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A Dietitian's pick: Our favourite electrolytes for POTS in Australia


Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is a condition that affects the Autonomic Nervous System. This causes symptoms like dizziness, rapid heartbeat, nausea and gut motility changes, temperature sensitivity and fatigue, particularly when moving from lying down to standing up.


Proper hydration and electrolyte intake are crucial for managing POTS symptoms, in order to regulate blood pressure and heart rate. The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has recently restricted importation of some international products, which has limited the options available to Australians. While this can be frustrating, the TGA has strict supplement standards to protect consumer safety.


Here we will share our favourite electrolytes for POTS that are available in Australia, so you can find one that is right for you! 


Please note: check with your health care team (Cardiologist, GP and/or Dietitian) before increasing sodium! People with high blood pressure or on heart medications may not need additional sodium. For more information on why electrolytes can be helpful in POTS, check out our previous blog article on POTS & Hydration.


Sodium vs Salt


When discussing electrolytes for POTS, it's essential to distinguish between sodium and salt.


While "salt" generally refers to sodium chloride (that is, our table salt), sodium itself is a vital mineral (Na in the periodic table) that helps regulate blood pressure and fluid balance. For POTS patients, increasing sodium intake can improve blood volume and pressure, reducing symptoms - and this is typically achieved through consuming more “salt". The recommended daily sodium intake for POTS patients varies, but it can range from 2,000 to 10,000 mg (2-5 tsp salt) per day conservatively, depending on individual needs.


What to Look for in an Electrolyte


Choosing the right electrolyte for POTS is critical for managing the condition. Here are key factors to consider:


  1. Sodium content: We need sodium to help regulate our blood volume, which is key to managing POTS. To help you meet the 4,000-10,000mg daily sodium target for POTS, it’s best to choose electrolytes that contain at least 300mg sodium per serve. 

  2. Sodium - Potassium Ratio: Ideally we want electrolytes that contain 5 parts sodium to 1 part potassium. This is because too much potassium can put unwanted strain on the kidneys. For example, if an electrolyte contains 500mg sodium, it should contain around 100mg potassium. 

  3. Sugar content: While some sugar can aid in absorption and hydration, high sugar content can often impact blood sugar levels. Opt for electrolytes that contain <5g sugar per serve.

  4. Minimal colours and natural flavours (if you have MCAS!): Some products contain flavours which can be MCAS triggers (e.g. citrus, pineapple). If you know you are sensitive to these or synthetic flavours, colours or certain preservatives, make sure to avoid these. If you have aspergillus mould allergy, you may benefit from avoiding synthetic citric acid, so look out for this in the label.

  5. Ease of Use: Consider the form (powder, tablet, drink) and convenience of the supplement. If you need to work on your fluid intake, a powder form may be better.


Our favourite electrolytes for POTS


1. Sodii

Sodii

Sodii is one of the best electrolytes for POTS, particularly for those who struggle with hydration and have sodium requirements on the higher side. There are 7 flavours to choose from, including a neutral flavour, which you can get in a sample pack to try. Two of their newest flavours are also citric acid free.

  • Best for: management of moderate-severe POTS

  • Price: $2.30 per serve (for a 30 sachet pack)

  • Electrolytes per serve:

  • Sodium: 1000mg! 

  • Potassium: 210mg

  • Magnesium: 70mg

  • We have a discount code 'SAVVY' for 15% off Sodii products


2. Vital Zing Water Drops + DIY Electrolyte Mix


Vital Zing Water Drops

For those looking to maximise flexibility and reduce costs, making up your own electrolytes using a few products can be a great option.


  • For the flavouring: Vital Zing Water Drops. For the electrolytes:

    • These are sugar-free, stevia based flavouring drops which are also free from preservatives and artificial ingredients. They currently have 13 flavours in their Water Drop range, and 3 flavours in their Soda Drop range.

    • Cost: $5.65 per bottle

  • For the liquid: 250-500mL of still or sparkling water. If choosing 1000mg sodium, you may want to start with diluting this in 500-1000mL water.

3. Hydralyte


Hydralyte

Hydralyte is possibly one of the most well known electrolytes that can be bought at most supermarkets and chemists. It comes in various forms, including tablets, powders, and ready-to-drink solutions, catering to different preferences. While its sodium content is lower than Sodii and other options, it's a good option for those needing moderate electrolyte support. 

  • Best for: management of mild POTS

  • Price: $0.85 per tablet (for 20 tablet pack)

  • Electrolytes per effervescent tablet (note suggested serve by brand = 2 tablets):

  • Sodium: 138mg

  • Potassium: 78mg

  • Magnesium: 0mg

  • Glucose: 1.62g


4. LVL UP

LVL UP

LVL UP is a very affordable electrolyte that is now available at Chemist Warehouse. It has a moderate amount of sodium and is low in sugar, so a great option for those wanting an easy way to boost their hydration. 

  • Best for: management of mild-moderate POTS

  • Price: $0.66 per serve

  • Electrolytes per serve:

  • Sodium: 250mg

  • Potassium: 32mg

  • Glucose: 3.5g



5. Liquid IV


Liquid IV

Also a popular electrolyte for POTS that is available online and at some chemists. It contains a variety of vitamins and minerals and a good amount of sodium; however, the ratio to potassium is a bit low. It would be worth adding a couple of pinches of salt to better balance this out. Plus, it is much higher in carbs than other electrolytes, so is not a good option for those who have insulin resistance or who are prone to reactive hypoglycaemia (especially as these episodes can trigger POTS symptoms). Higher sugar content can help also improve electrolyte absorption and tolerance - so if you struggle with high sodium electrolytes, this could be a good option to stash in your purse or med kit to pull out during flares.

  • Best for: management of moderate POTS, particularly for during physical activity or acute symptoms .

  • Price: Affordable - $1.80 per serve

  • Electrolytes per serve:

  • Sodium: 560mg

  • Potassium: 370mg

  • Glucose: 13g

  • Also contains Vitamin C, Niacin, B6, B12 & pantothenic acid


So, what's the verdict?


At the end of the day there is no one-size-fits-all electrolyte for POTS. Depending on your needs, it's important to consider sodium, carbohydrates and cost when making your selection. Remember, electrolyte supplements aren't the only way to meet sodium requirements with POTS. So if you're finding they're not your cup of tea don't stress, there are lots of other great options including salting food and salt tablets.


If you're still not sure which electrolyte is right for you or if you are having trouble managing your POTS, book an appointment with Savvy or Aleisha for a personalised plan.


Disclosures: we have an affiliate link with Sodii which we receive commission from. We do not have financial affiliations with any other brands listed in this blog. Credit for all photos in this blog go to their respective brand's website. Our blog cover photo was shot by Belinda Dorman Photo and Film.

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