A homemade electrolyte drink is an easy and convenient way to hydrate and replace lost mineral electrolytes, which is often needed during stomach bugs, colds, flus, and intense sweating. While commercial sports drinks do contain electrolytes, they are often loaded with sugar, additives and preservatives. Making your own electrolyte beverage is much cheaper and healthier, plus you can control the ingredients that go into it.
What Are Electrolytes? Why Do We Need Them?
Electrolytes are essential minerals—like sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, phosphate and sulfate—that are vital to many key functions in the body. In short, they help fuel and regulate your cells, nerves, muscles, heart, and brain. These essential minerals are found in natural occurring salt, which is why salt is a key ingredient of an electrolyte drink. When we experience intense exercise, sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting, we lose electrolytes and need to replenish them. Signs of electrolyte loss include nausea, headaches, fatigue, low blood pressure, and muscle cramping.
How To Make a DIY Electrolyte DrinkThe two main components of an electrolyte drink is water and salt. To make a simple homemade electrolyte drink, dissolve 1/3 teaspoon of high quality salt in 8 ounces of filtered water. What salt should you use? The highest quality salt for an electrolyte drink is bamboo salt. This specialty salt is entirely free of toxins (which is found in most sea salts) and contains bioactive minerals that are essential for enzyme production and activation. Bamboo salt not only replenishes electrolytes that are lost through sweating, but it also has many other health benefits:
- Alkalizes the body, which means it can help neutralize excess acid and promote a more balanced pH level. This is key for reducing overall inflammation, and inflammation is linked to a number of disease states. Also, reducing inflammation is helpful for those with a high level of physical activity, as wear and tear on the body can cause inflammation.
- Acts as an antioxidant and helps eliminate free radicals from the body. This is beneficial for overall health and well-being.
- Improves immune function, thus helping the body fight off infections more effectively.
Electrolyte Drink Recipe
Salt and water are the foundation of an electrolyte drink, but you can customize your drink to make it more palatable or add health-boosting ingredients. Here's a customizable DIY recipe:
Fresh Squeezed Juice Electrolyte Drink
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon, lime, grapefruit or orange juice
- 2 cups filtered water or coconut water
- 1 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp bamboo salt
- Optional: Freshly grated ginger
Stir and drink immediately. This recipe is perfect to replenish fluids during a cold or flu or after exercising and playing sports!