enhancer a bit tangy while offering additional antioxidant properties to boost your immune system and overall vitality.
Another common ingredient you usually see in water enhancers is propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is akin to an antifreeze agent, which means that it is a flavoring mechanism and aids in diffusing food coloring.
Since most water enhancers feature colored drops, the presence of propylene glycol boosts the flavor and helps distribute the coloring in your water. While it is not ideal to consume propylene glycol in consistently large quantities, the small amount in the enhancer isn’t usually an issue.
Stevia is a common sugar substitute you’ll often see, which offers 200 times more sweetness than traditional sugar but at a zero caloric intake. A less natural option that some water enhancers incorporate is sucralose, a common artificial sweetener.
Sucralose is actually 500 times sweeter than regular sugar and also sports zero calories like Stevia. Some individuals have reported issues with sucralose like intensified migraines, so bear this in mind when picking a water enhancer that work for you.
While many water enhancers are simply there to make your water taste better, some of them feature electrolytes to help promote your body’s regular function. In fact, if you drink water on a very strenuous climb or hot hike without replacing some of the electrolytes you’re losing during the trek, you could experience severe health threats like hyponatremia.
So, incorporating extra electrolytes into your water habits is a must on tough treks.
What to Consider Before Selecting a Water Enhancer
Great water enhancers not only taste great but offer some bonus nutrition for your body on camping and backpacking excursions. That said, not all water enhancers are created equal, and some are not even remotely healthy.
Water enhancers have a lot going for them. They make it easier to boost your water intake with a nice taste while offering components like vitamins and minerals to keep you energized on the trail. In general, water enhancers are also incredibly affordable, and work instantly, offering a hint of sweetness and the flavor of your choice to your water bottle.
Some water enhancers contain artificial flavoring which can prove both unhealthy and damaging to your body in the long run. If you have allergic sensitivities to artificial coloring, you will need to take care to purchase an all-natural water enhancer that leaves out these elements. Also, artificial sweeteners are known to elevate blood sugar levels, so this is key to consider if you are hypoglycemic or diabetic.
How to Pick the Right Water Enhancer
If you have an allergy to one of the ingredients sometimes found in water enhancers such as artificial coloring, your best bet is to pick a completely natural water enhancer with clean ingredients that won’t cause a reaction. You always want to pay close attention to the sugar and caloric content of the water enhancers, to ensure they align with your health and fitness goals.
If you still have concerns, speak with your doctor to discuss the ingredients you’re looking at and determine if any of these will affect any current health conditions you might be dealing with.
The good news is, water enhancers are considered completely safe and fine to use when out on the trail. In most cases, if you make sure the artificial, sugar, and caloric content isn’t too high or simply opt for an all-natural option, you’ll be just fine.
Our Top Pick
Each of the water enhancers on our list offers something to suit just about any backpacker’s taste buds. For us, nutritional components are key when it comes to the best water enhancers and one product clearly stood out to us on this point—the H2WOW Water Enhancer Drops. We love that while these water enhancers are tasty and refreshing, with flavors like Cucumber Lemongrass and Watermelon Honeydew, you’ll still receive impressive nutritional benefits too.
The Stevia and agave sweetening components are an excellent alternative to artificial ones like sucralose, while each serving of H2WOW contains just 3 calories. We liked the variety pack with a quality selection of flavors, plus the presence of botanical essential oils and actual fruit extracts was a huge bonus for us too.
For a gentle, refreshing assortment of flavors, natural sweeteners that won’t spike your blood sugar, and an added nutritional boost from the essential oils and fruit extracts, it’s hard to outdo the H2WOW Water Enhancer Drops.