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Saturday, July 9, 2011

DIY Electrolyte Powders

Original Article

Most experts would agree that drinking water is the best way to curb your thirst.  According to experts, a good guideline to use when preparing for any type of outdoor activity is to drink two cups of fluid two hours before the activity.  That helps ensure you are well-hydrated before you ever go outdoors.  Then, during the activity drink 4-6 ounces every 15-20 minutes to keep your muscles well-hydrated.  If you are planning on an extensive outdoor activities, fill a water bottle with about 16 ounces (or two cups) of fluid and take it with you.  Last, drink up after you’re finished with your activity.

Making your own electrolyte powder is a low cost alternative to purchasing expensive sports drinks.  An added bonus to making your own electrolyte powder is it gives you complete control over the ingredients of the electrolyte drink.  Carrying the powders with you in your 72-hour bag, your vehicle, and even in your child’s back pack would be prudent especially during the summer months.  Using the correct proportions of water, salt, potassium salt and optionally baking soda, you can make a very effective electrolyte drink.  It will both rehydrate you as well as keep your electrolyte levels up to par. Let’s take a look at three recipes to make your own drink with electrolytes–two with sugar and one without:

Sugar Option 

This option is made with sugar: When you work out, your body does not only lose water and electrolytes, it burns energy as well. To make sure you can keep your activity level up, it is a good idea to add some kind of sugar to your drink.
2 quarts of water

5-10 tablespoons of sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of baking soda

½ teaspoon of salt substitute (potassium salt)

1 pack of sugar-free drink flavoring

Sugar-Free Versions

Sugar free: Although adding sugar to your drink will help you keep your energy levels up, it’s not a good option for everyone. People on a low-carb diet or people with diabetes, can choose a recipe that doesn’t add sugar to the electrolyte drink:
Version 1
1 quart of water

250 ml of orange juice (citrus juice is a natural source of potassium ions)

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

¾ teaspoon of salt
Version 2
2 quarts of water

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of baking soda

½ teaspoon of salt substitute (potassium salt)

1 pack of sugar free drink flavoring

Artificial sweetener to taste

1 comment:

  1. For what it's worth; the sugar in the solution speeds the absorbtion of the essential electrolyte salts. It isn't there to improve the taste or add energy. This knowledge was learned the hard way by doctors in the field and until they discovered the value of the sugar children and adults died. The concept of a sugar free rehydration drink is odd! Are we so afraid of sugar that we would "choose" to decrease the effectiveness of a treatment? Make believe you are eating an apple or orange which are quite full of sugar. It won't hurt you but limiting the effectiveness of the electrolyte drink just might.