Summer is in full swing, and our calendars are filling up with hikes, sports, vacations, and barbecues. As our activity schedule heats up, it is important to focus on staying hydrated, and electrolytes are an essential part of proper hydration. Electrolytes are minerals that the body uses to maintain a delicately balanced state of hydration. When your body excretes fluid (by sweating, urinating, etc) it can upset this balance, and cause a state of dehydration. Even if you are drinking plenty of water, if your electrolyte levels are low then you could be making the problem worse by causing your kidneys to excrete that fluid along with more of your vital electrolytes.
We all know about that electrolyte-boosting drink that originated in Florida... but most commercial electrolyte drinks are filled with sugars, additives, food dyes and other unhealthy ingredients-- those ingredients aren't ideal for anyone, least of all athletes who want to give themselves and their bodies an edge over the competition. So what should you be drinking instead?
There are a couple of great options for replacing both your fluid and your minerals that you can make up easily using ingredients you probably already have at home. Here are a couple of our favorite recipes!
Mix between 1/2-1 tsp Emerald Essence into a quart of water. Add a few drops of Enlightened Water to add a refreshing minty flavor! The chlorophyll found in our Emerald essence formula is full of bio-available minerals and vitamins to cool, replenish, and energize your body.
Certain herbs are high in essential minerals and make a great option for replacing electrolytes during periods of physical activity. Oatstraw, raspberry leaf, and horsetail are herbs that are excellent tea options to use as a base for your electrolyte drink. Brew a cup and cool it on ice -or- if you don't want to heat up the kitchen just put 4-6 dropperfuls of our Calcium formula in a quart of water. Add a few pinches of mineral salt and honey to taste, and you'll be hydrating like a boss!
My family's personal favorite recipe is quick and easy to make and tends to disappear faster than I can make it! I mix 1 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp honey, 1/2 tsp ginger juice, and fruit to taste. This basic recipe is delicious, and I mix it up with different flavorings, extracts, and fruits. My kids prefer lime or lemons as their fruit, because it makes them feel like they're drinking lemonade. Sometimes I'll throw some berries and a few drops of extract in the blender with the basic recipe.
A couple of tips: You can adjust the honey and vinegar to taste. It can sometimes take a little while for some people to get used to the flavor of apple cider vinegar. Also, you can add powdered or liquid stevia if you need more sweetness. Sweetleaf brand has several flavors of stevia drops that are excellent in this particular recipe-- think berry stevia with a berry drink, lemon lime drops with lime juice, Vanilla drops with the juice of 1/2 an orange for a dreamsicle flavor... yum! The possibilities are deliciously endless.
Have fun, stay cool and be hydrated this summer!