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Monday, February 4, 2013

How to make a DIY Electrolyte drink

Ugh. Food poisoning. I've had it pretty bad for the past day and a half. I know when you have the flu or food poisoning one of the most important things to do is to not become dehydrated. But did you know simply drinking water isn't always enough?

Since I've been sick for more than 24 hours I decided to do some research about whether or not drinking something with electrolytes was advisable. The Mayo Clinic and WebMD website said if symptoms persist for more than 24 hours to use an oral rehydration solution like Gatorade. But I don't like Gatorade and I don't keep Pedialyte around the house.

Desperate for relief I went online to see if it was possible to make a homemade electrolyte drink. Guess what? Not only is it possible, it's shockingly simple to make one without refined sugar and artificial colors.

I decided to use this recipe on the Cheeky Bums Blog. It calls for four simple ingredients I just happened to have on hand:

Raw Honey (Except for babies visit the original post to learn why)
Lemon Juice (You could also use oranges or limes)
Sea Salt (Because it contains trace minerals iodized salt won't have)
CLICK HERE for the recipe on the Cheeky Bums Blog

ETA 6/26/15
Because the recipe is no longer viewable on the Cheeky Bums Blog I am adding her recipe and instructions to the post here:

Homemade Electrolyte Drink (Move Over Pedialyte!)


• 1 quart of water
• Juice of 2-3 lemons (fresh is preferable, but I've also used 1/3 c. lemon juice concentrate in a pinch)
• 1/3 c. raw honey (see my note at the bottom for an alternative for little ones)
• 1/4-1/2 tsp. sea salt


• Warm about 1/2 c. of the water and place it in the bottom of a quart-sized Mason jar. Make sure it's not hot water, but warm enough to help the honey and sea salt dissolve.
• Mix the warm water with the honey and sea salt and until mostly dissolved.
• Add the lemon juice and remaining water (use cold water this time) to fill the top of the jar.
• Mix thoroughly and you're done.

NOTE FOR BABIES: It is not recommended that you give babies under 1 year of age raw honey, so instead, I (the original poster on the Cheeky Bums Blog) substitutes palm sugar to sweeten the concoction. It has a very low glycemic index and is rich in Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc and Iron.

Using raw honey and water no hotter than 95º F is very important as pasteurized honey is heated to 120º and heating the water too hot will both kill the valuable enzymes and prebiotics that naturally occur in honey.

From Wikipedia: Heating up to 37 °C (99 °F) causes loss of nearly 200 components, some of which are antibacterial. Heating up to 40 °C (104 °F) destroys invertase, an important enzyme.

I heated a small amount of water, tested the temperature with a candy thermometer, and when it got to 90º I added the honey and salt to allow them to dissolve, stirring them together with a spoon before mixing them in with the rest of the water and lemon juice.

I looked it up online and learned 1 quart of water equals 4 cups. I've been sipping it for an hour now and not only is it not bothering my stomach, I actually feel just a wee bit better.

This is a drink I'll definitely be making during the hot summer months from now on.

I still haven't blogged about my trip to NYC last summer but I will share with you it was so hot  and humid (90º F and 90% humidity) that even though I was drinking plenty of water I ended up succumbing to heat exhaustion one evening because I didn't have enough electrolytes left in me. I was literally about to collapse as we walked back to our hotel and had to sit on a road work barricade for about a half hour until my hands and arms stopped feeling numb and shaky and the sensation I was bout to pass out subsided so that I could walk again. I felt sick the rest of the night but was better the next day. That's how I learned that water alone isn't enough to stave off dehydration. Sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, and magnesium are all part of the equation of lost nutrients you need to replace to keep your electrolytes in balance.

Needless to say I am not a medical professional but I always seek holistic treatments before turning to commercial products. If I experience any negative side effects I will update this post detailing them.


This post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please seek advice from your physician or other qualified health professionals with any questions you may have regarding food poisoning or any medical condition(s). This is simply my personal experience that I wanted to share with you to encourage others to be pro-active about their health.

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