Stay Hydrated In The Heat With This DIY Electrolyte Drink Recipe
Any medical or nutrition expert will tell you how important it is to stay hydrated; after all, it keeps everything in the body functioning properly. But when it comes to hydration, while water is crucial, so is maintaining electrolyte levels (like sodium and potassium). In fact, when electrolyte levels are off, it can lead to a range of unpleasant symptoms.
Since it's the peak of summer and staying hydrated is more important than ever, try this homemade electrolyte drink recipe from functional nutrition expert and certified sports nutritionist Jaclyn Sklaver, M.S., CNS, CDN, LDN.
DIY Electrolyte Drink
- 1 cup orange juice or coconut water
- ⅓ teaspoon salt
- ½ lemon squeezed
Stir until salt is dissolved and enjoy.
Note: Use orange juice with added calcium to meet those nutrient needs, as well.
Why electrolytes are so important.
What exactly are electrolytes? As Sklaver explains, "They're minerals with an electric charge that help regulate fluid balance, regulate blood pressure, and make our muscles contract." They include sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, chloride, and calcium.
"We lose electrolytes through body fluids like sweat and urine," registered dietitian nutritionist Rebekah Blakely, RDN, previously told mbg. "If electrolytes become imbalanced, like they can after a heavy workout where you've sweated a lot, you can find yourself with some unpleasant side effects like headaches, dizziness, weakness, irregular heartbeat, and muscle cramps."
That's why it so important to replenish any electrolytes you lose. "For those who are physically active or spend a lot of time in hot or humid environments, electrolytes are needed to replace sodium that's lost through sweat and help pull water into the cells through sodium transporters," Sklaver says. "They enable more water to be absorbed by the intestines than plain water alone."
You probably don't need to chug electrolyte drinks daily, but there will be times when they're helpful—such as during or after a workout, on a particularly hot day, if you have a fever, or even after one too many alcoholic beverages. When those moments strike (and you'll likely feel when they do), make this electrolyte drink your go-to.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, as well as a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.