Water flavoring packets are the ultimate form for a portable water enhancer. These small, relatively flat packets are easy to keep your pocket, purse, or glovebox stocked with a conveniently concentrated water flavoring powder.
For those of us who can’t seem to drink enough water, water flavoring packets are a simple way to help ensure we stay hydrated. While liquid, tablet and drop forms are available as well, they don’t quite have the same compact, go-anywhere qualities.
The Benefits of Flavoring Your Water
There are plenty of reasons people choose to add a powdered flavoring agent to their water, including the obvious — it makes water taste more appealing. And when water tastes good, you’ll be more likely to drink more of it.
As many as 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Using a flavoring packet to enhance the taste of your water, you can combat dehydration by mixing up a more enticing beverage.
In addition to flavor, some powdered water enhancers offer attractive additives. These may enhance the way you feel, positively influence athletic performance and recovery, or even assist with a nasty hangover. Common additions include:
Note that not all water enhancers contain these ingredients. In fact, some contain none of them at all. Be sure to check the label of the brand you choose to ensure it has everything you want or need.
Why Packets Are a Great Container for Water Enhancers
Are you the kind of person that’s always on the go — commuting, exercising, traveling, or meeting up with friends? Then powdered flavor packets are likely the optimal form of water enhancer for you.
Packets are small and relatively flat, so they’re easy to stash anywhere you might need one — your car, desk, gym bag, purse or wallet. You can keep a few anywhere and everywhere. And because they’re individually wrapped, you can easily share them among your household or workplace. Water flavoring packets also tend to rank well in terms of cost per serving.
Liquid/drop water enhancers tend to come in bulky bottles that are difficult to fit into a pocket or small purse. That makes them just fine for at home, but less ideal for travel. And unfortunately, you’ll always run the risk of leaking a sticky mess everywhere. There are many excellent liquid water enhancer options with stevia.
Tablets are convenient enough, but they tend to come in a tubular container, which takes up more space than necessary. You’ll also be forced to take the entire tube with you, instead of just taking a couple for the day. Additionally, tablets are typically more expensive than other forms of water flavoring.
Judging Criteria for Water Flavoring Packets
Our team of experienced evaluators scoured the market to find what we believe are the best options available for powdered water flavoring packets. With hundreds of options, we sought to sample a handful of water enhancers that met the following criteria:
- Packet form
- Great flavor
- Healthy ingredients
While no flavoring packets were excluded on the grounds of containing any particular ingredient, our team made note of any additional special ingredients, including:
- Vitamins and minerals
- Sweeteners (natural or artificial)
Best Water Flavoring Packets
Our comprehensive taste tests allowed us to carefully curate the following list — and kept us very hydrated.
1. True Citrus
Simple ingredients, great taste, and almost no calories — there is a lot to love about True Citrus water enhancers. True is made of crystallized juices, oils and acids from the fruit itself. That means it tastes just like the real thing, but you don’t have to worry about spoilage and you can take it anywhere.
True was our pick for best tasting flavoring packet – firmly placing it in position one on our list. The taste is natural, potent and “familiar as the fruit itself,” according to one reviewer. Pair that with its ultimate portability and you’ve got a winner.
Available in lemon, grapefruit, lime and orange, one packet of this flavorful powder is equivalent to a squeeze of a wedge of the citrus. And with True, there’s no reason to limit yourself to flavoring just water. Our team found the lemon and lime varieties to be a delightful addition to cola or alcoholic beverages.
At an extremely affordable price per packet, True is great for anyone looking to add a bit of flavor to their life — without added ingredients like caffeine, vitamins, or any mysterious artificial sweeteners.
- 0-10 calories per packet
- Natural flavors
- No artificial sweeteners or preservatives
- Gluten free
2. Propel Powder Packets
When you think of enhanced water, you likely think of Propel, and with good reason. If you’re an athlete or active person seeking to replenish lost nutrients and recover from tough workouts, Propel Powder Packets may well be your best option for water flavoring packets.
In fact, Propel was our pick for best flavoring packet for electrolytes. With the same formulation of electrolytes as Gatorade, Propel powder packets can help you replace electrolytes you lose when you sweat. Electrolytes play an important role in a variety of bodily functions, including exercise performance, sleep, immunity, and cognition.
Propel is offered in six flavors — berry, grape, kiwi strawberry, raspberry lemonade, black cherry, and watermelon. To our reviewers, it tasted exactly like bottled Propel, which is refreshing but a little sweeter than many flavored water alternatives.
Athletes will love Propel Powder Packets. They blend well with water, travel easily, and provide a reinvigorating hydration that plain water may not be able to.
- Zero calories
- Gatorade electrolytes
- No sugar
- No artificial flavors
- Source of B vitamins
- Source of antioxidants
- Sucralose for sweetening
3. Pure Kick
If you’re looking for a tasty water flavoring packet with caffeine, this is it. Our team found the dosage of caffeine just right, and the unique flavor combinations more enticing than many competitors.
Our pick for best flavoring packets with caffeine, Pure Kick has 80mg per serving — a caffeine “sweet spot” according to one reviewer on our team. They noted that the amount of caffeine is enough to feel the effects of one dose, while not enough that it would be unreasonable to drink two in a sitting.
In three flavors that we thoroughly enjoyed — blood orange, black cherry pomegranate, and mango acai — Pure Kick is also packed with B vitamins, which assist with energy as well. If you’re a caffeine fiend that can’t get through the afternoon slump without a pick-me-up, these flavoring packets are great to have on hand.
- 10 calories or less per serving
- 80mg caffeine per serving
- No sugar
- Source of B vitamins
- Aspartame and acesulfame K for sweetening
Developed by a doctor, DripDrop was created to more effectively combat dehydration where IV therapy wasn’t available. As a Public Benefit Corporation, the company donates its product to humanitarian aid missions and disaster relief efforts.
And while this product may have been developed for humanitarian purposes, our team found it particularly useful for a purpose with a bit more levity — hangover relief. DripDrop was our team’s pick for best flavoring packets for hangover relief after testing the product on a particularly head-throbbing Sunday morning. “It really works,” a sampler said.
DripDrop’s patented formula is available in nine flavors: fruit punch, concord grape, strawberry lemonade, cherry, watermelon, lemon, orange, and passion fruit. This option is somewhat unique in that it contains some real sugar in addition to its electrolytes. That glucose helps our bodies absorb electrolytes more quickly, supporting faster hydration.
While our team found DripDrop a great aid in hangover relief, it’s just as viable for athletes, hard workers, and anyone else who needs a more advanced hydration product. These packets are portable and relatively affordable for such a premium product — under a dollar per serving.
- Mega-dose of electrolytes
- Contains real sugar
- Contains sucralose for additional sweetening
Are Water Flavoring Packets Good for You?
Hydration is crucial, and many people find themselves not drinking enough water on a daily basis. Flavoring packets can be a great way to encourage us to drink more water, and help us recover from strenuous exercise or dehydration.
However, not all water flavoring packets are what we would consider healthy options. Some are high in sugar or contain artificial sweeteners that do not agree with some peoples’ stomachs. Be sure to check the product’s nutrition facts to see if it meets your needs.
Depending upon your individual goals, our team believes the suggestions listed above could be healthy additions to one’s diet — though we should note that none of them are intended to treat a medical condition. Ask a medical professional for individualized advice regarding water enhancers, flavoring packets, and their ingredients.