Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, that are found in your bodily fluids. They perform many important functions including helping to balance pH; transporting nutrients into cells and waste out of them; and ensuring nerve and muscle cells are working properly.
In the absence of acute illness or clinical deficiency, your body does a pretty good job keeping electrolytes balanced. But there are times when purposely consuming more electrolytes (beyond what you get from your daily diet) can be helpful. This includes when you:
- have completed intense training or competition in the heat
- want to hydrate a day or two before a sports event
- want to prevent or recover from the dehydration caused by illness
A lot of people will turn to sports drinks when they want something with electrolytes, but this often comes with the downside of added sugar. There are better choices. Coconut water has one of the highest contents of electrolytes, as does milk. Both do contain natural sugar, but this would still be an improvement over most sports drinks that have not just added sugar, but chemical additives as well.
You can also make your own and know that it will have far greater benefits and less sugar and chemical additives than anything sold in stores. Try it today.
16 ounces filtered water
1 large or two small oranges
1/3 tsp Celtic* sea salt
1 tsp liquid trace minerals **optional
1 Tbsp raw honey (use maple syrup for children under 12 months of age) **optional
**Celtic salt is light gray, moist, made from seawater, and is lower in sodium than other salts (except Kosher), because its crystals are bigger. It also contains trace amounts of minerals. See celtic salt on Amazon.
- Juice the orange and the lemon.
- Mix the fresh juices with the sea salt, honey (maple syrup), and optional trace minerals.
- Blend the juice mixture with filtered water in a tall glass.
- Serve electrolyte replacement at room temperature, NOT cold as this inhibits absorption.
- Sip and drink half within about one hour. Consume the rest as needed.
Refrigerate remainder of juice. Use within 2-3 days. Remember to bring to room temperature before drinking.