For years, my partner, a former pro hockey player and later a tennis coach, lamented about the lack of a natural electrolyte replacement drink that he truly enjoyed.
He abhorred the commercially made offerings, too sweet and what was with those dyes? We found some at health food stores…but the price!
My own adventures in long distance walks (200 miles in 10 days, that’s far, right?) were full of days where water was just not enough to replenish what I had lost in tissue salts while slogging up and down hillsides in nasty weather.
Eight hours, four liters of water, clothes soaked with sweat…imagine the electrolytes lost!
We were looking for a drink that not only quenched our immediate thirst, but that also provided food for our cells. We wanted to push the water molecules we took in passed the tightly stretched, dehydrated barrier of the cell wall. Sometimes you can drink a river without actually hydrating. We wanted to make our own.
What are electrolytes anyway?
The electrolytes we need are calcium, potassium, hydrogen carbonate (salt), magnesium chloride and hydrogen phosphate (mineral). These are essential to survival. One can even drink too much water in relation to their body mass and die (the heart cannot function without a proper electrolyte balance).
I remember when it first became popular to cart that large plastic bottle of water around. Believe me, some people drank themselves to illness, sometimes less is more.
Electrolytes serve these functions (in short):
Regulate our nerve and muscle function
Regulate blood ph
Re-build damaged tissue
Determine blood pressure
Hydrate cells and tissues
Who Needs Them?
Athletes come to mind, as they can and do lose electrolytes quickly through sweating. However, it’s not all that unusual in our world of over caffeinated habits, to become dehydrated to the point of liver and kidney stress.
Others at risk for electrolyte imbalance are pregnant women and anyone who is ill. Prolonged illness, smoking, alcohol intake are all culprits in upsetting the delicate balance of health.
In theory, a diet rich in juicy fruits, such as oranges, lemons, watermelon, cucumbers, etc. should serve as an electrolyte source. We used what we already knew to quench our thirst as a basis for our drink.
2 Litres of Water
2 lemon and 2 limes squeezed
2 oranges squeezed
1/4-1/2 tsp. fine grey sea salt (Don’t use white salt of any kind, it’s mineral deficient)
Honey or organic, demerara sugar to taste, to add to the natural sugars in the fruit
***For something yummier and more nutritious, substitute coconut water for regular water***
Simple, delicious, free of dubious additives and cost effective.
Author: Monika Carless
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Author’s Own
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