Image of spoon mixing in drink powder with blog title: Could Liquid IV Cause Kidney Stones over image

Can Liquid IV Cause Kidney Stones? [from a kidney stone dietitian]

Liquid IV®️ is everywhere these days! You can find it at Costco, Target, Walmart, Amazon and even pharmacies like CVS. As any diligent kidney stone former, it is a good idea to see if Liquid IV®️ could cause kidney stones before you start adding it to your daily regimen.

That is what I am here for!

What Is Liquid IV®️?

Liquid IV®️ is a drink powder mix that claims to “use smart hydration technology to hydrate better than water alone, through multiple modes of transport. Cellular Transport Technology (CTT®) is the delivery system, used in Hydration Multiplier, designed to enhance rapid absorption of water and other key ingredients into your body” (1).

Picture of Liquid IV at Costco

Essentially, Liquid IV®️ is a drink powder that claims to hydrate you better than plain water.

To be clear, most of us do not need this. Assuming you do not have chronic diarrhea, significant bowel surgery or an ileostomy, there is no reason to suspect your intestines aren’t able to absorb enough water to hydrate your body. Your body has systems in place to make sure you absorb enough water.

If you do have one of the conditions mentioned above, your body may not be getting enough water. In these cases, you should work with a medical professional to know how to best hydrate.

Liquid IV®️ Ingredients & Nutrition

The original “Liquid IV®️ Hydration Multiplier®️” Electrolyte Drink Mix contains the following ingredients:

  • Cane sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Citric acid
  • Salt
  • Potassium citrate
  • Sodium citrate
  • Dipotassium phosphate
  • Silicon dioxide
  • Stevia extract
  • A ton of vitamins (C, B3, B5, B6 & B12)
  • Natural flavors

One 16g packet of the drink mix contains the following notable nutrients for kidney stones:

  • 510mg sodium
  • 11g added sugar
  • 76mg vitamin C

It also has 380mg potassium, 23mg niacin, 2mg vitamin B6, 7mg vitamin B12 and 11mg pantothenic acid.

Image of Nutrition Facts label on Liquid IV identifying nutrients of concern for kidney stones

What Causes Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are caused by many different things – including both genetic and environmental causes. (2) Usually kidney stones are caused by a combination of multiple factors.

Some of the most common causes of kidney stones are:

Can Liquid IV®️ Cause Kidney Stones?

In susceptible people, Liquid IV®️ could cause kidney stones. Liquid IV®️ has a large amount of sodium, added sugar and vitamin C in it. These nutrients are concerning since they are all associated with a higher risk of kidney stones.

Since most of us are already eating too much sodium and added sugar, Liquid IV®️ could just be adding to this excess.


One packet of Liquid IV®️ has 510mg sodium. This is 22% of the salt most of us should eat in an entire day. Since most of us are already eating about 1,000mg more sodium than we need, the extra sodium from Liquid IV could make this even worse.

Eating too much salt increases the amount of calcium in urine. High urine calcium is a very common cause of kidney stones. (3)

Added Sugar

Eating too much added sugar is correlated with kidney stones. (4) One packet of Liquid IV®️ has 11g of added sugar. This is 26-44% of the added sugar the American Heart Association recommends for an entire day.

Personally, I would much prefer to get my added sugar from cookies!

Vitamin C

Lastly, Liquid IV®️ has a fair amount of supplemented vitamin C in it. One packet has 76mg of vitamin C, or 80% of the amount of vitamin C we need each day.

Vitamin C supplements can be harmful for people with kidney stones. The liver can make oxalate from vitamin C. Studies show that we can make quite a bit of oxalate from vitamin C – accounting for up to 40% of urine oxalate. (5)

How Can I Get Vitamin C?

It is actually very easy to get enough vitamin C from fruits and vegetables! For example, one orange has 91% of your daily vitamin C needs. One bell pepper has about 120% and 1 cup of strawberries has 100% of the vitamin C you need in a day.

If you eat the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, it is nearly a guarantee you will get enough vitamin C. Any vitamin C you eat in excess of this is just excreted in your urine.

For people with oxalate kidney stones, it is much better to get vitamin C from real food, rather than supplements. You are less likely to get too much when relying on food for vitamin C. Eating lots of fruit (and vegetables!) can also reduce risk of kidney stones. (6)

Bottom Line: Can People With Kidney Stones Drink Liquid IV®️?

Drinking Liquid IV®️ once in a while will probably not cause kidney stones. But, Liquid IV®️ could cause kidney stones if you drink it often on top of eating a diet that already has too much salt and added sugar.

As always, nutrition for kidney stones is different for everyone, depending on your 24-hour urine test results. Ask your dietitian if Liquid IV®️ is safe for you to use, and if you need extra support hydrating your body.

Happy Eating!


5 thoughts on “Can Liquid IV Cause Kidney Stones? [from a kidney stone dietitian]”

  1. Hi, Melanie!

    Thank you for providing the information on this product. It’s important for susceptible people to know that it can possibly cause kidney stones. I also agree that it’s best to consult with your doctor if you’re not sure if this product is right for you.

  2. Thanks, although, I only drink water and black, hot tea, I’ll keep this in mind for my clients.
    Another issue, unrelated to kidney stones, is newly published research implicating niacin in heart disease. 23mg is 150% of the RDA.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top