A basic skill any health conscious parent needs to know today is how to make an electrolyte replacement when needed. I’ve written before about Switchel, which is a traditional thirst quencher and dehydration prevention drink. But, some people don’t care too much for the flavor of the drink which has water and small amounts of apple cider vinegar as the base.
I can relate as one of my children doesn’t care much at all for the sour taste of ACV even when extremely dilute in a beverage. As a result, I thought I would share how I make a homemade electrolyte replacement that appeals to that set of tastebuds too.
Commercial Electrolyte Replacements are Full of JUNK (and carcinogens)
Commercial electrolyte replacements are such nasty products loaded up with chemicals, additives and synthetics that should be avoided at all costs. Check out the ingredients of Pedialyte, one of the most popular drinks for adults and children for preventing dehydration and recommended by many conventional doctors:
Water (unfiltered and likely fluoridated), Dextrose (GMO derived). Citric Acid (GMO derived and laced with MSG residue), Natural & Artificial Flavor (aspartame frequently hidden here), Potassium Citrate, Salt, Sodium Citrate, Sucralose (toxic and potentially carcinogenic), Acesulfame Potassium (also known as Acesulfame-K – contains methylene chloride, a known carcinogen), Zinc Gluconate, and Yellow Food Dye 6 (causes adrenal tumors in animals).
What’s even more shocking about these commercial electrolyte replacement drinks beyond the toxic ingredients is that they don’t have much in the way of beneficial electrolytes in them!
I mean, seriously, look at the ingredients above. There is potassium, sodium, and zinc electrolytes in there. That’s pretty much it.
Thanks but no thanks. All that junk, some of it carcinogenic, for a few measly electrolytes is not worth it. A parent can do much better than that with just a few whole ingredients and some filtered water at home!
In raising three children for 18 years, I’ve never purchased a single bottle of Pedialyte and don’t ever intend to. That stuff is nasty and should be pulled off the market in my view. It is not fit for consumption by anyone let alone children.
Skip the Sports Drinks Like Gatorade Too
Sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade should never be given to children either. Not only are they loaded with junky additives and GMOs, but they have been found to erode tooth enamel and contribute to obesity issues just the same as soft drinks.
Years ago, one of my children had a coach who insisted that players drink Gatorade during soccer games. My very young son, who knew more than the coach on the matter, would just politely drink his water instead and refuse the bottles of Gatorade that were very aggressively pushed on him. I was so proud of him, but needless to say, that misinformed coach wasn’t too happy about it!
Fortunately, by the time my youngest was playing soccer, she had a coach who told the girls to drink water and never sports drinks. I was happy to see that at last, some coaches were starting to appear who actually read the research instead of getting sucked in by sports marketing hype.
Don’t you just cringe when you see a little kid at a sports event toting around a monster Powerade bottle? Do these parents have any idea how much GMO sugar and chemicals are in this stuff?
It’s much better to just give these kids plain bottled water to drink during events or a bottle filled with a homemade electrolye replacement with real, healthy ingredients.
Here’s my recipe for a simple electrolyte drink that is good for rehydrating after a hot sporting event, hydrating a day or two before a sports event, and/or recovering from the dehydration caused by a tummy bug.
Electrolyte Replacement Drink Recipe
Makes about 2 cups
16 ounces filtered water (preferably spring water and not reverse osmosis water as RO water is devoid of minerals)
Juice of one large or two small oranges
Juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp sea salt (I prefer Celtic sea salt for this particular drink)
1 tsp Azomite powder (optional)
1 Tbl raw honey
Juice the orange and the lemon. Mix the fresh juices with the sea salt, honey, and optional azomite. I prefer Celtic sea salt or Himalayan pink salt for an electrolyte replacement instead of other sea salts because it has over 80 minerals. Other sea salts like Real Salt have about 60 (1).
The azomite powder (volcanic rock dust) is listed as an optional ingredient to add even more electrolytes. It has not been specifically approved by the FDA for human consumption. If you feel more comfortable relying on the sea salt alone for the electrolytes in this beverage, that is fine. Here is more information on the safety of azomite according to the Weston Price Foundation:
It [azomite] is safe for human consumption. I recommend it because it is a natural, inexpensive mineral supplement. Tests have never been done on humans and won’t be because the FDA won’t allow it. There have only been studies with animals and it is a good mineral supplement for animals.
It does contain aluminum, but it is also rich in silica, which counteracts the aluminum. People have been eating clay and dirt as a tradition for thousands of years and all clay contains aluminum and silica (1).
Blend the juice mixture with filtered water in a tall glass.
Serve electrolyte replacement at room temperature, NOT cold as this inhibits absorption.
Sip and drink half within about 1 hour. Consume the rest as needed.
Refrigerate leftovers. Use within 2-3 days.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
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