How to Make a Homemade Drink with Electrolytes

How to Make a Homemade Drink with Electrolytes

Electrolytes are charged particles called ions that are dissolved in water. The most important electrolytes in your body are potassium, sodium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, hydrogen phosphate and hydrogen carbonate. Your body, and your neurons and muscles in particular, depend on the right balance of electrolytes in your body. Usually your diet will provide you with sufficient nutrients to keep the electrolytes in your body at the right levels. Unbalanced electrolytes will keep your body from functioning optimally and the greater the unbalance, the greater the consequences. There are many causes for electrolyte problems, including illness, but one of the most common is physical exercise.

Why Replenish Electrolytes?

When you exercise you sweat and with the sweat you not only lose water, but also electrolytes. The electrolytes you lose due to sweating are mainly sodium, potassium and chloride. Not only does the loss of electrolytes negatively affect your neuron and muscle function, it also makes you prone to dehydration. This means that it's important to keep your body’s electrolyte stores filled up when exercising. Proper levels of electrolytes lead to a better functioning body, which means a more efficient workout.

What are My Options?

Plenty of sports drinks are available nowadays that can help you replenish your electrolyte levels during or after exercise. However, it can be attractive to make your electrolyte drink at home. Not only does that give you complete control over the ingredients of the electrolyte drink, it also allows you to save some cash on your sports drinks.  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:

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 on exercising effectively, it is a good idea to add some kind of sugar to your drink.

Option 1:

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

Option 2:

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

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:

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

  • debbie

    In option 2 why do you mix measurements? Cup or oz wise how much is 250ml of Orange Juice?

  • Mike

    try using agave for a sweetener. Low glycemic index so better for us diabetics

  • sonora high school

    this is the worst homemade sports drink. Our class followed the recipe carefully but it was decided that it was a failure WHAT WERE YOU THINKING ! TOO SALTY

  • victoria =]

    in the sugar free recipe, is the ‘pack of sugar free drink flavoring’ like a crystal light product?