If you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. If you feel dizzy, confused, anxious, crampy, or have a headache, your body is screaming out for electrolytes. As many of us embark on a new fitness journey in 2021, the importance of electrolytes must not be underestimated.
But if you’ve been reaching for store-bought sports drinks, keep reading because you may want to change your tune after you hear about some of the unpleasant ingredients lurking behind the label.
In this blog, we’re going to give you the low-down on electrolytes, why you need them, why store-bought options fail, and give you three recipes for affordable, home-made electrolyte drinks that will keep you balanced, hydrated, and feeling your best.
What are Electrolytes?
Before examining the benefits of home-made electrolyte drinks, let’s first look at what electrolytes are exactly.
Electrolytes are vitamins and minerals that our bodies need for survival, like sodium, magnesium, calcium, hydrogen carbonate, and hydrogen phosphate.
Why Use Electrolyte Drinks?
If you’ve hopped on the fitness bandwagon to kick off your year right, congratulations! As we’ve previously mentioned, getting active is vital for anyone suffering from chronic pain and inflammation because it lubricates and nourishes aching joints and triggers mitochondrial activity.
But one thing you may be forgetting is that extra sweating causes us to lose essential electrolytes. If you don’t replenish them, you could be looking at uncomfortable and disruptive side effects.
Symptoms of Electrolyte Deficiency:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle spasms and cramps
- Low blood pressure
Here’s the thing: Electrolyte drinks aren’t just for athletes. If you work a physical job, are pregnant, experience illness, diarrhea, or don’t eat a balanced diet, you may need to incorporate electrolyte drinks into your routine to be sure you don’t experience any of the unpleasant warning signs listed above.
Your Electric Body
Electrolytes are basically chemicals that conduct electricity when mixed with water. And if you’ve been reading our blog, you know that your entire body is electrical—that’s why microcurrent therapy is so effective at correcting impaired communication in your body due to illness or injury.
Can Electrolyte Drinks Help with Pain Management?
Your body needs electrolytes to carry out critical functions like regulating blood pressure, balancing fluids, rebuilding damaged tissue, and facilitating proper nerve signaling. So, if you’re in pain and experiencing an imbalance of electrolytes, you can expect to experience longer healing times to damaged tissues and potentially stronger pain impulses due to faulty nerve signaling.
Why Store-Bought Electrolyte Drinks Fail
If learning about how essential electrolytes are for your health and healing has you wanting to run to the store and buy a bottle of the classic red or blue stuff, stop right there.
Store-bought electrolyte drinks are indeed convenient, but as you know, convenience always comes with a price.
The problems with store-bought electrolyte drinks:
- Price—making your own electrolyte drinks will save you TONS of money. You can make your own for pennies on the dollar.
- Ingredients—Mass-produced electrolyte drinks may have excellent marketing tactics. Who doesn’t love a good commercial? But beware of problematic ingredients that may lurk under the surface of well-known brands like artificial flavors, high-fructose corn syrup, and food colorings. Additionally, many sports drinks have a high carbohydrate concentration, which may interfere with maintaining a healthy weight.
- Bad for the environment—Those plastic bottles that hold sports drinks will be on the Earth for thousands of years to come, and unfortunately, many people don’t take the time to recycle them. If you make your electrolyte drinks at home and store them in a reusable glass bottle, you are doing something kind for the Earth.
- Sodium content— Yes, sodium must be replenished after physical activity, but the processed salt in store-bought sports drinks can verge on being too much. Additionally, manufactured sports drinks typically use processed salt, which doesn’t contain all the 84 trace minerals that sea salt has, for example.
We recommend skipping the neon-hued sports drinks for a more natural and sustainable electrolyte drink option that you can make right at home (for pennies on the dollar at that!).
Feel Your Best and Balanced Today
We hope that learning about the vital role electrolytes play in your health has encouraged you to try some home-made versions today!
If you have any questions about how nutrition factors into your healing from chronic pain, inflammation, or an autoimmune condition, please reach out today for a complimentary consultation—we’re glad to help.
In the meantime, please enjoy the recipes we’ve provided below.
3 Home-Made Electrolyte Drink Recipes to Try
Do the health benefits of electrolyte drinks have your mouth watering to try one? Here are three of our favorite home-made electrolyte drinks that lack the artificial chemicals, dyes, and sugar crash store-bought options carry.
1. Classic ACV Electrolyte Drink
Here’s an electrolyte drink that’s as simple as they come. Most everyone has these ingredients right in their kitchen already.
- Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
- 1 Fresh lemon
- Sea salt, or pink Himalayan salt
Fill a glass with filtered or spring water. Add a splash of ACV and/or lemon juice and a small pinch of salt. Enjoy.
2. Electrolyte-Rich Bone Broth
When many of us think of electrolyte drinks, sweet, fruity flavors come to mind. But did you know that a nice warm bowl of savory bone broth is an excellent way to replenish electrolytes and fluids after a sweaty workout session?
Hop on over to our blog, The Top 7 Health-Boosting Benefits of Bone Broth, to get our favorite tried and true bone broth recipe (and two vegan broths as well!).
3. Lemon Ginger Turmeric Anti-Inflammatory Electrolyte Drink
This electrolyte drink is an excellent option for pain. The addition of anti-inflammatory ginger and turmeric, along with the pain-fighting benefits of Vitamin C, will help ease aches and discomfort with ease.
- 1 (4″) piece of freshly peeled ginger root
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (remove seeds)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (remove seeds)
- 2 teaspoons of local honey, agave, or maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon of powdered turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
- 2 3/4 cups sparkling mineral water or raw coconut water
Grate ginger and firmly press it into a fine-mesh sieve or strainer placed over a bowl. Cheesecloth will also work. You can expect to extract roughly 1 tsp. of fresh ginger juice.
Combine your ginger juice, lime and lemon juice, turmeric powder, sweetener of choice, and salt into the bowl and stir well. Pour in sparkling or still mineral water or coconut water and enjoy in a tall glass with ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprinkle of turmeric for an Instagram-ready beverage, your friends will “love.”