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People are often suggested to take an electrolyte drink when suffering from a gastric problem. However, a majority of the individuals are unaware of what goes into an electrolyte drink or even its importance.
Electrolytes refer to electrically charged mineral ions or compounds such as potassium, sodium, calcium, and chloride. These are essential for various bodily functions, such as muscle contraction, nerve function, conduction of impulses across cells, maintenance of voltage, and energy production.
Therefore, it is vital to ensure an adequate supply of fluids and electrolytes to your body for the regular functioning of your cells, organs, and systems. Electrolytes can be obtained from the food and drinks you consume.
Health conditions, such as diarrhea and heavy sweating, can lead to a severe lack of electrolytes. This deficit, in turn, may result in weakness, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, muscle cramps, and illness. In such cases, you may need to take an electrolyte drink to help replenish the lost electrolytes quickly.
Electrolyte drinks are good sources of carbohydrates, which can provide immediate energy. Additionally, the electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, help balance the body fluid levels and aid muscle functioning.
Nevertheless, it is essential to limit the electrolyte levels under the standard range, as even excess can cause problems.
While multiple commercial electrolyte drinks can be bought over the counter, they are often loaded with sweeteners and preservatives. On the other hand, homemade electrolyte drinks are devoid of chemicals and are fresh, healthy, and tasty.
Know the Ingredients
The following basic ingredients are needed to make an electrolyte drink at home.
Water is the chief ingredient that carries the electrolytes.
Unrefined salt has a high content of minerals, including calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium.
Salt helps replenish the sodium in your body that may be lost during sweating, therefore maintaining cell voltage and keeping you electrically charged. It also plays a vital role in stress hormone balance while reducing fatigue.
3. Citrus Fruits
Fruits and vegetables are considered as essential parts of a healthy diet due to their high concentrations of vitamins (vitamins A and C), minerals (especially electrolytes such as potassium and calcium), and fiber. Additionally, they contain various phytochemicals, including antioxidants that are beneficial for health. (1)
Citrus fruits, especially, are rich in vitamin C, which helps replenish lost electrolytes, thus maintaining the health of the immune system. Moreover, the sugars in citrus fruit juices are good sources of energy during and after a workout.
All citrus fruits are efficient storehouses of potassium, which is important for maintaining the electrolyte and water balance in the body. Oranges provide manganese and phosphorus, and lime provides zinc, sodium, and calcium. (2)
Safety: Citrus fruits are generally safe when consumed in moderate amounts. Excessive intake may be harmful.
Honey is not only a natural sweetener that helps improve the taste of the drink but also a source of minerals and enzymes that facilitate the absorption of salt components by the body. (3)
Additionally, honey contains phytochemicals and has antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, which enable its use as a therapeutic agent. The healing and antimicrobial properties of honey aid in soothing cough and sore throats. (4)
Safety: Honey usage is typically safe for adults and children older than 1 year. Do not give honey to a child under age 1 since they may get botulism.
Rarely, oral administration of honey can lead to stomachache, nausea, and vomiting. It can also cause hyperactivity, insomnia, and nausea in children. Consult a doctor when you or your child experiences these reactions.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is an anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea agent that has rejuvenating and refreshing effects. (5)
Safety: Ginger is generally safe for oral consumption when used appropriately and in small amounts (less than 5 grams per day). In some cases, the intake of ginger can cause heartburn, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and irritation in the throat and mouth, the same effects when taking pepper.
Disclaimer: Needless to say, people who are allergic to any of the ingredients in the electrolyte drink should not consume it. It is imperative to visit a doctor if you experience any adverse reaction upon consuming the electrolyte drink.
How to Make Your Own Electrolyte Energy Drink at Home
Here are two recipes for making homemade electrolyte drinks.
1. Ginger Electrolyte Drink
This electrolyte drink containing ginger is suitable for consumption during and after a workout session and as a refreshing start to your day.
- 2½ cups of water
- 3-5 fresh ginger slices
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1-2 tbsp raw honey
- Heat the water in a pan.
- Add the ginger slices to the water.
- Boil the mixture and allow it to steep for around 5 minutes.
- Strain the liquid and add lemon juice to it.
- Mix the salt in the liquid.
- Add honey to the mixture and mix thoroughly to get a balanced sweet, salt, and sour flavor.
2. Orange and Lemon Delight
This refreshing drink can help boost your energy during and after workout sessions.
- 2 cups of water
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup fresh orange juice
- 2-4 tbsp raw honey
- ¼ tsp unrefined salt
- Pour the fresh orange juice and lemon juice into a mixer and blend.
- Add honey and water to the liquid and mix thoroughly.
- Add salt to the liquid and whisk until it dissolves completely.
- The water you use should be as clean as possible. If you don’t have filtered water, boil water in a pot before using it. The vapor from the boiling water, also known as distilled water, is the best option, as it is devoid of all pollutants, contaminants, minerals, and elements.
- Refrain from using table salt in making your electrolyte drink as it does not contain the essential minerals. Use only sea salt or real salt.
- Substitute the water or part of the water with herbal tea infusion for added benefits.
- Avoid replacing honey with sweeteners.
- Add mango slices or other fruits to enhance the taste of the electrolyte drink.
- If you have a stomach infection, add peppermint or spearmint to the drink for a soothing effect. Peppermint is an antispasmodic and can calm down the intestines. Moreover, keep yourself adequately hydrated.
- If you do not want to make your own electrolyte drink, try to buy one without any artificial coloring and with less sugar.
It is crucial to supply your body with adequate amounts of water and electrolytes to maintain proper functioning. Although commercial electrolyte drinks are readily available, they may contain artificial flavors, artificial coloring, and added sugars. Replacing them with homemade electrolyte solutions might be a healthy choice.