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Natural Electrolyte Replacement Drinks

Electrolytes are the salts in our body. The most common salts are sodium, potassium and chloride located in the blood and cells. Electrolytes are important in keeping our body functioning correctly. Deficiencies or imbalance of electrolytes can lead to serious conditions and thus we need to learn how to replace it with natural electrolyte drinks which can be made easily at home.

Electrolytes are the salts in our body. The most common salts are sodium, potassium, and chloride located in the blood and cells. Electrolytes are important in keeping our body functioning correctly. Deficiency or imbalance of electrolyes can lead to serious conditions and thus we need to learn how to replace it with natural electrolye drinks which can be made easily at home. 

Importance of Electrolytes:

Electrolytes  are found in the body fluid, tissue, and blood which are chloride, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. Sodium (Na+) is concentrated in the extracellular fluid (ECF) and potassium (K+) is concentrated in the intracellular fluid (ICF). Proper balance is essential for muscle coordination, heart function, fluid absorption and excretion, nerve function, and concentration.

Electrolytes play a vital role in maintaining homeostasis within the body. They help to regulate myocardial and neurological function, fluid balance, oxygen delivery, acid-base balance and much more.

Electrolytes are important because they are what cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells. Kidneys work to keep the electrolyte concentrations in blood constant despite changes in your body. For example, during heavy exercise, electrolytes are lost in sweat, particularly sodium and potassium. These electrolytes must be replaced to keep the electrolyte concentrations of the body fluids constant.

Because minerals are water-soluble, they are easily forced out of the body by internal and external stresses including exercise, emotions, menstruation, diarrhea and, of course, many prescription medications.

Additionally, our body loses its ability to completely replenish nutrient levels as we age, accounting for rising levels in these disorders especially among the current 74 million within the baby-boomer generation (another boomer turns 50 every 8 seconds in the U.S. alone).

It is imperative that the type of mineral/electrolyte supplementation be in a form that is pre-digested and a whole-food in order for the body to better utilize and absorb them.

An imbalance of electrolytes can lead to a range of side effects, from dry mouth and nausea to abdominal cramping, increased heart beat, temporary paralysis and coma. If you want your body to function at its highest possible level, it's important to identify the risk factors for developing an electrolyte imbalance.

What are the natural electrolyte replacement drinks?

The best natural electrolyte replacement drink is coconut water. Coconut water is similar to plasma and was even given to soldiers in WWII intravenously when plasma supplies were low. Some doctors give it to kids with digestive problems, similar to Pedialyte, since the stomach accepts it so well.

Some other home made, natural remedies for replacement of natural electrolytes are given below. These recipes/drinks are derived (from various web sites and) are used as a replacement drink for years in families. There are recipes from WHO and UNICEF. 

Recipe for homemade Pedialyte

It is very important for babies and children not to become dehydrated when they're sick! Use instead of juice or milk for diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. This will not aggravate a sick tummy.

Ingredients:

2 quarts water

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

7 Tablespoons sugar

1 packet sugar-free Kool-Aid

1/2 teaspoon salt substitute

Directions: The salt substitute and Kool-Aid are optional. Store in the refrigerator. Be creative; use your special Kool-Aid to make ice cubes so it will stay cool in their bottle or sippy-cup. Or, insert toothpicks into your ice cubes before freezing and make homemade popsicles.

Alternate of Pedialyte to use instead:

5 cups distilled or boiled and cooled water (no "bugs" in it then)

1 cup 7-Up

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 Tbsp. sugar

Another recipe:

Mix together until dissolved

1 packet Kool-Aid sugar free (not required, but helps the flavor)

7 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 quarts water

* It tastes better than that expensive stuff for the kids and is a lot more thrifty!

Following recipe is from a family physician and very effective:

1 quart boiled water

3 Tbsp. orange juice

1 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. corn syrup

Proper electrolyte replacement drinks should include sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, and several other ions. "Salt substitute" is usually potassium chloride, which would be a cheap source of food grade potassium. 

Another electrolyte solution:

1/4 tsp salt substitute

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Karo syrup

2 quarts clean water

(may add Kool Aid or Splenda to taste)

Yields (approximately): 35 mEq chloride, 45 mEq sodium, 20 mEq potassium, 95 cal/liter

Recipe from the WHO:

1 quart water

1 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon table salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 tablespoons sugar

A home fluid rehydration drink for people OVER the age of 12

1 qt. water

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. table salt

3 to 4 teaspoons sugar

(if available, 1/4 tsp. salt substitute ("Lite Salt")

ELECTROLYTE AND FLUID REPLACEMENT

One teaspoon of "Lite Salt" (by Morton, 1/2 iodized potassium chloride, 1/2 sodium chloride in a blue cylinder)

1/3 teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate),

10 teaspoons of table sugar (sucrose),

one quart of water.

UNICEF Recipe:

Preparation of solution for oral use

Low Osmolarity Oral Rehydration Salts Ph. Int. 4th

Dissolve in one litre of drinking water :

Glucose, anhydrous Food Grade 13.5 g

Sodium chloride Ph. Int. 4th 2.6 g

Trisodium citrate, dihydrate Ph. Int. 4th 2.9 g

Potassium chloride Ph. Int. 4th 1.5 g

Useful links:

ELECTROLYTE REPLACEMENT

Electrolyte at wikipedia

Electrolyte Replacement Drink - Pedialyte Alternative

9 Health benefits of coconut water

* What are Electrolytes and why do I need them?

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Comments (2)

Wonderful. Living in a hot climate and doing sport, I am careful about electrolytes, but I didn't know about coconut water. Great. Thank you.

A great complementary article to read regarding electrolyte replacement can be found at http://www.e21.com.au/electrolyte-replacement/

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