Make Your Own Electrolyte Sports Drink (Highlands Denver Acupuncture)
Who needs Gatorade when you can make your own electrolyte drink at home?
Maintaining our electrolyte balance is very important for our bodies, but is pounding expensive sports drinks like Gatorade really necessary at all? Unless you are an avid athlete performing hours of training several times a week, then these drinks are really not for you. For the average person who exercises moderately, plain filtered water will suffice.
But what about when you do want to go on that extended backcountry camping trip, or go mountain biking at Slick Rock? Well, in that case, you will need a ‘sports drink’ to help manage dehydration and electrolyte losses.
In a moment, I’ll give a you great recipe that you can make at home, but first, we should talk about what an electrolyte is and why it is important.
Electrolytes are basically minerals that are vital for the regulation of our nervous systems, for powering our muscles, for regulating our blood pressure, hydrating our bodies and contributing to the pH balance of our blood. Some of the more common electrolytes include sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium chloride, hydrogen phosphate and hydrogen carbonate.
Why do we need to even replenish electrolytes when we are working out heavily? Well, when we work out strenuously, we sweat, and when we sweat, we lose our electrolytes through the detoxification system of our skin.
Now that we understand why we need sports drinks and when to use them, let’s get to a simple recipe for making your own electrolyte beverage at home.
The basic components of any electrolyte replenishing drink are these:
1 Cup of Filtered water
1/4 Cup of Citrus juice–citrus juice is especially high in minerals. Lemon has the added benefit of cleansing the liver, and is my personal preference.
1/8- to 1/4 tsp natural Sea Salt–the basic building block of any electrolyte drink
1/2 tsp of Raw Unfiltered Honey (or to taste)–raw unfiltered honey contains a plethora of live enzymes, amino acids, B Vitamins and other vitamins and mineral that play a vital role in our health. Processed honey is virtually devoid of these benefits as it has been heated and thus reduced to nothing more than a glorified sugar syrup.
Herbs (optional)–various herbs are beneficial to our health and are provide a tasty element to the drink as well. A few that I would recommend playing around with would be mint, basil, lemongrass or thyme.
Coconut Water (optional)–coconut water tastes delicious and is extremely hydrating.
Another little tip would be to blend the above ingredients with fruit and/or green veggies to mix up a cooling summer electrolyte smoothie. Think about experimenting with foods such as melon, mango, berries, cucumber and other green leafy veggies.
Whatever your pleasure, these healthy electrolyte drinks will save your life on a hot summer day hike or a even a long cold snowshoe climb. They are simple to make and easy to enjoy, so get out there and mix one up.